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Opponent Preview - Boise State Broncos (9/3)

The first game of the season brings a formidable foe to Corvallis

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NCAA Football: Boise State at San Diego State Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Boise State Broncos

  • Head Coach: Andy Avalos (2nd Season)
  • 2021 Record: 7-5 (5-3 in Mountain West)
  • Last Meeting: 9/24/2016 - Boise State 38, Oregon State 24
  • Key Returners: QB - Hank Bachmeier, RB - George Holani & S - JL Skinner

What to Know:

Boise State and Oregon State finished with the same amount of wins last season (7); but while Beaver Nation was celebrating a winning season for the first time since 2014. Bronco Nation was dealing with their worst season since 1998! The question now is will these two programs revert to their typical levels of success or was last year a glimpse into future performances?

So what happened? Why did the wheels come off (compared to Boise State’s lofty standards) under first year coach Andy Avalos? It’s hard to pin all the blame on Andy Avalos and the bad habits he picked up during his years with the Oregon Ducks coaching staff.

The fan base is torn between blaming Avalos for a slow start to his head coaching career and former head coach Bryan Harsin for leaving the cupboard bare (specifically on the line of scrimmage). Heading into year two Boise State will almost assuredly get off to a stronger start to the season. A year ago, BSU struggled out of the gate before getting back on track in the 2nd half of the season and winning four in a row.

Boise State still has an elite quarterback returning in Hank Bachmeier and they always have explosive skill position players (like running back George Holani). Last season their offensive line just couldn’t protect Bachmeier and their defensive line was not good enough against the run. Injuries and shuffling guys around on the offensive line contributed to their lack of running game and Bachmeier’s injuries. Washington State transfer Cade Beresford will slide in at right tackle and help bring more stability.

Looking at the matchup with Oregon State this should be a fantastic football game. The early reports from camp is that this is the best Beaver defense in years. Oregon State needs to figure out the running back position (5 guys legitimately deserve carries). The Beavers offensive line should still be a strength though and they will look to test Boise State’s run defense. The game plan will be to run the ball, set Chance Nolan up for success by not asking him to do too much and then test Boise State’s revamped offensive line on the other side of the ball.

If Boise State has solved their issues at the line of scrimmage they could easily roll over Oregon State in Reser Stadium. We all watched the LA Bowl last season where a well-coached Mountain West team dominated Oregon State. On the other-hand, the Beavers are currently 2.5-point favorites at home. The primetime matchup on ESPN is going to bring both teams ‘A-game’. And while I have questions about the Beavers offense it’s encouraging to hear very positive things about Oregon State’s defense. This game truly feels like a toss-up (ESPN’s FPI gives the Beavs a 49.8% chance of winning).

Player To Watch

Hank Bachmeier - Quarterback

NCAA Football: Boise State at Central Florida Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Last season despite playing through a meniscus injury that eventually required surgery and playing behind a struggling offensive line Hank Bachmeier still managed to throw for over 3000 yards (with 20 TDs-to-8 INTs). Bachmeier is the engine the makes the Bronco offense move. He’ll demand Oregon State’s attention and the defense will need to make the senior QB uncomfortable in the pocket.


The Beavers have a tough start to their season. Four of their first five opponents are ranked or receiving votes in the preseason AP poll. Oregon State needs to get off to a strong start at home versus Boise State. I’ll predict a hard-fought victory for Oregon State 27-24.

This game will be won at the line of scrimmage. If Oregon State struggles to run the ball and/or struggles to get pressure on Hank Bachmeier Boise State will win this football game. No matter what happens in the 2022 season opener I think we can all agree it’s a relief to be playing in Corvallis and not have to stare at that bright blue field in Boise for 3+ hours. Go Beavs!

Game Info

  • Date: Saturday, September 3rd
  • Time: 7:30 PM
  • Location: Reser Stadium (Corvallis, Oregon)
  • TV: ESPN

2022 Opponent Previews