The Boise State offense is expected to keep ticking with seven returning starters most notably with 2010 Heisman trophy finalist in quarterback Kellen Moore, running back Doug Martin and three offensive lineman being anchored by Nate Potter who is a preseason all-american candidate.
There is not a ton to say about the quarterback position with the Broncos, everyone knows what they are getting with Kellen Moore. He is a four-year starter and is on his way to passing Colt McCoy in becoming the all-time wins leader for a quarterback and that seems like it will happen.
Moore in all likelihood will have a drop in stats from last year due to his top two wide receivers in Titus Young and Austin Pettis to the NFL, and Boise State lost their offensive coordinator Bryan Parsin who took the same position at Texas.Head coach Chris Petersen was the offensive coordinator under former head coach Dan Hawkins and Petersen still has his hand in the offense. Brent Pease is taking over for Harsins and Pease was the quarterback's coach for Boise State and even came back to Boise State this off season after accepting the quarterbacks back job at Indiana during the summer once he was offered the coordinator spot at Boise State. Pease has been at Boise State since 2006 as the wide receivers coach for four years and in 2010 added on the quarterbacks coach duties. Keeping that job with someone familiar with the Boise program should keep the offense humming along.
The key position for the Boise State is the wide receiver position. Tyler Shoemaker is expected to be the best receiver on the team and will make the move from the slot receiver to playing on the outside. Last year he had modest stats with 32 catches for 582 yards with five touchdowns. Shoemaker is also a deep threat who averaged over 18 yards per catch and is expected to be Moore's main target.
The other looks to be Geraldo Boldewijn (formally Hiwat) who was listed as Bruce Feldman's top 10 spring breakout performers ($):
They appear to have found one of their answers in the 6-4, 200-pound sophomore from Amsterdam. Hiwat, a 23-9 long jumper in high school, has tried to follow the lead of his departed teammates: "What I learned from Austin and Titus was that during the game, you can see things you don't see in practice," Hiwat told Jason Chatraw. "You work hard and practice hard, but games are just a whole different environment.
Boldewjin is one of the Amsterdam pipeline and it will interesting to see what he does in 2011. The other two who are to step in are junior Chris Potter, sophomore Aaron Burks and Kirby Moore. None of those players had more than 11 catches, however the younger Moore redshirted last year but as a true freshman he hauled in 21 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns. The talent is just green, but with the experience in Moore all the receivers will need to do is run tight routes and catch the ball.
The fellas over at OBNUG feel Boldewjin will have a better season than Shoemaker:
Geraldo Boldewijn finishes with more yards and more touchdowns than Tyler Shoemaker
Kevan: Call me crazy (which some of you have) but I think Boldewijn is going to have a huge year, and I foretell a 90 percent chance that he outnumbers Tyler Shoemaker. The yards will come from Boldewijn running after the catch, and the scores will come from him taking on the Austin Pettis jump ball role in the red zone. Obviously I have thought a lot about this.
Nick: This one is tough. Is Boldewijn going to be more of a deep threat and Shoemaker going to be more of a red zone, possession receiver? If that's the case, I think that one leads in yards and the other in TDs like Pettis and Young did the last two years. The only way I see Boldewijn topping both categories is due to an injury to Shoemaker, so I'll put this at a low 15 percent.
Kevan seems a bit optimistic on Boldewjin's success, but at least expect him to be just behind Shoemaker in yards, receptions and touchdowns.
The running back situation is solid with Doug Martin and couple that with three returning offensive lineman that allowed only eight sacks and the running game should be solid. In 2010 Martin rushed for 1,260 yards and had 12 touchdowns, but Martin is also a versatile back that caught 28 receptions last year and is just another weapon in the receiving game.
The concern at the running game is that if Doug Martin does happen to go down then Boise State could be in trouble, because the backup is the oft injured D.J. Harper who has missed significant time over the pass two seasons. Harper needs to stay healthy to backup Martin and be available if Martin misses any amount of time.
Overall the Boise State offense will take a small step back in production due to losing wide receivers and facing a tougher defense. Expect them to have a top-three offense in the Mountain West and possibly the best.