Since 2010, Boise State is 6-2 vs. Pac-12 opponents (including bowl games) and have won those six games by an average margin of victory of 13.5 points per game.
The Cougars are coming off of a disappointing loss to Eastern Washington 45-42. The Cougars rushed for 97 rushing yards on the ground and passed for 418 passing yards. Quarterback Luke Falk completed 80% of his passes (41 of 51) with 4 touchdowns and one interception.
Running back Gerard Wicks rushed for 52 yards with two touchdowns and Jamaal Morrow added 45 yards as well.
Wide receiver Gabe Marks led the team with 10 receptions for 108 yards with two touchdowns. Robert Lewis caught 4 passes for 67 yards and looked smooth in his route running.
In order for Washington State to win this game, they must attack Boise State on the short to intermediate routes over the middle to loosen up the Broncos secondary. This will allow Falk to attack the deep third of the field later in the game and open up running lanes for Wicks.
Defensively, the Cougars allowed 110 rushing yards on the ground but were burned over the top by Eastern Washington for 496 passing yards. They must be able to force pressure on Brett Rypien and force check downs into coverage. Third down conversions were a cause of concern for the Cougars last Saturday as they allowed Eastern Washington to convert 6 of 11 third down attempts.
Quarterback Brett Rypien completed 22 of 33 passes (66%) for 347 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in the Broncos 45-10 win over UL-Lafayette on the road. Wide receivers Thomas Sperbeck and Cedric Wilson combined for 13 receptions for 243 yards with 2 touchdowns as the Broncos cruised to the road win.
Running backs Jeremy McNichols rushed for 48 yards with two scores while Alexander Mattison added 61 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown.
In order to get the victory on Saturday night, Rypien will need to attack the Cougars secondary early on and force Falk into a high scoring affair. Washington State looked out of sync defensively and Boise State must utilize different formations in order to force Washington State’s secondary into reading coverage.
Defensively, the Broncos recorded 5 sacks and held UL-Lafayette to 81 rushing yards on the ground. The secondary played very well and gave up 186 passing yards but will be challenged this coming Saturday by a prolific passing attack in the Cougars.
On third downs, the Broncos played very well and forced UL-Lafayette into converting 7 of 18 attempts (38%). The Broncos must be able to get pressure on Falk and force him into making mistakes on first and second down. They cannot allow him to complete 80% of his passes this weekend and expect to get the win.