One of these two teams is seeking their first win of the season while the other just wants a bounce back. Boise State hasn’t been able to get things figured out all season, while Notre Dame couldn’t close the deal against the raging Iowa Hawkeyes last week. Notre Dame would love to climb back into the Rose Bowl conversation. Boise State just wants a win to avoid an empty season. In a week of upsets, anything can happen but here’s what you can expect to see from each team.
#12 BOISE STATE
Quarterback Aidric Berry and halfback Joe Friedrich had one of their best games of the season last week. They combined for over 200 yards rushing, and Berry had another 175 through the air. It was a solid outing for the Broncos, one of the best of the season. However, there remains a few areas of work and concern for Boise. There were three receivers for the Broncos who had more than three catches last week. Wide receivers Agustin Hernandez and Ricky Jordan had three catches between them, while tight end Tristian Cantu had three of his own. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, except when the yardage between them didn’t even eclipse 50. The receivers have to make plays to help Berry out.
As for Boise’s defense, they were decent, but couldn’t quite do enough. Linebacker Tylar Jones-Drew finished with nine tackles, three tackles for a loss, and two sacks. TJD has been dominant all season from the linebacker spot and is one of the exceptional talents at the position in the CFSL. The problem is, he’s not getting a lot of help. Safety Jaron Lewis had ten tackles, but most came on big plays. Corner Darius Bowman added six more tackles and a tackle for a loss but it didn’t make much of a difference. The defense needs to play lights out and create turnovers. After all, it’s more than just Tylar Jones-Drew on the field, even if it doesn’t look that way.
#6 Notre Dame
Quarterback Ty White and company found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard…again. Look, it’s not like the offense didn’t do it’s part, although most of Notre Dame’s points came late in the fourth quarter, they still had a chance. White played pretty well, ran for 100 yards, and passed for 187. Combine those numbers with three touchdowns total, two passing and one rushing, and White looked solid. He did have an interception, but outside of that it wasn’t bad game by any means. Wide receiver Brody Bodine had both of White’s touchdowns, coming on four catches for 71 yards. Tight end Trent Bodine, on the other hand, was mysteriously quiet with only three catches for nine yards. White has weapons, they just need to get it balanced out in a single week.
It’s the defense that needs to be complained about. Corner Tyrell Solo had five tackles and an interception, and unfortunately might have been the most dominant player last week. The stats tell two different tales. The defense kept Iowa from converting on third down, as the Hawkeyes went one for ten. However, Iowa was able to put points on the board in all four quarters, something Notre Dame did not do. The defense found ways to get off the field on third down, when they could force third down. The Fighting Irish have to get their front six figured out and fast. The secondary is stellar, but defensive tackle Tyson Ali hasn’t had quite the season expected. His partner, defensive end Shane Razorback, hasn’t been able to live up to the hype either.
The offense for Notre Dame was solid last week. The defense? Not so much. Linebacker Bobby Slovak had one tackle last week. One. That’s not a good sign for a defense whose strength is in their secondary. Slovak has to be able to make plays, especially if Boise is sticking to the ground game, which they should. If Slovak can’t slow Berry and Friedrich, the Irish could be in big trouble.
DT Daequan Jackson v. DT Tyson Ali
Okay, so I cheated on this one a little bit and went against norms. Fine, but in fairness, Tyson Ali hasn’t been the most productive this season and honestly, Boise State defensive tackle Daequan Jackson played better last week. He had six tackles, a tackle for a loss, and a sack. Tyson “The Bear” Ali? He racked up just two tackles and a tackle for a loss. Not inspiring to say the least. Ali has been disruptive, but the stats tell us that Jackson has done more. Ali needs to step up and create penetration this week, otherwise, the Irish could be in trouble.
Look, Boise State is desperate for a win, and Notre Dame’s defense is suspect. Unfortunately, Boise’s offense is anemic compared to the Fighting Irish. As long as quarterback Ty White plays mistake-free and utilizes all the weapons on offense, things should turn up roses for the Irish this week. It’s been a week of upsets, but Notre Dame isn’t slipping again. Boise still needs a win after today.
Boise State 27, Notre Dame 38