Week 7 MW - Boise St-Utah State & Hawaii-UNLV

Posted Oct 10, 2013

Week 7 Fearless Predictions - Boise State at Utah State & Hawaii at UNLV

- SDSU at Air Force, SJSU at Colorado St, New Mexico at Wyoming

Hawaii (0-5) at UNLV (3-2) Oct. 12, 8:05

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Don't look now, but UNLV has amassed a little head of steam with its first three-game winning streak in a decade. No, the Rebels haven't beaten anyone of significance, but by already surpassing last year's win total, they've captured some confidence on a campus that hasn't had anything to cheer about for ages. Hold serve at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday, and bowl-eligibility becomes a realistic goal. Hawaii keeps competing … and losing. The Warriors are winless for Norm Chow, but each of the last two losses were by no more than 10 points.

Why Hawaii Might Win: All things being relative, the Warrior D has been ahead of the offense this season. No, Hawaii hasn't been a fortress, but it has been feisty, standing No. 10 nationally in stops behind the line. Along the front seven, DE Beau Yap and linebackers Art Laurel Brenden Daley are capable of disrupting UNLV's offensive gameplan over the weekend.

Why UNLV Might Win: Even if the Rebel offense stalls a little more than usual, it'll still have enough juice to jet past the Warriors. Hawaii is having all kinds of problems extending drives and reaching the end zone. In fact, in the first half of their five games, the Warriors have scored just 45 points. UNLV, on the other hand, has averaged 42 points over the last three games, getting monster production from QB Caleb Herring, RB Tim Cornett and WR Devante Davis.

Who To Watch Out For: Davis is not only playing lately as if he plans on continuing his career in the NFL. He's playing as if he plans on doing so after his junior year. The 6-3, 210-pounder has been the league's hottest receiver, catching 18 balls for 312 yards and six touchdowns during the winning streak.

- Who gets the ball from Chow? Ohio State transfer Taylor Graham started the first three games, but he's been shelved since with a shoulder injury. Rookie Ikaika Woolsey has been ineffective as the successor, leaving backup Sean Schroeder to come off the bench to spark the offense.

What Will Happen: UNLV has found a little success, and it isn't about to squander it to a floundering Hawaii team that commits far too many turnovers. The Rebels will again look to their trio of Herring, Cornett and Davis on offense to spark a rare and coveted four-game winning streak.

Prediction: UNLV 35 … Hawaii 21
Line: UNLV -10 – O/U: 57
Must See Rating: (5 Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight – 1 I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding) … 1
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Boise State (3-2) at Utah State (3-3) Oct. 12, 8:00, CBS Sports Network

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Something will be missing when Boise State visits Logan on Saturday night. Actually, someone will be missing. Utah State, which was already racked with injuries, lost QB Chuckie Keeton to a season-ending knee injury. Just like that, the second biggest game of the year in the Mountain West had lost a lot of its appeal. That said, the Broncos and the Aggies are still the favorites to cop the Mountain Division and earn the right to face the West winner, likely Fresno State in December. While Utah State was losing its quarterback and getting ransacked by BYU, Boise State was enjoying a week away from the field.

Why Boise State Might Win: No Keeton. No RB Joe Hill or OG Kyle Whimpey either. This has not been a vintage Bronco defense in 2013, but it'll be facing a watered-down and uncertain Utah State offense. The new Aggie quarterback will either be unproven junior Craig Harrison or true freshman Darell Garretson. Boise State can still cause problems for opposing passes when linemen Demarcus Lawrence, Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe and STUD Kharyee Marshall are frequenting the backfield.

Why Utah State Might Win: So far, the Aggie defense remains relatively healthy. Utah State is still active and stingy on defense, ranking 25th in the country. The wheels may have come off last week, but everyone got swept up in Keeton's injury. The underrated Aggie defenders, specifically linebackers Kyler Fackrell, Jake Doughty and Zach Vigil, know now more than ever that they'll have to carry the team while backfield adapts to an entirely new look.

Who To Watch Out For: Without Keeton and Hill, senior RB Joey DeMartino is suddenly the most valuable offensive player in Logan. While he's run very well so far, defenses no longer have to worry about the playmaking ability of the quarterback.

- The Boise State offense has caught fire since getting mauled by Washington in the opener. The Broncos have scored at least 40 points in each of the last four games. Senior QB Joe Southwick has been on the money, completing 77% of his throws since Week 1.

What Will Happen: Yeah, sometimes one player can be that influential to the outcome of a game. Not having Keeton's leadership and improvisational skills changes everything for the Utah State offense, if not the entire team. Sure, the Aggie D will keep the program competitive, but Boise State coming out of a bye was going to challenging regardless of the circumstances. Well-rested and playing well, the Broncos will exploit Utah State's problems, handing it its first conference loss in the last 14 games.

Prediction: Boise State 31 … Utah State 21
Line: Boise State -7 – O/U: 54
Must See Rating: (5 Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight – 1 I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding) … 2.5
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