College football season is here, and not a day too soon! Nine games are on the docket, but one is clearly the main attraction. #16 Oregon will visit the blue turf to take on the #14 Boise State Broncos in a west coast showdown. Both teams are known for their electric offense, not to mention their vibrant color schemes. It will be a test of wills on the field, and a test of retinas on the TV screen. Oregon is coming off a 9-3 season and looks to challenge USC and Cal for the Pac-10 title this year. Boise State, a perennial WAC favorite, is coming off what seemed like another ho-hum undefeated season. Fans can expect fireworks as these two teams duke it out in front of a national audience. Thursday night’s matchup should have a bowl game feel to it.
On the Ducks’ side, the main story is the departure of 14 year head coach, Mike Belotti. Belotti made the jump to the Athletic Director’s office, leaving former offensive coordinator Chip Kelly at the helm. The player to watch will be RB LeGarrette Blount, who gained 1,000+ yards last season splitting carries with Jeremiah Johnson. With Johnson gone, Blount figures to be the feature back for Oregon.
For the Broncos, the key to their attack will likely be the passing game. Kellen Moore returns at QB and has two weapons at the wideout spots in Austin Pettis and Titus Young, who was suspended for the majority of last season, but figures to be a deep threat for the Boise State offense. It will be on the defensive side of the ball where Boise’s fate will lie. If the Broncos can stifle the Oregon offensive attack, they should find a way to put enough points on the board to outlast the Ducks.
This is a huge season opener for both teams, as one loss typically will take a team out of the national championship picture. The winner, on the other hand, will likely vault into the top twelve, on the strength of the season’s biggest victory of Week 1. Grab your popcorn, as T.O. would say, because these two teams from the Northwest are sure to put on a show!
MCeezy’s Prediction: Boise State 30 – Oregon 21