As students head home and finals finish up, it means one thing: We are that much closer to football season.
Here are two intriguing things to look at on Boise State’s 2017 schedule.
1. Troy shouldn’t be a walk through.
Boise State fans have gotten used to beating up on one team in their non-conference schedule. Tennessee-Martin, Idaho State, Southern Miss and Louisiana-Lafayette—once in 2015, and again in 2016—have been a few of those teams.
Of those five meetings dating back to 2013, Boise State has won by an average of 42.8 points a game. The 2017 matchup may not be the same.
The Broncos will play host to Troy in the season and home opener on Sept. 2.
In 2016, the Trojans finished the season 10-3 and were in contention for a New Year’s Six game, before losing to Arkansas State in the middle of November. Their most significant victory may have come in a loss.
Troy almost gave the 2017 National Champions a loss early in the season before falling to Clemson 30-24.
They finished the season 21st in scoring defense allowing 22.1 points a game and were 37th in the nation in passing offense with 260.5 yards per game.
The young Bronco defense won’t have to face leading rusher Jordan Chunn and passer Brandon Silvers as both players graduated, but the Trojans will return senior Safety Cedarius Bookard who had six interceptions for a defense that was tied for second in the country in interceptions, forcing 22 of them.
2. Washington State and New Mexico in five days.
At first glance of the schedule, you might have gotten confused whether you were looking at the Boise State Basketball schedule or the football one.
It was football, but the Saturday, Sept. 9 matchup with Washington State—followed by the Thursday, Sept. 14 game versus New Mexico feels like they should be playing at Taco Bell Arena rather than the Blue Turf.
The first game is arguably the most challenging game on the schedule. It will be against a Washington State team that is coming off back-to-back bowl appearances in the history of the program, and is returning one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
Senior Luke Falk and his offense finished third in passing offense per game, averaging 362.5 yards per contest.
Falk was projected to leave for the NFL but decided to stay for his senior year instead. Last year against Boise State, in the home opener for the Broncos, Falk finished the night 55-71 with 480 yards.
Boise State cornerback Tyler Horton had a pick-six and Boise State was able to pull out a 31-28 win.
This time the game will be in Washington. Five days later the Broncos will be tested against a triple option New Mexico offense that led the nation in rushing yards last season—350 yards a game—and forced four turnovers on the Blue two years ago to beat Boise State. It was just the fifth loss the Broncos surrendered at Albertsons Stadium since 2000.