Boise State becomes the second non-BCS team to reach a BCS bowl game, and all eyes will be on the Broncos to see how well they stand up against one of the toughest teams in the country.
It isn't enough that Boise State went 12-0 and beat bowl-bound BCS Oregon State – a team that knocked off USC – 42-14 along the way. Now the Broncos must prove that they deserve to even be in a BCS bowl under the more lenient qualifying requirements for non-BCS teams.
If Boise is to win this game it must be done with a prolific offense, which is as balanced as it is productive. The Broncos are averaging 424 yards and 39.4 points per game. They are led by quarterback Jared Zabransky, who threw for 2,325 yards and 20 touchdowns.
More importantly, he is a senior that should not panic under the pressure of what will feel like a championship game to the Broncos. He disperses the ball evenly to a trio of outstanding wide receivers and the tight end. If that isn't a big enough threat, tailback Ian Johnson has rushed for 1,613 yards and 24 touchdowns.
The problem for Boise State, however, is twofold. First, Oklahoma has a defense that will be a ton better than anything they have faced all year. The speed and athleticism is something they will not be able to simulate or prepare for coming into the game.
I believe the Sooners, who give up just over 15 points per game, will hold Boise to about half their average, or about 20-25 points.
The other problem for Boise is that the Oklahoma offense is really coming into its own. After converting to quarterback from wide receiver at the beginning of the season, Paul Thompson has found his comfort zone, throwing 12 touchdowns and only three interceptions in the last eight games – all of which were victories.
Add to this the fact that Adrian Peterson is back at tailback to join his able replacement, Allen Patrick, and you see where this could present some problems for the Broncos.
- Boise State