Location: Veterans Memorial Stadium, Troy Alabama
Kickoff: Saturday September 1st, 5:00 PM Central Time
TV: ESPN NEWS
Live Stats: www.statbroadcast.com
Audio: TROY SPORTS RADIO NETWORK
Betting: Troy +10.5 Over/Under 50
Troy hosts the Broncos this year to start the season. Troy opened the season against Boise last year on the Blue Turf and lost. Neither team played a very good game, but Troy managed to play worse. This year could be a different story.
The Broncos come in with many returning starters. Their defense is almost the same unit as last year where they held opponents to just under 23 points per game (PPG), while their offense averaged 32.5 PPG. In Troy’s last seven games, they averaged over 40 PPG while holding opponents to a little over 18 PPG. Both teams had high scoring offenses with stingy defenses, and both teams return enough starters and experience that there shouldn’t be much difference this year.
Last year the Broncos embarrassed Troy’s special team’s defensive coverage. Troy consistently gave the Broncos good field position on punts and kickoffs while not doing very well themselves. Troy has made that a priority in the preseason and hopefully they have that fixed.
The Trojans named Kaleb Barker the starting quarterback earlier this week. A junior, Barker has had plenty of game experience and has successfully run the offense during fall camp. I expect Boise’s defense will blitz a lot and try different stunts to confuse the new quarterback, so Barker will have to overcome the first game jitters and settle in quickly.
If both teams play to their potential, this should be a great game. Both teams need to win in order to stay in the national conversation regarding the top teams in the Group 5.
Both teams have good defenses, which usually means good field position on punts and turnovers will be key.
Troy can win this game if they jump out to an early lead and force Boise to play catch-up. I expect this matchup to come down to the fourth quarter. Heat and humidity will be probably be a factor and those conditions tend to favor whoever has the best depth.
I have to give Boise the edge on depth and I’ll think they’ll win a much closer game than the gambling odds suggest.
Boise State 31 Troy 27