1.) Rattle The Young Quarterback: San Diego State will start Sophomore Adam Dingwell in place of injured starting QB Ryan Katz. Dingwell has looked good in the limited action he has seen thus far, throwing 5 TD’s to only 1 interception, while completing 52% of his passes. The problem for Dingwell however is that this is the first real hostile environment he will have played in. He will be facing a defense that ranks 6th in the nation in pass efficiency, and has sacked the opposing QB 20 times this year. If San Diego State has to go to a silent count from crowd noise, this defense will have a chance to rattle Dingwell early. Look for Boise State to blitz and switch up coverages early trying to force an early costly turnover from the young QB.
2.) Win The Battle of Running Backs: DJ Harper and Jay Ajayi vs Adam Muema and Walter Kazee. Both Boise State and San Diego State come into this game featuring a two back system. San Diego State is currently ranked 18th in the nation for yards per game (223.1) while Boise State is ranked 58th (165.8). With both teams dedicating a lot of the offense to running the ball. It is very likely that the team that is more successful in this department comes away with the win. DJ Harper, Jay Ajayi, and the offensive line need to have strong performances for Boise State to win this game.
3.) Overcome Injuries, Suspensions, and Expectations: Lee Hightower, who many thought had the brightest future at Boise State has been suspended indefinitely. Breakout corner Bryan Douglas has suffered a season ending ACL injury. Then you also have TE Gable Linehan out, TE Kyle Sosnowski out, and WR Mitch Burroughs out. All this while the fans and media are starting to make some noise about Boise State once again beig BCS bound. This means some young players are going to have to step into some major roles very quickly. This can lead to some growing pains, with a perfect example being TCU last year. With depth being thin there will be times when a new face will be asked to make a play. If they can do this Boise State will be fine.
4.) Get The Big Play on Offense: We have seen glimmers of it all season – the deep ball. Aaron Burks, Dallas Burroughs, and Geraldo Boldewijn all have the ability to stretch a defense. With the offense being more run orientated this season the deep ball has been there every game. The question is can Joe Southwick and his receivers find a way to become consistent in completing the throws down the field. San Diego State gave up 536 yards in the air against Fresno State. Let me say that again – 536 yards in one game. If there was ever a game where the deep ball could become a big factor it could be this one.
5.) Feed Shane Williams-Rhodes: I like to call him Mighty Mouse, the 5 foot 6 inch 154lb hybrid player. You can’t say he has a position, because so far he has run the ball, caught the ball, and juked anybody who has tried to tackle him out of their jock. Shane Williams-Rhodes is the player on this offense that the more he gets the ball, the more you wonder why he doesn’t get it all the time. Rhodes is averaging over 6 yards whenever and however he touches the ball. Against San Diego State I expect we will see him once again make a big play that helps Boise State on their way to victory.
Score: Boise State 38 San Diego State 17
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