New Mexico vs Boise State : BOISE – The Boise State football team takes its five-game winning streak – and its hopes for a second-consecutive conference title – on the road for a nationally-televised matchup with New Mexico on Friday night.
The Broncos (8-2, 5-1 Mountain West) are riding high after a 24-17 come-from-behind win at home against Fresno State, and were rewarded this week with a return to the top 25 in each of the major polls.
Meanwhile, New Mexico (3-7, 1-5 MWC) is looking to break a five-game skid against conference opponents. The most recent loss came at Air Force, a 44-24 defeat last Saturday.
Lobos coach Bob Davie said during his press conference on Tuesday that his team has struggled with consistency on both sides of the ball, but noted that they have been doing some things right recently, including forcing nine fumbles in the last three weeks.
“That’s unheard of,” Davie said of the forced fumbles. “We’re not a bad team, we’re more an inconsistent team that offensively is trying to become consistent, and defensively we are beat up.”
Davie said his team knows what kind of challenge they will face in Boise State on Friday night, and referred specifically to quarterback Brett Rypien, running back Alexander Mattison and cornerback/punt returner Avery Williams.
“Boise coming in here – another top 25 team – with a NFL quarterback, without any doubt, and I think an NFL running back,” he said. “They always are what they are on defense, and they’ve got a really good punt returner.
“They’re Boise,” he added, simply. “Sometimes it isn’t as bad as it looks, sometimes it isn’t has good as it looks. We’ve just got to find a way to become consistent, and we’ve go to find a way to really muscle up and man up on defense.”
For his part, Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said his team will need to avoid getting caught looking ahead to a big matchup next week. The Broncos will face No. 23 Utah State on Nov. 24 in a game that will likely decide who will represent the Mountain Division in the conference championship game.
“If you start looking ahead – and this goes for any opponent – you’re neglecting what you have to do that’s right in front of you,” Harsin said. “We’re the best when we focus on the task at hand, and we’re the worst when we don’t.”
Harsin pointed to past games between the Broncos and Lobos that have been closer than expected, including a demoralizing loss on the Blue three years ago.
“Going back and looking at the history of all these games we’ve played, it’s been a battle,” Harsin said. “There’s been some high-scoring games… they beat us here [in 2015] and that was really disappointing, that still stings, and that’s something you never forget. Some of the guys playing for us right now weren’t a part of that, but they certainly know about it.
“I’ll make sure I do my part to make sure they understand what we’re getting into and the type of team we’re about to play and the way these games have gone,” he added.
Boise State at New Mexico
- Friday, Nov. 16
- Dreamstyle Stadium, Albuquerque, NM
- Kickoff: 7 p.m. MT
- Weather: 45 degrees, partly cloudy
The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network (Carter Blackburn, Aaron Taylor, John Schriffen), which can be found on the following channels:
Fans can listen to the game on the Bronco Radio Network (Bob Behler, Pete Cavender), which can be found online or on the following stations in the Boise area:
Here is a list of Bronco Radio Network stations outside the Boise area..
KTVB’s Bronco Roundup Game Day show will be live from Dreamstyle Stadium from 6 – 7 p.m. on KTVB (Digital Channel 7.1), KTVB.com and in the Bronco Roundup app. Join Jay Tust and Will Hall for a live look at all of the major storylines leading up to kickoff.
After last week’s big win against a ranked Fresno State, the Broncos jumped back into the top 25 of the major polls this week. They are ranked No. 23 in the AP Top 25 and No. 24 in the Amway Coaches Poll.
More importantly, Boise State checked in at No. 25 in the latest College Fooball Playoff rankings, which determines the teams that will play in the College Football Playoffs, as well as the prestigious New Years Six bowl games.
The top-ranked Group of Five conference champion in that poll gets an automatic berth in one of the high-profile New Years Six bowls.
In order for Boise State to earn that automatic berth they will need to win the rest of their games, including the conference championship, while also needing some teams in front of them to lose in the final weeks of the regular season.
Unbeaten UCF (9-0, 6-0 American Athletic Conference) moved up one spot to No. 11 in Tuesday’s poll, while No. 24 Cincinnati moved into the poll for the first time, just one spot ahead of the Broncos. The Knights and Bearcats play each other on Saturday in a game that could help decide the American Athletic Conference East Division.
Also ranked ahead of Boise State – Mountain West foe Utah State at No. 23. The Broncos and Aggies will face off at Albertsons Stadium in the regular season finale on November 24. That game will likely decide the Mountain Division champion.
The Broncos and Lobos have played a total of nine times, with Boise State owning a 8-1 advantage in the series. The lone New Mexico win came at Albertsons Stadium in 2015. The Lobos have never beaten the Broncos in Albuquerque.
The teams played just twice – in 1999 and 2000 – before the Broncos joined the Mountain West in 2011.
Boise State’s all-time record against New Mexico: