BSU vs UCF Game Preview: Broncos in a Must Win Situation?

Photo by Taya Thornton

Boise State Broncos football is set to bounce back from their season-opening loss to No. 8 Washington last week as they will play the University of Central Florida (UCF) in their home-opener on Sept. 9 at 5 p.m.

The Broncos first two games of the season are undoubtedly the hardest matchups they will have all season. UCF poses as a threat, especially after the Boise State came off of a rough start in Seattle, Washington.

After last week’s torrential loss to the Huskies, the Broncos are looking to get their first win of the 2023 season to keep from stooping into a 0-2 record to start the season. 

This will be the second time Boise State will play UCF, with their last meeting in 2021 resulting in a 36-31 comeback win for the Knights. 

One of the biggest matchups for the Broncos in this game will be their underwhelming defense against a dominant UCF offense led by dual-threat quarterback John Rhys Plumlee

Plumlee notched 281 yards and three touchdowns accompanied with another 90 yards rushing and a touchdown in the 56-6 win in his season debut against Kent State. 

“We see a quarterback who is very efficient through the air within their plan of attack in the pass game,” Boise State head coach Andy Avalos said to the media. “[Plumlee’s] one of the fastest players on the field as well. He’s proven to do that over the course of the last two years.” 

UCF’s offense was explosive in their season opener, putting up 334 passing yards and 389 rushing yards. 

“It’s going to come down to being exceptional in the pre-snap with identifying, being able to leverage formations,” Avalos said. “Move ahead of the movers in terms of our communication and knowing the adjustments and where our eyes are going so that we can handle the numbers that bring. There’s a potential for triple option numbers and being able to handle the quarterback’s number in the run game.” 

To go along with an impressive offensive game in week one, the Knight’s defense also stood strong, as they didn’t allow a touchdown and had one interception. 

With the lack of defensive power and efficiency the Broncos displayed against the Huskies, they could be in for another tough game if defensive changes aren’t made. 

“They’re athletic, they’re really fast, that whole team is blazing speed,” Boise State wide receiver Stefan Cobbs said of UCF’s defensive backs. “We just got to make sure that we’re matching speed with speed for that, we got fast people too.” 

The Broncos will look to utilize their home-field advantage. They have historic success playing on the blue, recording the 5th best all-time winning percentage at home and haven’t lost a home-opener since 2001

“[They have] One of the best home records in all of college football since 2000” UCF head coach Gus Malzahn said to the media. “It’s really impressive, we’re playing a team that has a lot of pride, they’re very well coached, they’re used to winning.”

Cobbs totaled six receptions for 56 yards, including six drops in the loss to Washington, will look to come back better and not make those kinds of errors in this matchup.

“I know when it happened,” Cobbs said. “I was like okay I need to lock in and make sure I’m getting these easy ones.”

Despite the revenge factor going into this game, Cobbs is certain the team is focused on themselves. 

“We got people on this team that want to get that back for sure,” Cobbs said. “But, we’re just focused on us and what we need to do.” 

With UCF being new member of the Big-12 conference, they will be another great opportunity for Boise State to expand upon their resume in hopes for a conference realignment that still looms in the background.

The Broncos will also need to see more offensively from both running back Ashton Jeanty and quarterback Taylen Green in this matchup for any hope for their first win of the season.

Game Score Prediction: 27-24 Broncos

Leave a Reply