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Game Day Guide: Boise State looks to regain confidence against North Dakota

Boise State is in need of a momentum-shifting win, but North Dakota is certainly no slouch. The Fighting Hawks fly into Boise with the best offense in the FCS.

Zack Armstrong


Published: 12:33 AM MDT September 14, 2023
Updated: 9:53 AM MDT September 16, 2023

After falling to 0-2 for the first time since 2005 on a last-second kick against UCF, Boise State's emotional team captain and veteran linebacker DJ Schramm said, "everything we want is still right in front of us."

Under head coach Andy Avalos, the Broncos have an annual goal of winning a Mountain West Championship and a bowl game. While those goals are still well within reach with conference play yet to kick off, Avalos' group is in need of a momentum-changing win on Saturday as it welcomes North Dakota to The Blue. 

Better yet, Boise State is in need of a dominating win – one that rewrites the script on the 2023 season – and proves its preseason recognition as the conference favorite is legit. Entering week three, the Broncos rank 70th in the FBS in total offense (393 YPG) and fourth-to-last (No. 129) in total defense, allowing 549 yards per outing. 

While the Broncos have faced a brutal schedule thus far, the sledding doesn't get too much easier moving forward. Boise State hosts the Fighting Hawks at Albertsons Stadium at 10 a.m. Saturday, before hitting the road in back-to-back weeks to face San Diego State and Memphis. 

Before looking too far ahead, though, North Dakota is a force on offense. On paper, hosting an opponent out of the Missouri Valley Football Conference in the City of Trees wreaks of a blowout win for the blue and orange, especially considering Boise State is a winner of 18-straight games against FCS foes. 

However, the Fighting Hawks currently lead the FCS with nearly 549 yards of offense per game, and rank fourth with an average of 331 yards through the air. North Dakota posted 55 points in its season-opening win over Drake, before scoring 37 last week against Northern Arizona. 

“They’re going to come in here ready to rock. They’re very well coached. They’re a talented group, and they’ve won two-straight games," Boise State defensive coordinator Spencer Danielson said on Monday. "They obviously had a great season last year, return a lot of players, so they’re going to come in loaded. Their offense is clicking on a lot of different cylinders.”

Offensively, the Broncos look to showcase their high-powered potential, ideally outside of just standout sophomore running back Ashton Jeanty, who has accounted for 159 of Boise State's 311 yards on the ground (51%), and 206 of its 475 yards through the air (43%.) 

Much like the team itself, Boise State quarterback Taylen Green needs a momentum-shifting performance against North Dakota. Entering Saturday's matchup, TG10 is 28-of-58 (48.28%), with 388 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. 

According to Avalos, Green missed the fourth quarter in last week's loss to UCF due to cramps. However, the starting quarterback is back with the first-team offense this week, and Avalos said "he'll be ready to roll" for Saturday's early-morning bout. 

The Broncos could get a spark offensively from true freshman running back Jambres Dubar, who made his debut against the Knights on The Blue. Dubar, a well-known four-star prospect out of Texas, flashed with a 24-yard carry last week. A hard-earned touchdown grab from wide receiver Stefan Cobbs could also be a sign of things to come for what was considered one of Boise State's most talented groups before the start of the season.

Scroll down for more information on Saturday's matchup, how to watch and listen to the game, predictions, a breakdown of KTVB's coverage, a fan guide for those headed to Albertsons Stadium and more:

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