Boise State at Fresno State
September 19, 2013
By Brian Edwards
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Matchup: Boise State Broncos at Fresno State Bulldogs
Venue: Bulldog Stadium in Fresno, California (Fieldturf)
Date: Friday, September 20, 2013
Time/TV: 9:00 PM ET – ESPN
Line: Fresno State -4, Over/Under 69
Last Meeting: 2012 at Boise State, Boise State (-7) 20-10
Boise State has dominated Fresno State with seven consecutive wins both straight up and against the spread. The Broncos have won the last four meetings by an average of 42.0 points per game.
On Friday night at Bulldog Stadium, Fresno State (2-0 SU, 0-2 ATS) will try to end years of frustration when it takes on the Broncos at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
Most books opened the Bulldogs as four-point favorites Sunday, but the line was down to three across the board by lunch on Monday. The number remained at three until Wednesday afternoon when some shops went to 3.5. By Thursday afternoon, most spots had Fresno State favored by four with a total of 68.
Gamblers can take Boise State (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) on the money line for a +160 payout (risk $100 to win $160).
Fresno State had an open date last week after its game at Colorado was postponed due to the weather conditions in Boulder. The Bulldogs previously posted wins over Rutgers (52-51) and Cal Poly (41-25). They failed to cover in both spots, including the overtime triumph over the Scarlet Knights.
Senior quarterback Derek Carr torched RU for 456 passing yards and five touchdowns. Davante Adams and Josh Harper had 14 catches and two TD receptions apiece.
In the win over Cal Poly, Tim DeRuyter’s team raced out to a 34-0 hafltime lead behind a pair of punt returns for TDs by Isaiah Burse. The Bulldogs appeared en route to an easy spread cover as 28.5-point favorites, but the Mustangs rallied from a 41-3 deficit to score 22 unanswered points.
Carr connected on 22-of-31 throws for 205 yards and three TDs without an interception. He now owns an 8/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Boise State took a 38-6 beating on the chin at Washington in its season opener as a four-point underdog. The Broncos bounced back with a 63-14 win over UT-Martin and then beat Air Force by a 42-20 count last Friday. The 62 combined points hurdled ‘over’ the 58-point tally.
But Air Force took the cash on the smurf turf as a 23-point underdog. BSU senior QB Joe Southwick completed 27-of-29 passes for 287 yards and one TD. He also ran for 53 yards and one score on just six carries. Jay Ajayi rushed 17 times for 125 yards and four TDs, while Matt Miller came down with 10 catches for 112 yards.
Chris Petersen’s squad had 533 yards of total offense compared to 287 for the Falcons. However, BSU backers who came up one point shy of a push got burned by a pair of costly turnovers.
Southwick is completing 73.4 percent of his passes and has a 6/2 TD-INT ratio. Ajayi has 298 rushing yards and six TDs. He averages 5.4 yards per tote.
Fresno State starting strong safety Rodney Matthews is ‘out’ this week with a knee injury. Boise State has only been a road underdog four times during Petersen’s eight-year tenure, compiling a 2-2 spread record. As for Fresno State, it is 6-2 as a home favorite on DeRuyter’s watch. The ‘over’ is 2-1 for BSU, but the ‘under’ cashed in its lone road assignment. Following an easy ‘over’ winner in its opener against Rutgers, the 66 combined points in Fresno’s win over Cal Poly dipped ‘under’ the 74.5-point total.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
--Utah State owns a 16-2 spread record in its last 18 games as a road underdog dating back to 2008. The Aggies are catching 6.5 points at Southern Cal.
--Tennessee’s 59-14 loss at Oregon was its most lopsided defeat since 1910.
--Florida has won eight in a row over Tennessee and has taken the last six meetings by double-digit margins. The Vols are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games as double-digit underdogs.
--When Arkansas travels to Piscataway, N.J., to face Rutgers, it will be venturing into the northeast for the first time since 1940. The Scarlet Knights are hosting an SEC team for the first time in school history.
--Rutgers QB Gary Nova has been upgraded to ‘probable’ vs. Arkansas after sustaining a concussion last week. However, if you read Kyle Flood’s quotes, it sounds more like Nova has a 50-50 chance of playing against the Hogs. Arky QB Brandon Allen is ‘doubtful’ after suffering a bruised shoulder in last week’s non-covering win over Southern Miss. Look for Iowa transfer A.J. Derby to most likely get the starting nod. --Since its woeful effort in a blowout loss at Louisville in Week 1, Ohio has responded with back-to-back wins both SU and ATS. Even though the Bobcats lost the yardage battle 483-335 vs. Marshall, they were +4 in turnovers and won a 34-31 decision as 7.5-point home underdogs.
--Nine teams are 3-0 ATS: Oregon, Maryland, Central Florida, Texas-San Antonio, Texas Tech, Washington State, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Florida Atlantic.
--Ten teams are 0-3 ATS: New Mexico State, Wake Forest, Florida International, Tulsa, TCU, La. Tech, Central Michigan, California, Notre Dame and Middle Tennessee.
--Texas A&M true freshman WR Ricky Seals-Jones will undergo knee surgery Friday. The Aggies’ star recruit in the 2013 class might take a medical redshirt. Seals-Jones had three receptions for 84 yards and one TD in the opener against Rice. He has been limited to just a few plays since then. No final decision has been made as of yet.
--Missouri will be without its leading tackler the last two seasons for the first half Saturday at Indiana. Andrew Wilson, a senior LB and co-captain, will not play for the first 30 minutes after getting flagged for targeting Toledo WR Bernard Reedy with a forearm above the shoulders in the third quarter of a 38-23 victory.
--Southern Cal RB Silas Redd has missed the team’s first three games and is ‘doubtful’ vs. Utah State Redd led the Trojans with 905 rushing yards and nine TDss last year, averaging 5.4 yards per carry.
--Before making Saturday wagers, gamblers should be aware of these injuries to key players: Toledo QB Terrance Owens (questionable – leg), Texas QB David Ash (questionable – concussion), Minnesota QB Philip Nelson (questionable – hamstring), Mississippi State QB Tyler Russell (doubtful – concussion), Oregon State RB Storm Woods (out – concussion), Fla. International QB Jake Medlock (doubtful – concussion), LSU safety Craig Loston (questionable – leg) and Houston QB David Piland (doubtful – concussion).
--North Texas is 10-5 ATS as a double-digit underdog during Dan McCarney’s tenure. The Mean Green is a 33-point ‘dog at Georgia.