Mountain West (MW) play is in full swing as Boise State (3-2, 1-1) will head down to Logan, Utah this weekend for a crucial matchup with the Utah State Aggies (3-3, 2-0) in a game that could decide the fate of the Mountain Division.
“It’s the next game and Utah State is a really good team from top to bottom,” Boise State head coach Chris Petersen said. “I think their special teams are good; their offense and defense (too). I think they’re a really good team top to bottom.”
The Broncos are coming off a bye week following a 60-7 demolishing of the Southern Miss Golden Eagles at Bronco Stadium.
The Broncos will now face a tough Utah State squad in a hostile environment, as they will look to their redshirt senior quarterback Joe Southwick to put them into position for a run at the MW championship game in December.
“I think we’re definitely improving,” redshirt sophomore safety Dillon Lukehart said.
Southwick has thrown himself into the Boise State record books this year, setting the Boise State record for completion percentage in a single game as he completed 27 of 29 passes against the Air Force Academy earlier this season.
For all the criticism he receives, statistically, Southwick has been performing on a high level. He currently has the fifth- highest completion percentage in college football this year, completing 73.5 percent of his passes this season.
“I’m just continuing my process of trying to get better and being a student of the game,” Southwick said. “Just knowing the other team inside and out, and know what they’ve done and what they might do.”
Southwick had major shoes to fill as a redshirt junior, following behind the winningest quarterback in the history of college football. Now as a senior, Southwick looks as though he has come into his own.
While the Broncos currently sit third in the Mountain Division standings, a win against Utah State on Saturday could put them in perfect position moving forward to get a likely rematch with co-preseason favorites Fresno State for the MW title.
“Favorites doesn’t really matter because the season goes on,” Petersen said. “I think top to bottom, the whole league is pretty good on any given day.”
Southwick could put to rest his critics with an outright MW. A win at Utah State will be the first step in that process.