Boise State vs North Dakota Game Preview: Potential first win of the season?

After having an 0-2 start, the Broncos football team will have a chance at redemption as they host University of North Dakota on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Albertsons Stadium.

To say the Broncos need this win would be an understatement. 

In week one of the 2023 season, the Broncos faced a powerhouse force in University of Washington. There wasn’t much to suggest that the Broncos would win that matchup, as the Huskies had the edge on just about every facet. 

Taking a look at week two, a very evenly matched game against University of Central Florida led to a last second loss for the Broncos. 

The start of the Broncos 2023 season has been the worst start to a season since 2005, and was also the first home opener loss since 2001. 

The Broncos seem hopeful for the remainder of the season, despite their 0-2 start. 

“We’re still the same team, you know, different record,” head coach Andy Avalos said. “At the end of the day, we control what we control and that’s moving forward and continuing to grow …we will have a good team, we will have a good season and the team knows.” 

This weekend the Broncos will face one of the top offensive teams in the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC).

The Fighting Hawks have a deep core of wide receivers with Bo Belquist, Wesley Eliodor and Red Wilson that pose a huge threat to an already struggling Boise State defense. 

North Dakota’s senior quarterback, Tommy Schuster, has already had a powerful season with a 77% completion rate, four touchdowns and no interceptions.

“He’s (Schuster) diligent,” Avalos said. “He’s a quarterback that is one of the most efficient passers through the course of the season already … he’s got some good wide receivers now too. They spread the ball around. Bo’s (Belquist) their number one wide receiver’s, their primary target. But they have other guys that can stretch the field as well.” 

The Fighting Hawks top receiver, Belquist, has 233 yards on 15 receptions and two touchdowns for the season. 

There is no question that the offensive side of the Broncos team has been lacking for the last two weeks. The Broncos have averaged just 17.5 points per game and have averaged just 5.6 yards per play.  

“Overall consistency,” offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan said, in reference to just what the Bronco offense is missing. “Certainly we’re moving the football well, just have to create more explosive plays.”

Though fans have voiced their concerns about the struggling Boise State offense, there doesn’t seem to be much urgency from Hamdan.

“I don’t want to overreact,” Hamdan said. “I don’t necessarily feel over the last two games that there’s been a ton of miscommunication you know, the first of all, I think they were on the same page. We have to throw and catch and make some plays. And we just have to make sure we’re on the same page.”

The Broncos will not have an easy matchup against North Dakota in any stretch of the imagination. 

With the last weeks last second loss, the Broncos are desperate for a win. 

Score Prediction: 27-17 Broncos

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