It was supposed to be a match-up between two of the most successful G5 programs in American, and then the UCF Knights up and went to the P5, and the Boise State Broncos did not.
Now the two mountain-climbing programs face each other for the second time ever, and the first time at Boise.
In fact, UCF has reportedly been practicing on the blue turf at Master’s Academy in Oviedo in order to get used to the weirdness of it all. The head coach at Master’s is Garrett Kruczek, and his associate head coach is his dad, former UCF head coach Mike Kruczek. Adrian Killins (RBs) and Doug Gabriel (DBs) also coach there.
The #UCF football team will be practicing at local Master’s Academy, who has a blue turf field, to get ready for the #BoiseState game this Saturday.— Elite Empire Athletes™ (@EliteEmpireATH) September 4, 2023
Great move by the coaching staff to prepare the guys mentally prior to arriving in Idaho. pic.twitter.com/z9Mk1lOyrZ
Here we go:
Week 2: Boise State Broncos
Kickoff: Saturday, September 9, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
TV: FS1 — Eric Collins (PxP) and Devin Gardner (analyst), same crew as last week
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game — Marc Daniels (PxP), Gary Parris (analyst) and Scott Adams (sideline)
Series: UCF leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: 2021 — 36-31 UCF in a thriller. A lot went on here:
- Gus Malzahn’s first game at UCF
- The game started nearly three hours late due to lightning delays and ended after 1 a.m.
- UCF came back from down 21-0 in the second to win it
- Dillon Gabriel went 25/37 for 318 yards, 4 TDs and 2 INTs, plus 64 rushing yards
About the Broncos
Last Season: 10-4, 8-0 in the Mountain West, first in the Mountain Division. Lost to Fresno in the MWC Championship Game.
This Season: Picked to win the Mountain West. Possible G5 rep in the NY6.
Last Week: Lost at Washington, 56-19.
Michael Penix, Jr., who was a UCF transfer target two years ago, roasted the Broncos for 450 and 5 TDs:
Key Stats: Boise was 6th in the nation in total defense in 2022 (292.5 yards allowed per game), and 5th in passing yards allowed (167.7). Last week they gave up 568 total yards, and 498 of those were through the air.
Offense: QB Taylen Green
Watch Lists: Maxwell (Player of the Year), Walter Camp (Most Outstanding Player), Davey O’Brien (QB)
Green has drawn comparisons to Vince Young with his dual-threat ability combined with his 6-6 size. He took over for Hank Bachmeier (who QB’d BSU vs. UCF in 2021 and has since transferred to Louisiana Tech) and threw for more than 2,000 yards last year plus almost 600 more on the ground, accounting for 24 TDs.
Last week vs. Washington: 19/39 for 244 yards, one TD, and two picks. BSU scored points on only one of their last 11 possessions last week.
Defense: LB DJ Schramm
Watch Lists: Nagurski (Defensive Player of the Year), Bednarik (Best Defensive Player), Butkus (LB)
Schramm is a sixth-year man who is a fixture on numerous preseason honors. An All-MWC Second Teamer last year, he racked up 107 tackles (150 for his career dating back to 2019) and 11.5 TFLs.
Last Week vs. Washington: 7 tackles (4 solo), one TFL.
- Boise’s longevity as a program of excellence is not in doubt. In 24 seasons since 1999:
- 18 10-win seasons
- Two undefeated seasons (2006 and 2009)
- Six seasons with only one loss
- 14 conference titles across three leagues (Big West, WAC, and Mountain West) plus four more division titles
- One non-COVID season where they missed a bowl (2004, when they went 8-4)
- Three BCS/NY6 bowl appearances (all wins in the Fiesta Bowl)
- An overall record of 251-58, 162-21 in conference, and 137-15 (‼️) at home.
- And they’re 16-10 vs. Autonomous 5 opponents since 2006.
- Last week the Broncos out-rushed Washington by 60 yards and still lost.
- Boise’s path through the college football landscape is almost as long as UCF’s:
- 1933: First season as a Junior College
- 1968: Moved to NAIA
- 1970: Moved to NCAA College Division (now D-II)
- 1978: Moved to Division I-AA
- 1996: Moved to Division I-A
- Boise’s Assistant Head Coach is Erik Chinander, who was UCF’s DC under Scott Frost from 2016-17.
- Shout-out to our guy @BoiseBlueMathew, a long-time UCF stan on Twitter, although not this week. We like him 52 weeks a year nonetheless.