Game Day Guide: Boise State faces North Texas in Frisco Bowl
Boise State looks to capture its first bowl win since 2017 and end an unforgettable season in style Saturday against North Texas in the Lone Star State.
The Boise State football program looks to capture its first win in a bowl game since 2017 Saturday when the Broncos (9-4, 8-0 MW) face off with North Texas (7-6, 6-2 C-USA) in the Frisco Bowl.
Boise State has earned bowl eligibility in 25-consecutive seasons, which is the third-longest streak in the nation. However, Saturday will be the Broncos' first bowl appearance since 2019, when they fell to Washington in the Las Vegas Bowl.
The Broncos were invited to the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl following the 2021 season, but the game was canceled after Boise State withdrew due to an increase of COVID-19 cases within the program. In 2020, the Broncos opted to forego a bowl game following a season abbreviated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After winning seven of its final eight games of the regular season, the Broncos had their eyes set on capturing a Mountain West Championship and a trip to the LA Bowl at Sofi Stadium as the conference's top team. Boise State fell 28-16 on The Blue to Fresno State Dec. 3, giving the Bulldogs the trip to southern California.
While the loss at Albertsons Stadium stings, Saturday's Frisco Bowl bout with North Texas still provides Boise State with numerous reasons to display a dominant performance against the Mean Green out of Conference USA.
For one, Boise State prides itself on two goals; winning the Mountain West and winning a bowl game, something that has not happened since 2018, as noted above. Second, the Broncos can catapult their young talent into the offseason in style and send their departing seniors off with one last win.
Third, there are 13 players listed on Boise State's roster from the Lone Star State, giving the Texas natives an opportunity to shine in front of family and friends at Toyota Stadium.
Finally, the Frisco Bowl is likely the final time interim offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will coach Boise State after stepping in following the loss at UTEP. Sitting at 2-2, Koetter deserves massive credit for flipping the Broncos' offense and giving redshirt freshman quarterback Taylen Green the room to thrive.
"I want to leave him with a win. You know, Taylen has progressed so far, so fast. I'd love to win Taylen with something to build on going into next year," Koetter said. "Again, the sky's the limit. After the season's over, I'll give him some things I think he needs to work on in the offseason, but at that point that's just my opinion, that's somebody else's."
Additionally, North Texas is not to be taken lightly as an opponent. The Mean Green have made it to six bowl games in the last seven years, and made it to the Conference USA Championship in 2022.
Former head coach Seth Littrell was fired earlier this month after seven seasons. On Tuesday, North Texas announced the hiring of former Washington State offensive coordinator Eric Morris as the program's 20th leader.
North Texas defensive coordinator Phil Bennett is expected to serve as the Mean Green head coach against the Broncos on Saturday.
Boise State and North Texas have played each other six times before, with each team winning three of those games. In the most recent meeting, Boise State won 59-0 on Oct. 21, 2000.
During Monday's press conference, Boise State head coach Andy Avalos called the opportunity to play in the Frisco Bowl, "a big deal," adding the Broncos are "grateful" to be in Saturday's contest.
Scroll down for more information on ways to watch and listen to the game, matchup statistics, odds and predictions, breakout features, and more.
Game Information: What to Know
North Texas (7-6, 6-2 C-USA) vs. Boise State (9-4, 8-0 MW)
- Saturday, Dec. 17
- Toyota Stadium - Frisco, Texas
- Capacity: 20,500
- Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. MT
- Channel: ESPN
- Weather: High of 52, low of 33 degrees
Ways to Watch: TV, Radio, Streaming
The Frisco Bowl will be nationally televised on ESPN Saturday. ESPN is available on the following channels:
- Sparklight: Channel 133 / 1133 HDTV
- DirecTV: Channel 206
- Dish Network: Channel 140
- Cox: Channel 32
ON THE RADIO
Fans can listen to the game on the Bronco Radio Network, which can be found online or on the following stations in the Boise area:
- KBOI 670 AM in Boise
- KTIK 93.1 FM in Boise
- KDZY 98.3 FM in McCall
- KSNQ 98.3 FM in Twin Falls
Here is a list of Bronco Radio Network stations outside the Boise area.
The Frisco Bowl can be streamed using ESPN+ or the WatchESPN app, available in Apple, Android and Amazon app stores. The service is only available to subscribers of participating cable and satellite television providers (including Cable One, Dish Network, and DirecTV).
Various streaming platforms and services include ESPN, such as Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV, Sling TV, DIRECTV STREAM, YouTube TV, fuboTV and more. For more information, click here.
Bronco Roundup: KTVB Takes Texas
BRONCO ROUNDUP GAME DAY
Before action gets underway in the Lone Star State, tune into the Bronco Roundup Game Day Show from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. MT Saturday for an inside scoop on storylines surrounding the Broncos' battle with the Mean Green.
Boise State fans can prepare for kickoff with insight from KTVB Sports Director Jay Tust and sports reporter Brady Frederick, live on KTVB Channel 7, KTVB.COM, KTVB+ on Roku and Amazon Fire TV and the KTVB mobile app.
The exclusive pre-game show will feature interviews, injury updates, players to watch and more, live from the sidelines of Toyota Stadium in Frisco.
Bronco Nation can follow Saturday's Frisco Bowl bout from anywhere with KTVB's Game Tracker and live blog. The Game Tracker features a real-time scoreboard and the latest updates from Tust, Frederick and Boise State football.
KTVB will live stream the post-game press conference on KTVB.COM, the KTVB YouTube channel and the KTVB mobile app.
Interviews with Boise State head coach Andy Avalos and players will be posted online soon after the press conference ends, so Bronco Nation can watch the press conference whenever and wherever they want.
Stay tuned to KTVB.COM after the bowl game for a recap, highlights and comments from Boise State vs. North Texas.
Odds and Predictions: Las Vegas Lines
ESPN's Matchup Predictor gives Boise State a 66.3% chance to hoist its first bowl trophy since 2017. The platform's PickCenter also favors the blue and orange by 10.5, with an over/under of 59.5.
The Frisco Bowl lines in Las Vegas agree with ESPN, as FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBET and others list the Mean Green as 10.5-point underdogs against Boise State.
Texas Broncos: Bowl Game Homecoming
In addition to the thrill of playing in a bowl game on the national stage, the excitement is also building for Boise State players from the Lone Star State.
The Broncos' roster currently lists 13 Texas natives, including multiple starters on both sides of the ball.
KTVB recently spoke with Lancaster native Latrell Caples and Gabe Hunter out of Pflugerville, who each said they will have upwards of 20 friends and families coming to Toyota Stadium for the Frisco Bowl:
"It's exciting, 'cause you know, year-round we don't really get that close to home, other than the UTEP game," Caples said. "It's gonna be really exciting for everybody to come too. We're gonna gonna have fun, we're gonna be excited, but also locked in on the game. We know how to play, be mature, just go out there and have a good time."
Caples leads Boise State with 462 receiving yards on 45 catches this season. He is also tied with Billy Bowens for a team-high four scores through the air.
Hunter, who sealed the Broncos' win over Utah State with a last-minute interception, looks to make another big-time play against the Mean Green Saturday in front of loved ones.
"It means everything. I can't wait to play in front of my family for the first time," Hunter said. "My dad's gonna actually gonna see me play in-person [for the first time] since high school. It's gonna be nice."
Boise State's listed players from the Lone Star State:
- (RB) Ashton Jeanty - Lone Star High School
- (LB) Brandon Hawkins - Georgetown High School
- (WR) Stefan Cobbs - Fossil Ridge High School
- (WR) Latrell Caples - Lancaster High School
- (CB) Markel Reed - Temple High School
- (WR) Shea Whiting - Alief Taylor High School
- (QB) Taylen Green - Lewisville High School
- (S) Zion Washington - Reedy High School
- (EDGE) Gabe Hunter - Hendrickson High School
- (OL) Joseph Amos - Lancaster High School
- (OL) Will Farrar - Travis High School
- (WR) Eric McAlister - Azle High School
- (NT) Herbert Gums - Diboll High School
Final Farewell: Boise State Seniors
Boise State included 25 players on its senior day list for the Black Friday celebration against Utah State, but Cobbs, Reed and Cortez Hogans did not participate in the pre-game ceremony. Tyneil Hopper also did not participate, but entered the transfer portal last week.
Due to some Broncos having an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19's impact on the 2020 season, it will not be clear who is moving on and who is staying for another year for a few more months.
On Nov. 14, standout safety JL Skinner and defensive lineman Scott Matlock accepted invites to post-season senior showcases, the next step en route to an NFL career. EDGE George Tarlas and other Boise State players are also out of collegiate eligibility.
Regardless of who is in and who is out for 2023, this senior class has seen a lot, including the challenges of playing during COVID, the highs and lows of this season with coaching changes, and deflating losses and a great string of wins.
Avalos on Monday said Boise State has a lot of players capable of moving on to the NFL after this season, but those players have still been participating in the last three practices prior to Texas.
The Broncos even had a "really physical practice" Saturday that included some "extracurriculars," according to Avalos.
Avalos said he is excited for this senior group of Broncos to have one last ride together on Saturday.
"For the guys on this team that are seniors that this will be the last game, I mean honestly, it's hard to talk about 'cause we're gonna miss 'em. We're gonna miss 'em as people," Avalos said. "Some of those guys will get the opportunity to go on and play, but you know, the ones that don't either, they're going to compete and be very successful in whatever arena it is that they go into next. We're so very proud of our seniors and the guys that are moving on. They have been a guiding force, a great source of leadership of being persistent and resilient throughout this season, and we're really proud of them."
Team Leaders: Statistical Studs
- Taylen Green: 153-of-249, 1,905 yards, 13 TDs, 6 INTs
- Austin Aune: 215-of-379, 3,309 yards, 32 TDs, 13 INTs
- George Holani: 214 carries, 1,133 yards, 10 TDs
- Adeyi Ayo: 98 carries, 746 yards, 4 TDs
Note: North Texas has three players with over 500 rushing yards and four or more rushing touchdowns.
- Latrell Caples: 45 receptions, 462 yards, 4 TDs
- Roderic Burns: 37 receptions, 650 yards, 1 TD
- DJ Schramm: 99 total (46 solo, 53 assists)
- KD Davis: 132 total (68 solo, 64 assists)
- Ezekiel Noa and Demitri Washington: 4.5 each
- Mazin Richards: 7.5
- JL Skinner: 4
- Ridge Texada: 3
Bronco Nation Guide: Fan Information
Bronco Nation can purchase tickets to the Frisco Bowl by clicking here. Sections 105-107 and 108-109 of Toyota Stadium are dedicated to Boise State and range between $55 and $65.
VIP and premium seating is also available for Saturday's contest, or fans can purchase $55 donation tickets for students and military. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Boise State's Ticketmaster page.
Frisco Fan Fest
The Bronco Alumni Association and Bronco Athletic Association are hosting a free pop-in party for Boise State fans on Friday, Dec. 16, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT.
Fans can join Buster Bronco and the Boise State Spirit Squad the night before kickoff at the Emerson Bar and Restaurant inside the Sheraton Stonebriar Hotel.
Bronco Walk and Send-Off
The Westin Stonebriar Hotel will play host to another free-to-attend Bronco Nation event on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 4:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. CT. Help the alumni and athletic associations send Boise State football off in style before they head to Toyota Stadium to battle the Mean Green.
Bronco Zone Terrace Party
If you have a ticket to the Frisco Bowl, register for the Bronco Zone Terrace Party to watch pre-game warmups and more in the Michelob ULTRA Zone at the North West Terrace of Toyota Stadium.
The party zone includes a no-host bar to beat the lines starting at 6:15 p.m. CT on Saturday. Registered fans will also receive a free light up cheer stick for the game. Seating is limited.
To register for the Bronco Zone Terrace Party, click here.
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