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Boise State Broncos vs. Washington State Cougars Point Spread - Pick

Boise State Broncos (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. Washington State Cougars (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date/Time: Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 10:30PM EST
Where: Martin Stadium, Pullman, Washington
TV: ESPN

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: BSU +10.5/WSU +10.5
Over/Under Total: 58.5

The Boise State Broncos make the trip to Pullman to face the Washington State Cougars on Saturday in week two action. Washington State had a nice warm-up in week one, posting a 31-0 shutout win over Montana State. Things should get a lot tougher this week, but at least they get their first tough opponent at home. Boise State won a tough one over Troy, 24-13, but they got the win and the cover and look to get their first big win of the season against the ranked Cougs.

Boise won ten games last season, but it was seen as a disappointment as they didn't win their division. Only 8 starters are back with this team, but a strong enough core to make them a team worth watching. Still, there are a lot of underclassmen filling in key voids to make it an uncertain picture until shown otherwise. New playmakers need to emerge and the defense has to prove itself. There are still a lot of pieces for head coach Bryan Harsin to work with and he should have them in the thick of the Mountain West conference race this season.

Time sure flies, as Brett Rypien is now in his third season as a starting quarterback for the Broncos. A growing commodity as a quarterback, he needs to do a better job of finishing drives. The Boise St. yardage to points ratio was alarmingly low last season. There is also a huge void looming with the departure of Jeremy McNichols, a steady contributor as a pass-catching prolific running back. RB Alexander Mattison had a good game in week one, with some needed production behind him coming from Ryan Wolpin. Against a pretty tough Troy defense, Rypien wasn't very good, with 160 yards and a pick.

Boise QB Montell Cozart also ran some wildcat formations with some success. It's not really a QB controversy, but we might see more of Cozart this season than what was suspected, especially if the offense struggles. But all in all, the offense languished and they depended a lot on special teams contributions from returner Avery Williams, who had 172 yards returning and a TD. WR Cedrick Wilson has a good game and will be counted on heavily. With some youth at 3 of the 5 slots on the O-line, the Boise offense might need a few games to hit full-stride. After all, it takes time to develop playmakers and some new ones need to materialize for the Broncos this season.

Boise looks for a more-impactful defense this season after they secured just 9 turnovers all of last season. Against Troy, they were really the best part of the team. Among those who shined were defensive lineman Sam Whitney, linebackers Leighton Vander Esch, Tyson Maeva, and Kekoa Nawahine. Cornerback Reid Harrison-Ducros was also excellent on the day. Again, a lot of youth is being relied upon this season, but first impressions were good.

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Washington State returns a lot of guys from a season where they were an impressive 7-2 in the Pac-12. Granted, a 31-0 win over Montana State doesn't tell us a lot. If anything, a 31-point output over a team like that isn't all that impressive. A lot of their fortunes rest on the shoulders of QB Luke Falk, a guy we might be seeing on Sundays not too long from now. They have a nice package of backs to help relieve the pressure on Falk, with Gerard Wicks, Jamal Morrow, and James Williams. The line returned three starters this season, including All-American guard Cody O'Connell. There's a lot of experience up front, with only one underclassmen among the group.

Falk was pretty accurate in week one, going 33-for-39 for 31 yards and 3 TD throws. With River Cracraft and Gabe Marks gone, there is some replacing to do in the pass-catching department. Some production could come out of the backfield, with Williams notching 163 yards and 2 touchdowns aerially against Montana State. Returning Tavares Martin, Jr. caught a TD and WR Kyle Sweet caught 7 balls.

A bulk of defensive starters returning elicits hope in the Washington St. defense. Still, this group struggled at times last season in yielding yardage last season. The line is very athletic, but a tad undersized. Still, there is some big talent and even it's Montana State, a shutout is still grounds for praise. DE Hercules Mata'afa is a handful for the Cougs and was all over the QB in week one. Safety Jalen Thompson was all over the field and linebackers Isaac Dotson and Peyton Pelluer were seen making a lot of plays. The level of difficulty gets ramped up a few notches this week, but the returning experience and athleticism on this side of the ball could start paying off.

This is a tough one to call. Boise looks pretty good, but faces a tough road game against a good Pac-12 team that worked hard to get to where they are as a ranked team. If the Boise offense fails to fire, it would be hard to keep pace with a Washington State offense that can get you in any number of different ways. But if they hang in there, it will be the Broncos young defense that will be responsible. We see Washington State getting a big win this week and we see it being in double-digit territory. We're taking the Cougars.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Washington State Cougars minus 10.5 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Boise State vs. Washington State game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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