Pacific Northwest powers Boise State and Oregon meet for the first time in almost a decade on Saturday when they face off in the 26th Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium.
The Mountain West champion Broncos (10-3) won each of the two previous meetings, including a 19-8 victory in Boise on Sept. 3, 2009, that is most remembered for what happened after the game.
That contest, which also marked the Oregon head-coaching debut of Chip Kelly, received national attention when Ducks running back LeGarrette Blount punched Boise State's Byron Hunt as the teams converged on the field afterward.
Blount, who carried eight times for minus-5 yards in the contest, was suspended for eight games for the incident but bounced back to earn a pair of Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots and currently is a key member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Blount and the Ducks came into that contest fuming by what they thought were some cheap shots by Boise State players a year earlier in a 37-32 win by the Broncos in Eugene.
Now the teams get together for Round 3 in Sin City.
The two head coaches from the last meeting, Kelly (UCLA) and Chris Petersen (Washington), moved on to other Pac-12 schools. Meanwhile, Oregon will once again have someone making his Ducks head-coaching debut against the Broncos. Co-offensive coordinator Mario Cristobal takes over for Willie Taggart, who departed for the Florida State head-coaching job two days after Oregon accepted the Las Vegas Bowl bid.
Cristobal, who signed a five-year contract worth $2.5 million per season, was a popular choice among Oregon players, many of whom took to Twitter to lobby for his promotion. The Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year in 2010 compiled a 27-47 in six seasons at Florida International (2007-12) in his only previous head-coaching stint, when he also became the first Cuban-American head coach in Division 1-A.
At his introductory press conference, Cristobal made it clear that the trip to Las Vegas, despite all the distractions and bowl functions, will be important to set the tone for the program going forward.
The game could also serve as a springboard for one of the early favorites in the 2018 Heisman Trophy race, Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert.
The Ducks, who finished the regular season 7-5, were off to a 4-1 start before Herbert broke his collarbone in a 45-24 victory over Cal on Sept. 30. The 6-foot-6 sophomore returned for the final two games -- wins over Arizona (48-28) and Oregon State (69-10). He wound up completing 113 of 170 passes (66.5 percent) for 1,750 yards, 13 touchdowns and three interceptions and also rushed for 166 yards and five touchdowns.
Oregon was 6-1 and averaged 51.2 points in Herbert's starts compared to 1-4 and 15.0 points when he was sidelined.
Boise State, which started the season 2-2, rebounded to win eight of its final nine games, including a 17-14 victory over Fresno State in the Mountain West title game. Quarterback Brett Rypien, nephew of former Super Bowl-winning quarterback Mark Rypien, engineered a 90-yard scoring drive late in the fourth quarter to pull out the win over the Bulldogs.
The Saturday contest will mark the 16th consecutive bowl appearance for the Broncos, who won three straight Las Vegas Bowls from 2010-12 over Utah, Arizona State and Washington. Current head coach Bryan Harsin was the offensive coordinator for Boise State when it won the previous two meetings with Oregon, and he is 4-1 as a head coach against Pac-12 opponents.
Junior linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, leads a stout Broncos defense that ranked 20th in the FBS against the run (125.8 yards per game) and allowed more than 200 yards on the ground just once.
Boise State will be challenged by an Oregon run game that ranked No. 8 nationally (268 yards per game) and accounted for 40 rushing touchdowns. The Ducks' attack features a pair of likely high NFL Draft picks, left tackle Tyrell Crosby, who won the Morris Award as the top offensive lineman in the Pac-12, and running back Royce Freeman, who rushed for 1,475 yards and 16 touchdowns this season.
Boise State Broncos vs Oregon Ducks VDB Sport Betting Odds and Predictions
Boise State Broncos vs Oregon Ducks Betting Odds
|Boise State Broncos||+7½ (-115)||+220||61 (-110)u|
|Oregon Ducks||-7½ (-105)||-260||61 (-110)o|
Vegas Daily Betting Free Prediction: Boise State Broncos +7½ and Over/Under 61
Boise State Broncos vs Oregon Ducks VDB Sport Betting Matchup Report
|Name||Record||Home||Away||ATS||ATS Home||ATS Away||Offense||Defense||Diff|
|Name||Record||Home||Away||ATS||ATS Home||ATS Away||Offense||Defense||Diff|
Betting Odds Trends
|Oregon is 8-16-1 ATS in its last 25 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Oregon's last 7 games|
|Boise State is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games|
|Boise State is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Boise State's last 9 games|
|Jake Roh||TE||Prob Sat - Foot - 12/13/17||Roh has missed the last two games with a foot injury but is expected to be available for the Las Vegas Bowl against Oregon.|
|Alexander Mattison||RB||Ques Sat - Leg - 12/15/17||Mattison is nursing a leg injury and it is unknown if he will play against Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl.|
|Riley Whimpey||LB||Ques Sat - Upper Body - 12/11/17||Whimpey has missed the last two games of the season with an upper-body injury and his status for the Las Vegas Bowl against Oregon is unknown.|
|Aisa Kelemete||DE||out for season - Shoulder - 10/25/17||Kelemete requires season-ending surgery to repair a shoulder injury.|
|Michael Young||CB||Out indefinitely - Suspension - 10/3/17||Young has been issued an indefinite suspension for a violation of team rules.|
|Chase Blakley||TE||out for season - Ankle - 10/23/17||Blakley had season-ending surgery to repair an ankle injury.|
|Akilian Butler||WR||out for season - Knee - 9/11/17||Butler has a torn ACL and is expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season.|
|Blake Whitlock||LB||out for season - Shoulder - 8/28/17||Whitlock sustained a season-ending shoulder injury.|
|Evan Tyler||S||out for season - Knee - 8/24/17||Tyler suffered a torn ACL and will miss the entire 2017 season.|
|Tony Brooks-James||RB||Prob Sat - Leg - 12/12/17||Brooks-James is likely to play in the Las Vegas Bowl against Boise State despite a leg injury.|
|Tyrell Crosby||OL||Ques Sat - Rest - 12/14/17||Crosby is in line to be rested for the Las Vegas Bowl against Boise State.|
|Jake Pisarcik||OL||Ques Sat - Undisclosed - 12/11/17||Pisarcik missed the last two games for undisclosed reasons and his status for the Las Vegas Bowl against Boise State is unknown.|
|Royce Freeman||RB||Out Sat - Personal - 12/14/17||Freeman will not play in the Las Vegas Bowl against Boise State as he will want to stay healthy for the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft.|
|Doug Brenner||OL||out for season - Hip - 11/2/17||Brenner had surgery to repair a hip injury and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.|
|Kaulana Apelu||LB||out for season - Ankle - 10/2/17||Apelu sustained a broken ankle, ending his season.|
|A.J. Hotchkins||LB||out for season - Leg - 11/8/17||Hotchkins has a leg injury and will miss the rest of the season.|
|9/3/09||ORE 8||BSU 19||-3.5/64.5||W/U||-209||-133||-76|
|9/20/08||BSU 37||ORE 32||-10/52||L/O||40||189||-149|
Boise State Last 10
|11/25/17||@ FRES||L 17-28||-6.5/50||L/U||-30||8||-38|
|11/11/17||@ CSU||W 59-52||-6.5/58||W/O||71||49||22|
|10/28/17||@ USU||W 41-14||-13/52||W/O||254||70||184|
|10/14/17||@ SDSU||W 31-14||4/47||W/U||-12||103||-115|
|10/6/17||@ BYU||W 24-7||-7/47.5||W/U||62||92||-30|
Oregon Last 10
|11/4/17||@ WASH||L 3-38||17.5/53||L/U||-173||0||-173|
|10/21/17||@ UCLA||L 14-31||6/68||L/U||-88||104||-192|
|10/14/17||@ STAN||L 7-49||9.5/57.5||L/U||-195||28||-223|
|9/23/17||@ ASU||L 35-37||-14.5/75||L/U||-88||-22||-66|
|9/16/17||@ WYO||W 49-13||-14/66||W/U||375||190||185|