It’s a new, promising year for the Oregon State Beavers. After a 7-6 campaign in 2021, OSU has even higher aspirations for this season. The program has not won its first game of the season since 2015, and unfortunately, this year’s season opener is against the Boise State Broncos. That’s a tough matchup.
Boise State had a 7-5 record last season, and unfortunately missed out on playing in the Arizona Bowl due to COVID. The Broncos have won six of their last seven season openers with the one loss coming last year at UCF. They should feel confident about this matchup against OSU given their recent history against Pac-12 opponents.
In its last 14 games vs Pac-12 opponents, Boise State is 10-4 outright. The Broncos were an underdog in three of those wins…
— Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) August 30, 2022
How Oregon State Wins
The Beavers’ offense needs to turn the game into shootout. A defensive slugfest is not optimal for Oregon State. They scored 27+ point in six of their 7 wins last season, with the lone exception being a 24-10 victory over Arizona State.
Jonathan Smith named Chance Nolan the starting QB. Plus, Oregon State pass catchers like Tre’Shaun Harrison, Tyjon Lindsey, Anthony Gould and Luke Musgrave are all back. The passing offense should be firing on all cylinders from the opening snap. Meanwhile, the backfield duo of Deshaun Fenwick and Trey Lowe should make up for the loss of last year’s starter BJ Baylor.
The Beavers’ defense has plenty of players returning too. Hopefully, that translate late into better team defense. Last year, the defense ranked 70th in points allowed per game (27.9), 76th in yards allowed per game (403.9) and 109th in sacks per game (1.5). Against an experienced QB like Hank Bachmeier, it needs to better immediately
How Boise State Wins
Boise State Head Coach Andy Avalos needs to lean on his defense. He has eight players returning from a defense that held opponents to 19.0 point per game on average last season. The Beavers are prone to inconsistent offensive play, and the Broncos have a good enough defense to stifle them often.
On the flip side, the Broncos should be better rushing the ball this season after ranking 110th in that category in 2021. However, the key to Boise’s success is through the air.
Bachmeier will have plenty of opportunities to move the Broncos offense down the field. Oregon State’s defense allowed about 244 yards per game last season and, as noted earlier, had little to no pass rushing attack. He doesn’t have his top targets Khalil Shakir and Octavius Evans anymore. The hope is WR Stefan Cobbs and others step in that department.
Prediction: Boise State 27, Oregon State 24
This is a close call, and oddsmakers know it too. Oregon State opened as 4-point favorites, and it has been bet down to 2.5. Ultimately, it’s hard to look past the Broncos success against the Beavers.
It wouldn’t be shocking to see the Beavers jump out to the early lead. However, Avalos’ defense should be able to make enough adjustments to eventually stifle OSU’s offense, and give Bachmeier enough chances to make a comeback.
Plus, it’s hard to overlook Oregon State’s struggles in season openers. The program hasn’t beaten a FBS team in a season opener since 2012 (10-7 over Wisconsin) and hasn’t beaten a FBS team in Week 1 since 2007 (24-7 over Utah). Hard to go with the Beavers until they prove it.
How to Watch It
Date: Saturday, September 3
Game Time: 7:30 PM PT
Venue: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Oregon
TV Channel: ESPN
Record: Oregon State (0-0), Boise State (0-0)
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