KICKOFF: 10:15 PM ET
TV: ESPNU, WatchESPN
ANNOUNCERS: Mike Couzens (play-by-play), Kirk Morrison (color analyst)
ANNOUNCERS: Mike Crispino (play-by-play), Wayne Norman (color analyst), Adam Giardino (sideline)
POINT SPREAD: Boise State - 31.5
Fun with Numbers:
0 - The number of players on UConn from Idaho. This happens to be the same amount of players from Connecticut on Boise State. It’s also the number of teams besides UConn that are playing their first two games against ranked opponents.
72.56 - Boise State’s all-time winning percentage as an FBS program, good for third-best in the country behind just Michigan and Notre Dame.
2498 - The number of miles between the campuses of UConn and Boise State, making this the longest road trip in UConn football history.
7 - Depending on how you’re counting it, there are seven new starters this week based on last week’s two-deep. It’s going to be that kind of year for UConn, especially on defense.
108 - The number of wins Boise State has at home since 2000. The Broncos had won 24 in a row on the blue turf before a loss to UVA last year.
1998 - The last year a Boise State senior class did not win a conference title at some point in their career.
What to Watch For
UConn fans shouldn’t feel bashful if they’re cautiously optimistic after Week 1. Despite a big loss to a very good UCF team, the Huskies showed some promise, especially offensively. Also, there might be fewer competitive teams in the middle of the AAC than previously thought.
Hopefully David Pindell and the offense continue their solid play from last week. Pindell and offensive coordinator John Dunn have a variety of weapons to work with, and will be facing a defense that is slightly better than UCF’s. It’ll be interesting to see what other methods and players they feature this week. This is another good test for the Huskies’ attack that will hopefully pay dividends down the road.
Avoiding the Ugly
Along those lines, it would just be good for morale to stay in this one for a bit longer than the UCF outing, which did get ugly. By the middle of the third quarter, the Knights had put the game away for good, and it was never that close. It’d be nice to last a little bit longer this week, even though the circumstances may be a bit more challenging.
The way for UConn to accomplish this will be on defense. Boise State is not UCF, but the Broncos are absolutely capable of moving the ball, they just beat Troy 56-20. If the Husky defense is improved from Week 1, and also playing a slightly less high-powered offense, they could keep that total down.
A reasonable goal would be to have the final score look better than the season opener. I know it’s lame but this is just what it looks like when a rebuilding team starts a season with two ranked opponents.
Show Some Respect
Boise State is good— like, really good. What they’ve accomplished as a program is the envy of any school outside of college football’s major power structure, a group that now includes UConn. One thing not to bring up though, is the idea that there is anything about Boise that UConn can replicate.
Boise State is a unicorn, built by a few exceptional leaders who found exactly the right guy to pass the torch to. Just appreciate them for who they are. If it weren’t for the insane role of television money in college athletics, they’d belong in the “power five” ... okay so I guess we are similar.
Also, our counterparts at One Bronco Nation Under God, SB Nation’s Boise State site, were kind enough to exchange questions and answers with us, also check out ours on their site, and they also did an in-depth overview of UConn that was really interesting— I learned a lot from it!