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2017 Virginia Football Opponent Preview: Boise State

UVa’s first road trip of 2017 is a daunting one

NCAA Football: Cactus Bowl-Boise State vs Baylor Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A Friday night trip to Boise will be the first road game for the 2017 Hoos and certainly their toughest test of the out of conference schedule. The teams last played in 2015 in Charlottesville, where UVa immediately threw the game away with turnovers and giving up big plays. The 56-14 blowout on primetime national television was certainly one of the lower points of Mike London’s head coaching tenure. Can Bronco Mendenhall’s squad avoid a similar whooping on the road?

2016 Record: 10-3 (6-2 MWC)

A 10 win season is pretty standard for the Broncos and, considering the recent decade here at UVa, it seems ridiculous to ever refer to one as “disappointing,” but last season ended on a fairly sour note for BSU. Upset losses to Wyoming (on a last minute safety!) and Air Force in the second half of the season were followed by a lackluster performance against Baylor in their bowl game. Depth issues was the main concern after injuries began to pile up, but the pass defense faltered at times as well(especially against Baylor).

Notable Departures:

WR Thomas Sperbeck (1st Team all MWC)

RB Jeremy McNichols (2nd Team all MWC)

DL Sam McCaskill (1st Team all MWC)

Notable Additions:

DB Jermani Brown (4* 247sports)

WR Octavius Evans (3* 247sports)

WR Cartrell Thomas (3* 247sports)

Best Name on the Roster:

K Haden Hoggarth

Better Know a Virginian:

DB Jermani Brown (Midlothian, VA)

The only Virginian at BSU is an incoming freshman who was a highly rated recruit in last year’s class. Brown isn’t on the official roster yet, but he was the 2017 BSU classes highest rated recruit (per 247sports) and the 13th best player in Virginia. He’s a talented guy clearly and could see his way onto the field early in his career. He named Utah and UNC as his other leaders before committing to BSU, but his western focus made sense as he’s originally from California. He’s listed as a junior day visitor to UVa back in 2016, but never seemed to consider the Hoos seriously.

2017 Outlook:

The Broncos have plenty to replace on the offensive line and the back seven on defense. They’ve got a star runningback to replace as well. However, there’s enough talent on the roster for the coaching staff to utilize and QB Brett Rypien should be one of the best in the country. The 2017 version, much like the 2016, might not have the historical dominance of other Boise State teams, but the Broncos should still be a top 25 team nationally and a front runner for the MWC crown.

Prediction:

UVa should be better this season than they were in 2015. They’ve got talent on defense, an established quarterback, and a (hopefully) more competent coaching staff. They have maybe a 10% chance to win this game, perhaps if the offense clicks better than it ever did in the 2016 season. Maybe we can revisit this prediction after seeing each team’s first few games, but I’m not about to call a road win here.

Poll

Will the Hoos pull off an upset in Boise?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Yes
    (89 votes)
  • 84%
    No
    (483 votes)
572 votes total Vote Now