Highlights, locker room celebration from Boise State’s big win
Boise State’s football schedule is tentatively set, and the Broncos avoid road games in consecutive weeks for just the second time in the last eight seasons.
The Broncos play at Oklahoma State on Sept. 15 and at Wyoming on Sept. 29, with their bye week in between. They get back-to-back home games Nov. 3 against BYU and Nov. 10 against Fresno State, the team the Broncos went 1-1 against in 2017.
Four of the first six games are on the road, with four of the final six at home.
Kickoff times and exact dates will be determined based on TV selections.
Coming off an 11-3 campaign and a Mountain West title, the Broncos’ conference opener is the matchup at Wyoming, and the home conference opener is Oct. 6 against San Diego State.
The Mountain West (full schedule here) also avoided repeating a misstep from last year, when Boise State and Fresno State played consecutive weeks in the regular-season finale and in the championship game. There are no cross-divisional games the final two weekends.
Here’s a quick analysis of the Broncos’ schedule, month by month:
SEPTEMBER: Three road games against three 2017 bowl teams, though all three (Troy, Oklahoma State and Wyoming) lose quarterbacks that are likely NFL Draft picks. Troy has won 21 games the past two seasons, but Boise State beat the Trojans in last year’s opener. Oklahoma State loses some serious firepower, but the Cowboys’ offense is annually potent. Wyoming beat Boise State in the Broncos’ last visit to Laramie, but Josh Allen departs. Both teams have byes before the Sept. 29 matchup. UConn, the Broncos’ home-opening opponent, has not finished with a winning record in the past seven seasons.
OCTOBER: The first one is a big one, against San Diego State, as the Aztecs, coming off a bye, play at Albertsons Stadium for the first time since 2014. That, of course, was when Aztecs coach Rocky Long made his infamous “mystique” jab about the Blue. Even losing outstanding running back Rashaad Penny, San Diego State will be a major factor in the conference chase. Oct. 19’s Friday night matchup with Colorado State already has been picked up by ESPN2. The last two meetings have been decided by a touchdown or less. The Broncos play at Nevada and Air Force during the month, against two contrasting styles in the pass-heavy Wolf Pack and run-dominated Falcons. Boise State lost in its last two trips to Air Force.
NOVEMBER: Three of the final four games are at home, and the lone road game comes against a New Mexico team that is coming off a 3-9 season. Lobos coach Bob Davie’s future is unclear, as he’s currently suspended. The Broncos’ conference slate is broken up by Nov. 3’s visit by BYU, a team that retooled its offensive staff after a brutal 2017 season. The following week, Boise State hosts Fresno State, last season’s West Division champion. The Bulldogs are set to return 15 starters, so they should be a formidable foe again, though defensive coordinator Orlondo Steinauer left. Boise State closes the regular season Thanksgiving weekend at home against Utah State. The Aggies won six games in 2017 and bring back nine starters on both offense and defense.
Saturday, Sept. 1: at Troy
Saturday, Sept. 8: vs. UConn
Saturday, Sept. 15: at Oklahoma State
Saturday, Sept. 29: at Wyoming
Saturday, Oct. 6: vs. San Diego State
Saturday, Oct. 13: at Nevada
Friday, Oct. 19: vs. Colorado State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Saturday, Oct. 27: at Air Force
Saturday, Nov. 3: vs. BYU
Saturday, Nov. 10: vs. Fresno State
Saturday, Nov. 17: at New Mexico
Saturday, Nov. 24: vs. Utah State