November 16th, 7:15 PST ESPN2
Let’s be honest, this is a late night gambler special. 2013 has been a disappointing year for both Boise or Wyoming, so it’s not like this is a premier game for any other reason. Despite their 3 losses, Boise is still in position to win the Mountain West, and they are heavy favorites at home. But that being said, each team has some very intriguing 2015 NFL Draft prospects. Chief among them is Wyoming QB Brett Smith. He start off the season shot of a cannon. He’s got a great arm and mobility that makes him “holy shit” exciting, but a draftable player as well. He buys time with his feet and can make the throws downfield. The problem is that he has to run too much, and often times forces throws. Against a solid Boise defense he could either struggle. Boise DE Demarcus Lawrence started off slow, but has since stepped his game up tallying 13 TFL (8.5 Sacks). He’s cheetah fast, and has an abundance of pass rushing moves. If he continues on this trajectory he’ll be a 1st rounder in 2015. Look for him to apply pressure on Smith and for the Boise CBs Donte Deayon and Bryan Douglas to be the beneficiaries. Also, watch for SS Jeremy Ioane to help out in run support. He’s more of a tackling than coverage safety which could really help slow down Smith and RB Shaun Wick. Ioane has that hitters mentality that could make him attractive to NFL teams as a hybrid special teams S/LB.
When Boise has the ball, the most interesting matchup will be WR Matt Miller against CB Blair Burns. Miller has nice size (6’3” 222lb) which will be a tough matchup for Burns. Burns doesn’t back down, and does a good job contesting balls. Miller is likely to get drafted, but Burns really needs to prove he can play against elite players. He did a good job against the Nebraska WRs, but wasn’t great against San Jose State. Also, watch out for the young Wyoming DE Eddie Yarborough. He’s their version of Lawrence. He could develop into a very nice prospect.
Overall, this prospect focus is on the 2015 Draft, and will help slotting these player going into next year.
Wyoming Players to Watch: Brett Smith QB #16 JR -- Robert Herron WR #6 SR -- Blair Burns CB #20 JR -- Eddie Yarbrough DE(NR) #55 SO
Boise State Players to Watch: Demarcus Lawrence DE #8 JR -- Matt Miller WR #2 JR -- Matt Paradis C #65 SR -- Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe DT #43 SR (?)-- Joe Southwick QB #16 SR (OUT) -- Jeremy Ioane S #10 JR
Key Matchups: Smith #16 v. Ioane #10 -- Miller #2 v. Burns #20