Boise State vs. Oregon State: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

·4 min read

Boise State vs. Oregon State: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

Can the Broncos get a road win

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P5 win on the horizon?

WEEK 1: Boise State Broncos at Oregon State Bevers

WHERE: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR

TV: ESPN at 8:30pm (MT)

STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, which includes ESPN, by following this link.

SERIES RECORD: Oregon State leads Boise State 5-4

WEBSITES: broncosports.com | osubeavers.com

RADIO: Bronco Radio Network

ODDS: OSU -2.5

SP+ PROJECTION: Boise State by 3.6

FEI PROJECTION: Boise State by 11

While most of us enjoyed week 0 to ease ourselves back into college football, we all have been waiting for this week to get here. Between injuries and inconsistencies, last year was rough to watch.  It is a new season with a second-year staff and a healthy team; the expectations are incredibly high. 

This season opens familiarly with the Broncos on the road, and Oregon State was 6-0 last season at Reser Stadium. Last year they had victories over Utah and Arizona State, but they were not missing a third of their stadium capacity due to renovations. With the stands missing from the visiting side of the field, it is not likely the noise will be an issue for Boise State.  The Beavers defense is returning nine starters from last season and hopes to improve on some rough performances. Offensively Oregon State is missing their number one WR and RB from last year and will be looking to replace that production. 

Of course, the Broncos will be trying to replace the production of Khalil Shakir, which a fully healthy George Holani and Hank Bachmeier will help. The defense, led by JL Skinner, Ezekiel Noa, and Scott Matlock, is returning 20 of their top 22 tacklers from last season. That experience should keep the pressure on the Beaver offense early.

Key No. 1: Contain Chase Nolan 

Nolan is at the helm for his second season at Oregon State.  He is very mobile and is a consistent enough passer, similar to Dillon Gabriel in last season’s opener, to create problems.  If he is allowed to get his rhythm going, the Beavers will likely be able to spread out Boise State’s defense to get the run game going as well.

Key No. 2: Fulfill the Promise of an Offensive Line

We were told the offensive line made huge improvements during the past two seasons during camp. Yet the line play has been simply painful to watch. With the return of Kekaniokoa Holomalia-Gonzalez at center, the “Wild Snap Counter” will hopefully go away, and provide stability in the interior of the line. Left tackle John Ojukwu, and guards Garrett Curran and Ben Dooley add considerable experience along the line. The addition of Washington State transfer Cade Beresford, the Broncos look to have all the pieces in place for a much-improved offense.

Key No. 3: 20 of 22

As previously mentioned, the Bronco defense is returning 20 of their 22 top tacklers from last season. That is a good stat for the season, but it is enormous for week 1, on the road, against potentially one of the best Oregon State teams in the last decade. Last season the Beavers averaged 31.2 pts per game while Boise State averaged 29.2, so without relying on an improved offense, the defense will have to play well not to allow this game to get into a shootout.

Prediction

It seems odd not to mention Bachmeier or Holani in the keys to the game, but it had to be limited someplace.  The signs lean towards a shootout, and with the spread under 3 points, there could be a lot of heart trouble on the horizon. But it would seem that most are overlooking just how good the Bronco defense is in comparison, and this time the promise of a better offensive line will be true.

Score: Boise State 35, Oregon State 21


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Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire