Why Boise State Will Win The Mountain West Championship
– Third downs, third downs, third downs. Fresno State is marvelous at getting the defense off the field when it matters – except in the second half against Boise State a few weeks ago.
As is, the Broncos are among the best in the country at converting on third down plays – rolling at a 54% clip – and they picked a great time to get hot, going on long marches to put away Fresno State in the first meeting. If they convert 63% of their chances again, they’ve got it.
– As good as the Fresno State defense is, it doesn’t get behind the line. Last year’s defense was an absolute killer when it came to jumping into the backfield and stomping all over ball-carriers. Mykal Walker is having a huge season, but the defense isn’t making nearly as many big plays – that’s a big help for a Boise State offensive line that has trouble in pass protection.
– QB Brett Rypien might be the star of the Boise State offense, but it’s Alexander Mattison who’s been rolling lately. It was a grind to get to 1,000 yards last season, but not this time around, getting hot over the second half of the season with four 100-yard games in the final five, including a 144-yard day with two late touchdowns against Fresno State, and 200 yards and three scores against Utah State.