Welcome back to the Hatch of Knowledge. I have compiled notes from both BYU and Boise State and put them in written form to get you ready for Friday night's ESPN match up between the Cougars and Broncos.
BYU Depth Chart Notes
BYU linebacker Spencer Hadley was originally slotted to return to action this week against Boise State but school administration lifted his suspension early. Hadley is listed at the starter at Sam Linebacker (SLB) in front of Alani Fua, who had been the starter for the first 7 games this season. Bronco Mendenhall stated on Monday that Hadley’s role in the defense was still undefined since his return to action. I would anticipate that Fua will be starting on Friday night against Boise State. Hadley’s versatility at both Buck Linebacker (BLB) and Sam allows for him to line up all over the field. Expect to see Hadley playing both inside and outside on Friday.
Manoa Pikula, who had been backing up Alani Fua at SLB, is now listed as the backup to Austen Jorgensen and BLB. Pikula’s been seeing time both inside and outside this season and similar to Hadley, his versatility is advantageous for BYU.
Edward Fusi and Brayden Kearsley make up the 2-Deep at center for the second straight week. Coach Mendenhall said that Terrance Alletto has yet to recover fully from suffering multiple neck stingers. Mendenhall said Alletto will not be cleared until his strength returns.
BYU is facing Boise State for the fourth time. The Cougars are 0-3 all-time vs. the Broncos. The last two losses, in 2004 and 2012, have come by just one point. BYU has a losing record against 3 current Mountain West Conference teams. Boise State, Fresno State, and San Jose State are the programs BYU have a losing record against all-time (0-3, 4-5, and 6-10, respectively).
BYU’s defense is playing more plays per game than they ever have but they lead the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) in punts forced per game at 9.1 and total punts forced in 2013 at 61 total punts. Forcing Boise State to punt will be a key for BYU if they want to emerge victorious on Friday night.
BYU and Boise State both enter Friday’s game with high powered offenses. BYU ranks #14 in the FBS with an average of 503 yards of total offense per game. Boise is just behind at #18, averaging 494.4 yards.
Since Bronco Mendenhall became BYU's Head Coach in 2005, Boise State has the most wins over that time. The Broncos have won an incredible 98 games over that span. BYU has won 79 games over the same time period, ranking 12th and tied with Ohio State. Over the past decade (Since 2002) Boise State has an overall record of 133-17.
Boise State Notes
Boise State has a high powered offense throughout the 2000’s and the stats back that up. Since 2000, Boise State has averaged 40.99 points per game, outclassing second place Oregon who is averaging 37.5 points per game.
Boise State enters Friday night’s contest on a 50 game win streak in the month of October. The Bronco’s last loss in October came on October 6, 2001 against Rice University.
Boise State is 41-9 all-time when playing weekday football games. They are 20-4 on Friday night. Boise is 1-1 in Friday night games in 2013, with a 41-20 victory over Air Force and a narrow 41-40 loss to Fresno State.
While Boise State Quarterback Grant Hedrick has played in 23 games for the Broncos throughout his career, Friday marks his first career start in a Boise uniform.
Boise State Head Coach Chris Petersen will be coaching in his 100th game as a Head Coach on Friday night. Petersen is 89-10 in his previous 99 games.