What is there to say about Boise State that has not been said? Really not much. They return nearly every starter with their main loss being CB Kyle Wilson who was a first round draft pick by the New York Jets. The last time the two teams met it was in 2007 where Boise won 24-14 in a game that was not even close as it was 21-0 to start the fourth quarter.
As for the preseason polls Boise State is a near consensus top five with the exception of Phil Steele who has the Broncos at sixth and then something called the Rogers Poll that has the Broncos 10th. The obvious game that Boise State is gaining the most is the game against Virginia Tech which is being played and that will frame the season for both teams in terms of their national title chances.
Prior to this year the highest preseason ranked team from a non-BCS league was actually last year where Boise State was 14th and then in 2008 with BYU being ranked 15th. Boise State is a major program in a mid-major league similar to Butler and a more accurate comparison would be Gonzaga within college hoops.
The offense itself is lead by QB Kellen Moore who is on numerous award watch lists this summer. Moore has been a starter since his redshirt freshman year and has 27 starts under his belt with only a single loss in the time which was against TCU in the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl. Kellen Moore is not a quarterback that will light up teams with 300 yard games with only six in his career and two last year, but part of that has to do with a good running game and not having to pass with games well in hand. A good stat that shows how good Moore is at throwing the ball is that he has an average of just under nine yards per attempt back in 2009. So, every time there is a pass thrown (not caught) it resulted nearly in a first down.
Jeremy Avery is the lead running back and the yardage guy, but the touchdown guy is Doug Martin who had over 700 yards but had 15 touchdowns. The two combined for 1,800 yards which comes from the talented backs but also an experienced offensive line that is able to control the line of scrimmage against every team.
Titus Young and Austin Pettis are the returning leading receivers who combined for 24 touchdowns, 142 catches, and just under 1,900 yards. However, not only are the top two receivers returning but their top eight receivers are back who caught at least nine passes this past year. So, yeah the Broncos are deep at wide receiver.
The defense for Boise is just as potent as their offense, but the main defection besides Kyle Wilson to the NFL is losing defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox who left the Broncos this off season for the same position at Tennessee. The replacement Pete Kwiatkowski who was in charge of the defensive line for the past few years.
The replacement for Wilson will be Jerrell Gavins was a junior college transfer who started at safety in the Fiesta Bowl win over TCU, so he should fit right in.
Believe it or not the Broncos actually had struggles at the linebacker position where they were 72nd in the nation in sacks. To remedy this situation the Broncos are moving Bryon Hout -- who is remembered as the recipitent of the LaGarratte Blount punch -- from defensive end to middle linebacker. Plus, Hunter White is moving from inside linebacker to the outside position. Defensively if the Broncos are able to get more production from the linebacking position they should move into a top ten defense in 2010.
Here is the thing to know about Boise State and how good they are nationally.
- t-1st in scoring offense
- 26th in rushing offense
- 29th in passing offense
- 10th in total offense
- 13th in scoring defense
- 28th in rushing defense
- 21st in passing defense
- 14th in total defense
: Chris Petersen
Last season: 14-0 overall, 8-0 in the WAC. Beat TCU 17-10 in the Fiesta Bowl.
Offense (10): T Michael Ames, RB Jeremy Avery, C Thomas Byrd, TE Tommy Gallarda, G Will Lawrence, QB Kellen Moore, WR Austin Pettis, WR Tyler Shoemaker, T Nate Potter, WR Titus Young.
Defense (9): T Chase Baker, S George Iloka, S Jeron Johnson, LB Daron Mackey, E Shea McClellin, CB Brandyn Thompson, SWinston Venable, T Billy Winn, E Ryan Winterswyk.
Special teams (1): K/P Kyle Brotzman.