Why Fresno State Will Win The Mountain West Championship
– They had them. The Bulldogs totally had them right where they wanted, up 17-3 on Boise State late in the third quarter just a few weeks ago. All they had to do was let the Mountain West’s No. 1 defense take over, and this thing was done. But Boise State marched on three long scoring drives for 21 unanswered points in 21 minutes to pull out the win. But Fresno State comes into this knowing that …. they had them.
– It didn’t matter in the first matchup, but it’s almost certainly going to be a thing this time around: the field position. Fresno State’s Blake Cusick leads the Mountain West’s best punting game, and he averaged close to 40 yards per kick in the first meeting. However, he wasn’t able to pin the Broncos deep. Boise State, on the other hand, was the nation’s worst punting game, averaging under 31 yards per try.
– Boise State might have Brett Rypien under center, but Fresno State’s Marcus McMaryion leads the league’s most efficient passing game. He’s thrown just three picks all year – spreading them out over the season – completing 71% of his throws with 24 touchdown passes.
He averages over nine yards per throw, and over his Fresno State career, the team is 11-0 when he hits the nine-yard mark. The Boise State defense doesn’t give up big plays, and it allowed McMaryion to connect on 69% of his throws for 8.1 yards per pass in the first game. If he can come up with a few deep shots, then this time around, the defense really should do the rest.