Both Washington State and Boise State should be 1-0 when they meet in Idaho in Week 2 of the college football season on Saturday, Sept. 10. It’s a 10:15 p.m. kickoff and the game will be televised by ESPN2 and live streamed on WatchESPN. The Broncos have opened as 6-point favorites on NCAA football betting lines but that number could obviously change depending on what happens in Week 1. Boise opens the season as a big favorite vs. Louisiana Lafayette and Washington State should take care of business at home vs. Eastern Washington.
Here’s My Betting Preview on Washington State vs Boise State in Week 2
You guys, we’re just really excited to watch some @wsucougfb. They have dudes.Read: https://t.co/CZ9dMhMJzq pic.twitter.com/R3pRv09EEy — Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) July 11, 2016
Washington State finished 9-4 last season, beating Miami (Fla.) 20-14 in the Sun Bowl, the Cougars’ first bowl wins since 2003. The pass-happy Cougars led 20-7 after three quarters, then were shut out in the second half and had to rely on the defense. That defense got some help from a penalty and forced two late turnovers. Cougars quarterback Luke Falk was selected the game’s MVP after passing for 295 yards and two touchdowns. He’s back in 2016.
Falk, whom I believe will lead the nation in passing yards this season if he stays healthy, and receiver Gabe Marks have both been named to the Maxwell Award watch list. Falk, a junior from Logan, Utah, set a school record in 2015 with 38 touchdown passes, and finished the season second in school history with 4,566 passing yards. He earned All-Pac-12 first team honors. Yes, even over No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff of Cal.
After a huge junior year that saw him set a school record with 15 receiving touchdowns, Marks opted to return for his senior season at WSU instead of declaring early for the NFL draft. A native of Venice, Calif., Marks amassed 1,196 receiving yards on 104 receptions in 2015, and earned All-Pac-12 first team honors while finishing the season as a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist.
Boise State also finished 9-4 last year. The Broncos trashed Northern Illinois 55-7 in the Poinsettia Bowl. Jeremy McNichols scored three touchdowns, the first one 58 seconds into the game, and finished with 189 total yards. QB Brett Rypien was an efficient 29-of-39 for 377 yards with three touchdowns and an interception before being relieved early in the fourth quarter. The Broncos built a 31-7 halftime lead while their defense stifled the Huskies for four quarters, forcing a trio of turnovers and recording five sacks.
The Broncos return their offensive star power in Rypien, McNichols and senior wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck but lack proven depth. Rypien, first-team All-Mountain West as a true freshman, will try to build on his early success. He tossed 20 touchdown passes in 11 games and averaged 304.8 passing yards per game. McNichols was among the nation’s most productive players, amassing 1,337 rushing yards, 460 receiving yards and 26 total touchdowns. Sperbeck — the Fiesta Bowl Offensive MVP in 2014 — chipped in with 88 catches for 1,412 yards and eight touchdowns.
Washington State has won the four meetings in the series but the schools haven’t played since the 2001 season.