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Game Day Guide: Boise State vs. No. 22 San Diego State

Here's everything Bronco Nation needs to know about the No. 22 Aztecs.

BOISE, Idaho — Editor's Note: The highlights above originally aired during Sunday Sports Extra on Nov. 21.

It's finally here, whether or not Bronco Nation and the rest of the college football fandom can believe it. The 2021 college football regular season is coming to a close, and the Boise State Broncos could end an incredibly unique season with a historic win against the San Diego State Aztecs on Friday.

Head coach Andy Avalos and the Broncos will spend Thanksgiving preparing for the 22nd ranked Aztecs. Kick-off is set for 10 a.m. MT Friday, Nov. 26. The game will be nationally televised on CBS. Click or tap here for more ways to follow the game.

Boise State heads into the final week of the regular season on a four-game winning streak and still has a slim hope to make it to a fifth-straight Mountain West Championship game. 

The Aztecs sit atop of the West Division with a 10-1 overall record and a 6-1 record in conference play. Their sole loss was a 30-20 defeat at home to the Fresno State Bulldogs back in late October. 

If the Aztecs win, they'll be locked in for the conference title game and will likely host it. If they lose and Fresno State wins this week, the Bulldogs clinch the West Division.

Heading into week 13, the Broncos are in a three-way tie for first place in the Mountain Division with Utah State and Air Force. All three teams are 5-2 in conference play. To get in, Boise State needs to beat San Deigo State and for Air Force to lose to UNLV, according to the conference.

If Boise State, Utah State and Air Force all win this week, the Falcons would win the division based on the three-way tie head-to-head tiebreaker.

ESPN's Football Power Index matchup predictor estimates an 87.5% chance for the Falcons to beat the Rebels in Fort Collins, Colo.

The Broncos control 50% of their chances of getting into a fifth-straight conference title game, all they have to do is win. But the same can be said for the Aztecs on the other side of the field. So even with an early morning kickoff, there's a lot riding on Friday's conference game.

Avalos said during Monday's weekly press conference that playing on a national stage like the morning after Thanksgiving is like what kids used to dream of and they're enjoying the process of preparing for a major game like this.

"We're all kids one day and love playing football on Thanksgiving and running around in the park and in the street. Now we get to do it on that type of stage, and I think that's pretty special and how we work and how we prepare should represent that," he said. 

The Aztecs (10-1, 6-1) will defend Dignity Health Sports Park, a soccer stadium two hours away from campus, on senior day against the Broncos (7-4, 5-2) as they ride a four-game winning streak and come off of their biggest win of the season. Last Saturday night, the Broncos beat New Mexico 37-0 on The Blue, their first shutout win since 2015 when they blew out Hawaii 55-0 at home.

For the Broncos, 2021 has been unparalleled. With one of the most difficult schedules in the country and in recent program history, Boise State went into their bye week with an overall 3-4 record and on a three-game losing streak at home on The Blue. However, the Broncos did beat then-No. 10 BYU 26-17 in Provo, Utah, their first true road win over an Associated Press Top 10 team since 2001.

Even with a losing record and losing streak at home, the Broncos had a silver lining to find. However, the bye week must have been just the right amount of time for the team to form and gel together.

Now, with one final game in the regular season, Boise State has a chance to spoil the Aztecs' magical ten-win season and to etch their names in the record books with the program's first-ever third win over a Top 25 team in a single season.

The great teams of the late 2000s and early 2010s only recorded two wins over Top 25 teams in single seasons. Kellen Moore and the 2009 team beat No. 16 Oregon to open the season and beat No. 3 TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. Doug Martin and the Broncos beat No. 13 Virginia Tech to start the 2010 season and beat No. Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl. The 2006 and 2014 Fiesta Bowl teams also only beat one Top 25 team those seasons - in the bowl game itself.

The 2021 Broncos and first-year head coach Andy Avalos have the opportunity to reach a new standard for Boise State football with a third win over a Top 25 team - if they can focus on their weekly goal of being 1-0, regardless of who the opponent is or what the outside noise is buzzing about. For the last month, that mentality has seemed to have worked out with 4-0 results.

According to Avalos, getting the program operating in the right direction was a massive effort and the players' academics have also improved as the team's record has.

"What our academic staff is doing has been remarkable and now we got to finish strong. And that's the message right there, the things we've committed ourselves to do and how we work with a certain purpose, it's not just on the field, it's in the classroom and we know what the standard is off the field, it needs to be handled all the same," Avalos said during Monday's press conference. "We can't live two different lives."

GAME INFORMATION

Boise State (7-4, 5-2 MWC) vs. San Diego State (10-1, 6-1 MWC)

  • Friday, Nov. 26
  • Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California
    • Capacity: 27,000
  • Kickoff: 10 a.m. MT
  • Channel: CBS
  • Weather:

Click or tap here for more ways to watch the game.

ON TV

The game kicks off at 10 a.m. MT  Friday and will be televised on CBS, which can be found on the following channels:

  • Sparklight (formerly Cable One): Channel 2/ 1002 (HD)
  • DirecTV: Channel 2
  • Dish Network: Channel 2
  • Cox: Channel 11

BRONCO ROUNDUP GAMEDAY

KTVB's Bronco Roundup Game Day show will be live on KTVB Channel 7.1 and KTVB.COM from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. MT Friday. Join Jay Tust and Will Hall for a look at all of the major storylines surrounding this matchup. KTVB's sports team will feature interviews and updates from former and current players during the show.

POST-GAME PRESS CONFERENCE

KTVB will live stream the post-game press conference on KTVB.COM, the KTVB YouTube channel, and on the KTVB mobile app.

Interviews with coach Andy Avalos and players and/or other members of the coaching staff 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 game for a game recap, highlights, and slideshow from the game.

BRONCOS-AZTECS SERIES

Few teams in the Mountain West Conference like the Aztecs have been able to stand toe-to-toe, or toe-to-hoof, with the Broncos since Boise State joined the conference in 2011. The two Group of 5 powers never crossed paths before the 2011 season, and the Broncos opened the series with a 52-35 win. The Aztecs then went on a two-game winning streak in 2012 and 2013.

Boise State and the Aztecs last played in 2018 when San Diego State beat a struggling Broncos team 19-13 on The Blue.

The Broncos are 3-3 all-time against San Diego State.

Since the two had a few years off from their last home-and-home series, it will be San Deigo State's turn to travel to The Blue next season to take on the Broncos. After that, and if the two teams remain in the Mountain West during conference realignment, expect it to be a couple more years before the two cross paths again in conference play.

Boise State's all-time record against San Diego State:

  • Oct. 6, 2018 - L - 19-13 (Boise)
  • Oct. 14, 2017 - W - 31-14 (San Diego)
  • Nov. 16, 2014 - W - 38-29 (Boise)
  • Nov. 24, 2013 - L - 34-32 (San Diego)
  • Nov. 4, 2012 - L - 21-19 (Boise)
  • Nov. 19, 2011 - W - 52-35 (San Diego)

Editor's Note: To never miss a beat of Boise State football news this season, make sure to download the KTVB app for the latest updates, stories and scores.

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