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College Football Free Pick — Boise State Broncos tested early vs. Oregon State Beavers

Boise State Broncos Athletics

Boise State Broncos Face the Oregon State Beavers in College Football Week One

By Charles Jay

The Boise State Broncos were a disappointment to some last season in College Football, while the Oregon State Beavers brought some pleasure to their fans that they hadn’t had for a while. They are both bringing back enough veterans that there is hope in the air, and they’ll start on that road on Saturday night at Corvallis (10:30 PM ET).

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And they have Oregon State listed as a slight favorite in the college football odds:

Oregon State Beavers -2 (-105)
Boise State Broncos +2 (-115)

Over 55.5 Points -110
Under 55.5 Points -110

College Football Free Pick — About the Boise State Broncos

Head coach Andy Avalos played linebacker at Boise State, and in his first season he went 7-5. That was a bit of a downer, as the Broncos had double-digit wins in each of their previous four full seasons. There are a lot of returnees – eight on offense and nine on defense. At the helm is QB Hank Bachmeier, who is not spectacular, but is very solid, registering 62.8% completions and 20 TD passes last year.

BSU brings four offensive linemen back, and the two stars are guard Ben Dooley and tackle John Ojukwu. This team averaged only 3.1 yards per carry last season, but the good news is that running back George Molani, who topped 1000 yards as a freshman, is healthy at the moment after battling injuries the last couple of seasons. When he has gotten a carry, the broncos have won 21 of their last 26 games. And they have won all seven games in which he has rushed for at least 100 yards.

This is a solid defense that yielded only 19 points per game in 2021. And they have nine starters coming back, not to mention 19 of the top 21 tacklers. So there is depth. A veteran secondary can handle most assignments. And Avalos is expecting the D-line to take things to a new level.

College Football Free Pick — About the Oregon State Beavers

This is Jonathan Smith’s fifth year on the job, and most people believe this is his best group yet. Last season the Beavers went 7-6, their first winning season since 2013, and lost 24-13 to Utah State in the LA Bowl. Chance Nolan is adequate at quarterback, and the offensive line, which has three starters coming back, was a finalist for the Joe Moore Award. But it’s going to be a major task replacing running back BJ Baylor, who had 1337 yards ona 5.9 ypc average last season.

Like Boise State, the Beavers bring back nine starters on the defensive side of the ball. And that defense made a vast improvement against the run last year, going from 5.6 ypc in 2020 (which was pitiful) to a more respectable 4.1.

Last year OSU won all five home games and covered all four times as a home favorite.

College Football Free Pick — Our conclusion

You have to respect Oregon State a great deal. But Boise State has a quarterback who is probably capable of greater things. And Molani has the ability to be the game-breaker this team needs to contend with the likes of Air Force, Fresno State and San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference.

History demonstrates that Boise is a good traveler; having covered 16 of their last 26 on the road, including seven of eight as a road dog the last five seasons. They’ve got enough to make a leap in 2022. And we’re willing to take the points with them. More strongly, however, these defenses are good enough and experienced enough to take advantage of an inflated total, so we’re cashing with the UNDER as well.


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