Despite only meeting a couple times, the history runs deep. Famous Boise State alumni, Kellen Moore, made his road debut as a quarterback the first time they faced off. Plus, who could forget the punch that Legarrette Blount made on Byron Hout after the game in their second meeting. For the current players and staff, the rivalry will be reborn in Sin City.
“We have the utmost respect for them because of their history and what they show on film how they do things on and off the field so to me that's the most relevant and important thing we have a tremendous game against a tremendous opponent,” said Oregon Head Coach Mario Cristobal.
“The history with them it goes back in the day even when i was growing up the two games that we played against each other a few years back awesome atmosphere and it's a great opportunity to go play them again and especially a bowl game like this,” said Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.
The Broncos will have to stop the Oregon Quarterback extraordinar, Justin Herbert, who battled back from an injury and could possibly be a Heisman favorite for next season.
He has shown to be a deadly downfield passer, and a running threat. When Herbert is on the field the Ducks are putting up over 50 points a game.
“There a very dynamic offense they have good team speed all around they have great players you gotta respect them all around the field it's pretty impressive when you put on the film. And watch them break down their areas where they are successful they can do anything they want to do. Cause they have the players for it,” said Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.
On the ground, Oregon’s star running back, Royce Freeman, decided not to play in the Bowl and focus instead on getting set for the NFL Draft. If you ask boise state linebacker, Leighton Vander Esch, the Ducks still have other valuable options to go to.
“We gotta treat everybody else the same and as far as i’m concerned their two other running backs are just as good. It doesn’t change our focus at all. Our goal is to win and we are going to do what every possible to do it,” said Vander Esch.
The Bronco offense will need to come together tomorrow and could possibly be without tight end, Jake Roh, and Running Back, Alexander Mattison. Roh has been sidelined for the last two games with an an injury to his ankle while Mattison got hurt in the Mountain West Title game against Fresno State. Coach Harsin said he is staying optimistic in regards to both players seeing the field.
“Alex has been back he has been practicing, jake we will see where he is at today but like we have told you before as competitive as jake is we do expect him to find a way to be out there and contribute in the game. Alex feel good about it, like I have told you before Alex is an amazing healer and wants to be in games and thats this entire team they are all competitive they all want to play they all want to be out there even some of those guys that are banged up they are going to find a way,” said Head Coach Bryan Harsin
Boise State enters tomorrow's game as an underdog for the third time this season. The Ducks are the Vegas favorite by seven points and have both speed and talent on their side. In the previous roles as underdogs, Boise State was a lightning bolt out of the gate and were able to grab turnovers and had solid effort from their special teams to put points on the board; something that Oregon has been paying attention to.
“We can't change our defense for anybody and we have to just go out there and play against a great offense that they have they have a lot of weapons. We just have go out their and play Oregon defense. Play fast play physical and just see what happens at the end of the game,” said Linebacker Troy Dye.
The two teams will take to the field tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 pm. One more note, the Broncos will be wearing all Blue tomorrow and the Ducks will be wearing Green jerseys and pants.