Boise St.

at Inglewood
Sat, Dec 16
4:30 PM Pacific
Rotation: 209
Odds: Boise St. +4.5, Total: 48.5

Game Analysis

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UCLA (-4.5)  28   Boise State  20

Boise State will be without both of their quarterbacks, as Maddux Madsen is injured and Taylen Green decided to transfer. I’ll assume that Boise’s #3 QB CJ Tiller will perform a bit below the average level of other recent Boise first time starters, which is still a bit better than average for an FBS quarterback. That works out to 1.0 yards per pass play worse than this year’s two quarterbacks (about 3 points). The transfer of leading receiver Eric McAlister (9.7 yards per target) is offset by the absence of Stefan Cobbs, who averaged just 5.5 YPT as the #2 WR target before getting injury a few weeks ago. Both McAlister and Cobbs have been out since week 11 and the pass attack has been considerably better since then, as the average YPT of those two receivers is lower than the average YPT of the entire wide receiver corps. The key to the Boise offense is star RB Ashton Jeanty, who averaged 6.2 yards per rush and 12.5 yards on 44 targets catching passes out of the backfield (caught 39 for 552 yards). I’m sure you’ll see a lot of Jeanty both on the ground and through the air in this game in hopes of putting less pressure on the inexperienced quarterback.

The Bruins’ defense has played at an elite level this season, allowing just 4.8 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 6.2 yppl against an average team, but they’ll be without Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Laiatu Latu, who had an incredible 21.5 tackles for loss, including 13 sacks. UCLA will also be without starting defensive backs Kamari Ramsey and John Humphrey, who both entered the transfer portal, and a couple of backups (DL Gary Smith and S Nimmo). I value those losses as worth 3.0 points to the Bruins’ defense (mostly due to Latu).

UCLA lost 5-Star recruit freshman quarterback Dante Moore to the transfer portal, but Moore struggled (53.5% completions) and Ethan Garbers (66.4% completions on 134 passes) has been a better overall quarterback this season. UCLA was just average offensively this season but they’re a bit better with Garbers and the likely absence of leading rusher Carson Steele is not an issue given his 4.7 ypr average against FBS teams, which is lower than T.J. Harden’s 5.0 ypr average in those games (656 yards on 131 runs). Boise State’s defense is intact, but the Broncos are just average defensively (5.9 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.9 yppl) and UCLA is projected to gain 423 yards at 6.0 yppl in perfect dome conditions.

Boise State’s projection is variable given the unknown of a quarterback with no college experience and with UCLA being down 3 starters. My algorithm to project the impact of defensive players being out has historically been good but who knows how Tiller will perform. I think rating him as a bit better than an average FBS quarterback is reasonable given Boise’s history of average or better quarterbacking but there is a still a lot of variance in the projected 310 yards at 4.9 yppl for the Broncos.

This game is being played in Los Angeles and I get UCLA by 7.8 points without adding anything for proximity, which often isn’t worth anything if the opponent is not traveling far (Boise is just one time zone away). I think UCLA would be a profitable play (i.e. 52.5% or more) at -4, so I’ll lean with UCLA if the line drops to -4 or less.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • UCLA
  • Boise St.


  • Run Plays 36.3 25.1
  • Run Yards 191.7 94.5
  • YPRP 5.3 3.8


  • Pass Comp 19.1 22.2
  • Pass Att 33.2 36.1
  • Comp % 57.5% 61.5%
  • Pass Yards 233.1 237.9
  • Sacks 3.7 3.3
  • Sack Yards 22.7 20.7
  • Sack % 10.1% 8.3%
  • Pass Plays 36.9 39.4
  • Net Pass Yards 210.4 217.2
  • YPPP 5.7 5.5


  • Total Plays 73.2 64.5
  • Total Yards 402.1 311.6
  • YPPL 5.5 4.8


  • Int 1.2 1.2
  • Int % 3.6% 3.3%
  • Fumbles 0.7 0.7
  • Turnovers 1.9 1.9
  • Points 25.8 18.1
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