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Boise State Looks To Capitalize On Favorable Matchup In Home Opener Versus Washington

Posted by on 8/21/2015 9:23:12 PM

The Boise State Broncos’ first season under head coach Bryan Harsin was a success. They will be banking on replacements for a couple of key pieces on offense in order to duplicate that success this season. Boise State will turn to sophomore quarterback Ryan Finley and running back Jeremy McNichols hoping they can replace the production that Grant Hedrick and Jay Ayaji brought to the table. Finley and McNichols will get their first chance to show what they can do with a favorable matchup for their season opener at home when they host the Washington Huskies and the betting line for that game reflects the high expectations for that game with the Broncos listed as substantial favorites.

Washington Huskies vs. Boise State Broncos

Friday September 4, 2015 – 10:15 PM ET

Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho

College Football Betting Line: Boise State -11

Betting Preview: Washington

Expectations have been tempered for Chris Petersen’s second season at Washington with only nine returning starters with the biggest hole at the quarterback position where neither redshirt freshman KJ Carta-Samuels nor true freshman Jake Browning will be able to carry the offense. Both passers have considerable potential but even with a relatively strong receiving core it will take time for the Huskies’ starter to adjust to the college game. Running back Dwayne Washington is good enough to handle the bulk of the carries and Washington will need a big game from him in Week 1. There are considerable concerns on the defense after All-American Shaq Thompson and four-year starter John Timu both moved on especially with the Huskies still transitioning to the 3-4 defense with so many young players filling out the starting positions in their front seven.

Betting Preview: Boise State

Hedrick and Ajayi accounted for a ridiculous 92.4-percent of the Broncos’ touchdowns last season so while they return nine offensive starters this is still a unit that will be in transition early on in the year. Harsin hasn’t confirmed Finley will be his starter this season but he gained some important experience as the backup behind Hedrick last season and he impressed during the spring. Regardless of who starts at quarterback, Boise State will rely heavily on its ground game with McNichols expected to get the majority of the touches even though the team plans to use a committee approach. Meanwhile, the defense is absolutely loaded including last year’s Mountain West sack leader Kamalei Correa, interception leader Darian Thompson and star cornerback Donte Deayon and it will be very interesting to see how they perform in front of their home fans in this season opener.

Outlook & Pick

It will take time for the Broncos’ offense to come together but the defense is absolutely stacked and should be able to set the tone for them early on. Washington is transitioning on both sides of the football including on the defense in particular which should help the Boise State attack. Big things are expected of the Broncos again this year even despite all of the changes and we like them to open the season with a statement win over an overmatched Huskies’ team in this game.

Pick: Boise State -11

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