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Three Storylines That Could Determine Winner Of BYU/Boise State

Nov 4, 2022, 4:59 PM
BYU/Boise State, Jaren Hall, Taylen Green...
BYU/Boise State square off for the last scheduled meeting and they both have impact quarterbacks. (Photos courtesy of Getty Images)
(Photos courtesy of Getty Images)

BOISE – The BYU/Boise State rivalry is preparing to play its final scheduled game on Saturday. Since 2012, these two regional rivals have played annually.

That is about to end as BYU moves to the Big 12 Conference beginning in 2023.

BYU coach Kalani Sitake has said he “hates to see good things come to an end.” This series has been a good thing in college football. And it’s another example of how conference realignment takes away some fun annual matchups. So, Saturday being the last scheduled matchup adds more juice to a game that always produces wild results.

BYU at Boise State

Date: November 5, 2022

Kickoff: 5 p.m.

TV: FS2

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM – Extended pregame begins at Noon)

#1 Jaren Hall vs. Boise State’s excellent defense

Boise State has one of the best defenses in college football this season. Statistically, Boise’s pass defense is the best in the nation, allowing only 133.6 yards per game. But they haven’t faced a quarterback quite like BYU signal-caller Jaren Hall.

During this four-game losing streak for BYU, Hall has played through shoulder pain after a hard hit he took against Utah State on September 29. Hall had a solid performance against East Carolina, passing for 144 yards and completing 18 of his 25 pass attempts.

But to pull off an upset against Boise, Hall will need to have one of his best games this season.

“It’s always an intense game, there’s always history behind it, there’s always grit on the field between both teams and it’s always a good game,” said Hall. “It’s a good atmosphere wherever you play, whether you’re in Boise or here in Provo, and it’s always a challenge every year. It’s no different than playing Utah or even playing Utah State. It’s very similar feel. So, it will be really fun to play out there in Boise in their stadium. Their fans are very passionate, they always come out to support, and so it will be a good challenge for us.”

Last week, we saw Hall get back into the running game, more than we’ve seen at any point this season. He rushed for 60 yards against ECU. With running back Chris Brooks doubtful to play, we could see more Hall on the ground.

#2 BYU/Boise State: Turnovers

The BYU/Boise State series has been known for uncharacteristic turnovers. Since 2012. BYU/Boise State games have produced four turnovers or more seven times.

Last year, two fumbles were costly for BYU in handing Boise State the upset victory over a No. 10 BYU team.

Coming into Saturday’s game, BYU has only had five turnovers this season. Boise State has coughed up the football 11 times.

#3 Boise State’s ground attack

Since Taylen Green took over as quarterback, Boise State’s ground attack has been excellent. The 6-foot-6 Green gives Boise State a dual-threat quarterback that pairs up with running backs George Holani and Ashton Jeanty.

Last week in Boise’s win against Colorado State, the Broncos rushed for 209 yards. In Green’s first start after former Bronco QB Hank Bachmeier transferred, BSU rushed for 316 yards against San Diego State.

BYU’s rushing defense has been a problem this year. The Cougars are 121st nationally in rush defense, allowing 205.7 yards per game.

In the fourth quarter against East Carolina, BYU’s defense tightened up and put together the necessary stops to give the BYU offense a chance to pull out the win. BYU can’t wait until the fourth quarter to get the stops against the Broncos, or else it could be a long, ugly day on the blue turf for the Cougs.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch and his BYU/Boise State coverage from Idaho on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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Three Storylines That Could Determine Winner Of BYU/Boise State