Boise State: a preseason look at the 2013 Broncos

Boise State RB Jay Ajayi - Otto Kitsinger III

With fall camp winding down and the first game just weeks away, here is a quick look at how things are shaping up.

Boise State head coach Chris Petersen is putting the finishing touches to his 2013 team. A team, by the way, that was predicted to the win the Mountain West championship this season.

To no one’s surprise the Broncos offense will be led once again by senior QB Joe Southwick, 6-1, 202 lbs. The reports are saying he is showing greater accuracy and better decision making this year. Southwick it seems will be backed up by junior QB Grant Hedrick, 6-0, 200 lbs. Those two command an offense that is a more improved crew over last year’s squad, even with only 4 returning offensive starters.

One of those starters is junior WR Matt Miller, 6-3, 218 lbs, who has averaged over 11 yards per catch in each of the past two years (1,448 yards). Other receivers expected to start or see significant playing time are senior Geraldo Boldewijn, 6-4, 215 lbs, senior Kirby Moore, 6-3, 206 lbs, senior Aaron Burks, 6-3, 215 lbs, and sophomore Shane Williams-Rhodes, 5-6, 158 lbs, and all are capable of making the big catches. The two RB’s expected to get most of the carries out of the backfield are sophomores Jay Ajayi, 6-0, 215 lbs, and Jack Fields, 5-9, 198 lbs. Ajayi is having a good spring and fall this year after finishing last season as a redshirt freshman with 548 yards and four TD's. His 6.68 yards per carry was the best single-season mark in school history.

Last year’s defense was ranked one the best in the nation, but only five starters return this year. Most of the losses were key players. Still, that doesn’t seem to overly concern defensive coordinator Pete Kwaitkowski, who has been reloading the Broncos defense for four years now. Under his tutelage Boise State has led both the WAC and MWC in total defense and scoring defense with one of the most dominating defenses in the nation. I don’t think 2013 will be any different.

Four big reasons why: junior DE Demarcus Lawrence, 6-3, 244 lbs, and senor DT Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, 6-3, 303 lbs, are back along with a pair of returning safety’s in junior Jeremy Ioane, 5-10, 189 lbs, and sophomore Darian Thompson, 6-1, 201 lbs. Lawrence led the MW last year with 9.5 sacks even though he missed two games, earning the nickname "Sack King."

If there is a looming question about the Broncos for the upcoming season, it is focused once again on special teams. Senior K Trevon Harman, 6-3, 207 lbs, is penciled in as kicker, and both Dan Goodale, 5-10, 193 lbs, and JC transfer Tyler Rausa, 5-8, 191 lbs, are still competing for place kicker. The one position that might have already been decided could be the return man, William-Rhodes. He had a chance to shine last season on kickoff returns so he probably has a lock on that slot.

Boise State’s fall scrimmage will be held Sunday, Auguest 18, at 7 PM MT, in Bronco Stadium. If you want a good look at the 2013 Broncos, this will be the only fall practice open to the public.

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