Oregon Football: Preview, prediction for 2017 Las Vegas Bowl vs. Boise State

(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) /

The 2017 Las Vegas Bowl might be the most intriguing of the opening weekend and here’s everything you need to know for Boise State vs. Oregon.

Oregon heads into the Las Vegas Bowl to face Boise State with a new head coach at the helm. With Mario Cristobal as the new head coach, it will be interesting to see how the Ducks look.

The Ducks rose back from a down 2016 season thanks to Willie Taggart’s fresh direction, and showed promise moving forward to 2018. Now Taggart is the head man at Florida State, leaving the Ducks to hire Cristobal in his place.

How Oregon comes out in the Las Vegas Bowl will be the tone setter for the start of 2018 for them. Hiring Cristobal was something that the players wanted, so they better have a strong performance to back the hiring. If Oregon does have a strong performance against the Mountain West champion Broncos, then it can provide a spring board for preseason expectations in 2018.

Boise State finished the 2017 season on a roll, winning seven of its last eight games, including a huge come from behind win over Colorado State. Culminating in a win over Fresno State in the conference championship game. The Broncos started 2017 slow but really got things going. Their offense behind quarterback Brett Rypien is dynamic and their defense is solid.

Here is all the information you need to watch the 2017 Las Vegas Bowl:

Date: Saturday, Dec. 16
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Venue: Sam Boyd Stadium
Live Stream: WatchESPN

Keys to Victory

For Oregon to win this game their defense has to step up, much like they did against Arizona. It can be easy for Boise to score and score often. Oregon’s offense can score as well but I think the Ducks are better off not to get in a back and forth shootout. Royce Freeman and Justin Herbert will be counted on to have big days as well. Herbert could be one of the best quarterbacks in the country next season. The Las Vegas Bowl will be his chance to show off what he has.

Much like Oregon, the defense of Boise State will be a key factor in this game. The Bronco defense is hot, they played very well at the end of the Colorado State game to and then shut down Fresno State in the Mountain West Championship. Brett Rypien will also be counted on to have a big game for the offense. As discussed, Oregon has offensive weapons, which makes the defense the biggest key to victory for Boise in this game.

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This game has the potential to be one of the better early games of the 2017 bowl season. Both teams come in with confidence and will be wanting to put a bow on what has been good seasons respectively for both teams. However, I think that with Justin Herbert and Royce Freeman, Oregon will have just a little bit more on offense to win. I certainly don’t expect a whole lot of defense in this game. Honestly it could come down to who has the ball last. Either way, I think the Ducks will respond to their coaching change and show that they are willing to give it their all for Coach Cristobal.

Final Score: Oregon 35, Boise State 31