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    MWC Pigskin Picks. Week 3.

    By Williamhicks


    Thursday, September 13
    Tennessee Tech at Utah State   @halfmanhalfbronco PICK- Utah State.  USU rolls and gets the backups a lot of playing time in the 3rd and 4th quarter.  Could be a chance to check out some promising Freshmen. @Williamhicks PICK- Utah State.  The Aggies are playing with a purpose, they dominated NMSU 60-13 last week and will roll Tenn Tech. @BSUTOP25 PICK - Utah State. Baggies roll in this one as the talent disparity and home field advantage will be too much for Tennessee Tech.    Saturday, September 15 Boise State at Oklahoma State   @halfmanhalfbronco PICK- Boise State.  Boise State will have too many weapons on offense and the D will slow down the Cowboys.   @Williamhicks PICK- Boise State. will win in a close game. Rypien will have a big game on a big stage, our defense will be the difference.  @BSUTOP25 PICK- Boise State. Yes, I'm a homer but homerism has nothing to do with this pick. I believe the Broncos have more roster talent and depth than OSU and I believe the coaching staff has turned the corner.  Colorado State at Florida   @halfmanhalfbronco PICK-  Florida.  CSU will score some points, Florida will score more.  CSU may give them a scare in the second half.  Florida does not appear to be a great team. @Williamhicks PICK- Florida. Which CSU will show up? The ones that beat Arkansas? The ones who lost to Hawaii? Florida should win big.  @BSUTOP25 PICK- Florida. Because BSUTOP25 is a CSU bully. New Mexico at New Mexico State   @halfmanhalfbronco PICK- New Mexico.  Raggies have looked horrendous to start the year. @Williamhicks PICK- New Mexico. Going off this seasons performance, I'm picking NM.  @BSUTOP25 PICK- New Methico. Although I have a soft spot in my heart for NMSU due to family, I have to go with the Lobos in this one. UNM will be looking for revenge after losing to the Raggies last year.  Wofford at Wyoming   @halfmanhalfbronco PICK- Wyoming.  Cowboys offense should look somewhat competent against Wofford. @Williamhicks PICK- Wyoming. If Wyoming blows this one, then Bohl's seat will be getting hot.  @BSUTOP25 PICK- Wyoming. Because I don't know what a Wofford is.  Fresno State at UCLA   @halfmanhalfbronco PICK- Fresno.  I know I shouldn't but damn it Fresno, we really need you to win this and the Bulldogs have the talent for the upset. @Williamhicks PICK- UCLA. Statistically, this should be the year that Fresno gets really hot. But their play calling is a joke.  @BSUTOP25 PICK- UCLA. I dislike Chip Kelly so much that I wish he'd come down with a bad case of the Hot Wok Spa itch but I don't know if Fresno State has the firepower to beat the Bruins at the Rose Bowl. I think this will be a close game however. 
    Hawai‘i at Army     @halfmanhalfbronco PICK- Hawaii.  McDonald may be the star of the OOC season for the MWC.  Hawaii wins by 10+ if the Warriors stop with the nonsense play calling of last week. @Williamhicks PICK- Hawaii.  McDonald is tearing through Hawaii's OOC schedule and sure to have a big game vs Army.  @BSUTOP25 PICK- Hawaii. I've bought in and have hopped on the Rainbows bandwagon. Hawaii will compete for the West title this year, book it Danno!  Oregon State at Nevada   @halfmanhalfbronco PICK- UNR.  Please win this.  Oregon State is pretty terrible and the pack is at home. @Williamhicks PICK- UNR. Oregon State is horrible this season, even by their standards. UNR should roll them at home. @BSUTOP25 PICK- UNR. Oregon state is easily the worst team in the Pac-12 and possibly amongst the worst of the P5. UNR will win this game going away. Arizona State at San Diego State   @halfmanhalfbronco PICK- Arizona State.  Look for the Aztec secondary to again struggle this week.  Edwards seems like a surprisingly good hire albeit still early. @Williamhicks PICK- Arizona State. Nobody is laughing at Herm Edwards anymore. He has that team on fire, going for blood and SDSU is in trouble.  @BSUTOP25 PICK- SUDS. I'm going against halfmanhalfmillenial and billyhicks on this one as SUDS doesn't have to deal with the dreaded altitude poisoning and I don't believe ASU is as good as their early season results would indicate.  San José State at Oregon   @halfmanhalfbronco PICK- Oregon.  Yeah. @Williamhicks PICK- Oregon.   Ouch, this is gonna hurt.  @BSUTOP25 PICK- Oregon. Did the NCAA institute a mercy rule this year? God, I hope so.    Prairie View A&M at UNLV   @halfmanhalfbronco PICK-  UNLV. rushes for 350+ yards in this one.   @Williamhicks PICK- UNLV. should win big, but UNLV always loses a "sure win" game each season. Will this be the one?  @BSUTOP25 PICK- UNLV. This one will be over by early 3rd quarter and will allow the Rebs to give the backups some reps.   
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    BOISE STATE @ OKLAHOMA STATE PREVIEW

     

    If there is a game on the Boise State schedule that could determine the Broncos’ College Football Playoff/New Year’s Six future, it is this Saturday. Head coach Bryan Harsin and his Broncos head to Stillwater, Oklahoma, where they will face the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Both teams enter Saturday’s contest 2-0 and the matchup is sure to be the biggest challenge either team has faced thus far in the young 2018 season.

     

    The Broncos head into Saturday on the heels of a record-setting performance last week. Quarterback Brett Rypien led a Boise State offense that put up 818 yards of total offense in a 62-7 win over Connecticut. Rypien, a four-year starter, threw for 362 yards and three touchdowns playing just a little over a half. With his performance, Rypien tied Broncos legend Kellen Moore with his 16th 300-yard-plus passing game.

     

    Rypien is not the only weapon in a Boise State offense that can light up the scoreboard. Running back Alexander Mattison has rushed for 171 yards and three touchdowns thus far this season and he would likely have more had he not been on the bench in the Broncos two blowouts to start the season. Wide receiver Sean Modster leads the team with 13 receptions for 241 yards and two touchdowns, but the big surprise in the Broncos offense is junior college transfer, John Hightower.

     

    The Hinds CC transfer erupted in the win over Connecticut for 174 total yards. Hightower caught five passes for 119 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown. He also carried the ball once scoring on a 55-yard run. The 6-2, 185-pound Hightower is just another of the many weapons that offensive coordinator Zak Hill has at his disposal.

     

    With 56 points in their season-opening win over Troy, the Broncos are averaging 59 points per game. That is a number that might seem out of reach against a Big 12 defense like Oklahoma State, but the Cowboys give up points by the bunches. Oklahoma State gave up so many points in 2017 that they fired their defensive coordinator. Jim Knowles was hired away from Duke to try and fix what has been a porous Cowboys defense.

     

    Oklahoma State has improved from a year ago but has not been tested. The Cowboys have given up 15 points per game and just 237 yards per game. These are solid numbers, but they come against FCS Missouri State and the Sun Belt’s South Alabama, a program that has only been in existence since 2009 and a member of the FBS since 2012. Knowles’ defense, which features seven returning starters from 2017, will get its first taste of a powerful FBS offense in facing the Broncos on Saturday.

     

    Where the Cowboys have always been strong under head coach Mike Gundy is on offense. The Cowboys Air Raid offense has propelled the program to three straight 10-win seasons. Gundy is 116-53 in his 14th season with the program. He has had just one losing season, his first, during his tenure. The offense is how Oklahoma State wins games and this year will likely be no different.

     

    Heading into 2018, the Cowboys had to replace Mason Rudolph at quarterback and James Washington at wide receiver. Gundy and offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich have plenty of skill position talent, but finding a quarterback has been the biggest challenge. Thus far, senior Taylor Cornelius has been the guy running the OSU offense. He has completed 49-of-74 passes for 723 yards and six touchdowns, five of which came in the season opener. He has thrown three interceptions and after the Cowboys’ win over Missouri State Gundy called Cornelius average.

     

    The Cowboys are loaded in the running game. All-Big 12 RB Justice Hill, a 1,000-yard back a year ago, has rushed for 154 yards on 19 carries, an average of 8.1 yards per carry, and three touchdowns. His backup, L.D. Brown, is averaging 12.4 yards per carry and has a 77-yard touchdown run to his credit. Tylan Wallace, a 6-0, 185-pound sophomore, has done his best to replace Washington. Wallace has 14 catches for 214 yards and two touchdowns this season.

     

    The difference on Saturday could very well be the Boise State defense. It’s an experienced unit that returned 10 starters from a year ago and added a veteran linebacker in graduate transfer Tony Lashley. An All-Sun Belt performer at Idaho a year ago, Lashley transferred to Boise State after the Vandals dropped from the FBS to the FCS. Lashley is not your ordinary college linebacker. At 23 years of age, Lashley is married and has five kids. What he also has is four tackles, one tackle for loss, and an interception.

     

    Senior DE Durrant Miles has two sacks and leads a Broncos defense that was much-improved in 2017. Boise State ranked in the Top 40 in most defensive statistical categories and forced 26 turnovers a year ago. If defensive coordinator Andy Avalos can get his unit to force a few turnovers against Oklahoma State, the Broncos could pull off a huge win.

     

    A second-consecutive Mountain West Conference championship, an unbeaten season, and a win over Power 5 Oklahoma State would be exactly what Harsin and the Broncos would need to be considered for the College Football Playoff. At the very least, a New Year’s Six bowl game would be in the cards. For Harsin and the Broncos, they will take it one step at a time and it starts with Saturday in Stillwater.

  2. I will do a weekly update of the Massey Composite Rankings between the AAC & MWC.  Moreover in this link, there is annual AAC vs MWC rankings going back to 2016.  I plan to go back to 2014 when the CFP era began. 

    Simply click the link every Monday and it will be updated, however, keep checking back during the week because ranking change as more polls get aggregated. 

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lTe233mW8GTcFNqIjaddXl1BdIRVGzwB/view?usp=sharing

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    I was born in Boise what is getting to be a long time ago.  When I was young, my two favorite college sports teams were the hometown Boise State Broncos and the BYU Cougars.  My father had attended both - he graduated from Boise Junior College and briefly attended BYU before finishing a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Idaho (which he hated).  I remember asking my father back then which team would win in a Bronco-Cougar showdown.  His response?  He informed me that they were in completely different divisions, so they would never play each other.  His heart gave out years before he would be proven wrong.

    Like my father, I too attended both Boise State and BYU.  My appearance at BSU was pretty short, though - I attended part time one semester while saving up money to attend school in Provo.  I went on to earn both a bachelor's and master's degree at BYU, and have since moved back to Boise.

    While my primary loyalty is with my alma mater, I still try to keep tabs on the Broncos.  I'm especially interested when they face each other on the gridiron or the basketball court, or when there's some other connection between the two schools.

  3. I am halfmanhalfbronco, you can also call me Paul or P.J. if you like.  Some of you will know me already, others will not.  I have been active on message boards talking about Bronco football and life in general with MWC fans for about 12 years now.  I have previously been asked to moderate several boards but decided this one would be a good fit because I do not plan on working hard, as we are all big boys and girls that should not be a problem.

    I am an outdoors enthusiast and 6th generation Idahoan.  My Grandfather, the late Robert Ericson was the longtime chairman of the theater department at Boise State.  Some of my earliest memories were walking with my parents around campus when they both attended school.  Wow have things changed.  Speaking of change, is it just me do the residents of Boise just keep getting better looking?  

    This blog will mostly be about athletics but if the fishing was amazing somewhere I might mention it, our secret OK?  

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