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No. 16 Fresno State is rare favorite at Boise State

November 8, 2018

No. 16 Fresno State (8-1, 5-0 Mountain West, No. 23 CFP) at Boise State (7-2, 4-1), Friday, 10:15 p.m. EST (ESPN2)

Line: Fresno State by 3.

Series record: Boise State leads 14-6.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

It’s a rematch of last year’s Mountain West championship game, but this time the power has shifted to Fresno State. The Bulldogs have been thumping everyone outside of their Week 2 loss at Minnesota. Fresno State is averaging 40.4 points per game and its smallest margin of victory is 18 points. Boise State needs a win to keep alive its hopes of winning the Mountain Division. The Broncos are currently one-game behind Utah State, but host the Aggies to close out the regular season on Nov. 24.

KEY MATCHUP

Fresno State defense vs. Boise State passing game. The Bulldogs bring the No. 1 scoring defense, passing defense and third-down defense to the blue turf to face a Boise State passing attack that is tops in the Mountain West and ranks 11th nationally. The Broncos and QB Brett Rypien will provide a major test for Fresno State’s pass defense that ranks 15th nationally.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Fresno State: QB Marcus McMaryion is quietly having one of the best seasons of any quarterback in the country. McMaryion is ninth in the country in passer rating at 165.4. He’s thrown 20 touchdowns against just three interceptions and has added another seven touchdowns running.

Boise State: Rypien needs 36 yards passing to become the Mountain West career leader through the air. Rypien has 12,655 yards passing, trailing only San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley on the conference all-time list. Rypien also needs just five completions to pass Lindley for the most completed passes in conference history. Rypien has 957.

FACTS & FIGURES

Boise State has won nine straight at home against Fresno State. ... Fresno State WR KeeSean Johnson has caught a pass in 45 straight games, longest active streak in the country. ... Boise State LB Riley Whimpey suffered a torn ACL in the win over BYU and is out for the season. Whimpey led the Broncos in tackles with 55. .... Fresno State is 7-0 in regular season road games under Jeff Tedford. ... According to Oddsshark.com, Boise State is a home underdog in a conference game for the first time since Oct. 23, 1999 against Nevada.

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