What is their body of work?
Idaho State +42
La Tech +35
Southern Miss +17
San Jose State +17
NM State +49
Utah State +35
What was their best result last season or this season?
They had a nice win @Oregon last year and Boise absolutely destroyed Fresno State.
What was their worst result last season?
What was the turnover margin?
They are +3 this year and were +7 last year. They seem to fumble more than you would expect but get a sick number of interceptions. A team with an explosive offense can get by with a lower turnover ratio than other teams.
How is their QB play?
Kellen Moore is a good QB. 8th in the nation in pass efficiency, he completes 66% of his passes, 8 TDs over 1 INT, with 8.5 yards per attempt. There is nothing else to say except that is highly productive. They only pass 26-27 times a game, limiting his passing yards, but he is a very effective QB. (He is not a dual threat QB).
What was their yard per play?
This year? They are making 6.5 yards per play and last year it was 6.3. The rocket-fueled Ball State offense was gaining 6.7 yards per play last year, for reference.
Can they run the ball?
This is an open question. Sorta. Generally, the run the ball great. DJ Harper was gaining 6.5 yards per carry, but is now out for the season. They still have Jeremy Avery, who is also getting over 6 yards per carry and Boise fans are high on Doug Martin. However, he has only 9 carries this year and 24 last season, with an average somewhere in the low-mid 4s.
Do they pass the ball?
See above as it relates to Moore. Austin Pettis and Titus Young are both excellent WRs and account for over half of their receptions.
How is their run/pass balance.
Actually, this is interesting. In terms of play mix, they are heavily run, which I suspect is not what most people would think. They have run it 117 times against 86 passes this year. (In case you think the Miami blow out is throwing things off, they were actually pretty close to 50/50 against Miami and Fresno, but ran the ball 59 times against Oregon in 89 plays. They certainly meet the test of being able to produce with either weapon--5 per play on the ground and 8 per play on pass is very effective.
Do they convert on 3rd Down.
43% this year and 44% last year, both are very solid though not among the top 40 in the country.
Do they score in the red zone?
4.2 points per red zone trip, which is good but not spectacular. They have been shut out on 3 occasions.
Do they protect the quarterback?
Yes, only 2 sacks this year and that is an improvement over a stellar 13 all of last season.
In general. This is a very strong offense, with a good line. They are productive running and passing and appear to be strong despite a serious injury at RB. We will be hard pressed to pressure the QB. Simply put, our d-line is going to have to play great along the line of scrimmage to keep us in the game.
Topline: Scoring and yards per play.
They have given up only 14 ppg, with 8 points between the Miami and Oregon games. Fresno did get 34 points against them. They are allowing 4.8 yards per play, which is among the 30 top figures in the country.
Do they defend the run effectively?
This surprised me, they give up 4.7 yards per rush, which is even a little worse than BG's. I looked a little further and saw that both Oregon and Miami averaged below two yards a carry, while Fresno State gained 320 rushing yards on 39 attempts, for an average of 8.2.
Could they be passed on?
Of all the things that Boise does well, this is the thing they may do best. Opponent passing against Boise has been difficult at best. They are allowing only 53% completions, 1 TD against 7 INTS (one of the best figures in the nation) and 4.8 yards per attempt, which is next to nothing.
Did they get off the field on 3rd down?
Yes. So far, they have allowed only 29% of their opponent's third downs to be converted. This is among the top 25 percentages in FBS.
Do they defend in the red zone?
Well, it is hard to tell. As I mentioned, Boise had 15 red zone trips to date. They have only allowed 3. Are you kidding me? One TD, one FG and a stop. So, if you must know, they allow 3 points per rz trip. But mostly, they stop teams early so they don't need red zone stops.
Do they pressure the QB?
Four sacks in three games is a typical amount.
This is another astounding figure. They average 45 yards a kick and have a 43.8 yard net. This is the second highest net punting in the country. On top of that, 6 of their 11 punts have been inside the 20.
Their punt returners are dangerous, average over 10 yards on the punts they do return, and they have gotten measurable returns on 10 of 19 punts, which seems like a lot in today's game when everything is done to prevent a return.
Brotzman is 3-5 this year and was 17 of 26 last year, making him a good but not great kicker. He hit two past 50 last year and has a career long of 51.
Opponents are starting, on average, on the 27, which is pretty normal.
We better be ready to cover kicks, because Boise's two returns AVERAGE 35 yards a return with a start on the 38 yard line. They each have a non-scoring 77 yard return. I predict a high number of high pooched kicks to the 30 yard line.
Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.On paper, this game should be a win for Boise. They are simply a great football team from a great football program.