Boise State had its annual Spring Football Game this past Saturday. I was lucky enough to attend, and I must say it felt good to be at a game, even if it was a glorified scrimmage. Here are some things that stood out:
The Defense Dominated
This really wasn’t a surprise. The defense always dominates these scrimmages, even when Kellen was the quarterback. The wind didn’t do the offense any favors. I watched one deep ball from Jack Sears absolutely die going one direction and one from Hank Bachmeier sail going the opposite direction. I will say this, the defense is massive. This is the biggest defensive unit Boise State has had in quite some time. The interior defensive line manhandled the offensive line and made their presence known for the entire scrimmage. I was also impressed with play at linebacker position; tackling did not seem to be an issue, which was a pleasant surprise.
Is the New Scheme Really New?
Play calling is always really basic in these games. There were still a ton of shifts and motions which we have come to expect. The only real differences I saw was that the offense never huddled, there was almost always one receiver running a deep seam route, and there were a lot of attempted swing passes to the running backs. It looks like they will try to get the ball out of the hands of the quarterbacks quicker.
No Separation Between the Quarterbacks
Both quarterbacks were average at best. I wouldn’t be too concerned about this if I were the coaches. The wind played a significant factor, and as I stated before, the quarterbacks always struggle in these scrimmages. Analyzing the quarterbacks, I though Sears was throwing a better deep ball and showed impressive footwork on a red zone touchdown. I thought Hank had a better grasp of the tempo that this offense wants to operate at and had the offense getting to the line of scrimmage quicker.
Heading into the game, I would have said cornerbacks. I thought Kaonohi Kaniho was very impressive. Junior college transfer Johnathan Earl also stood out to me. Depth at running back is a huge concern. The fall off after George Holani is significant. This team is going to need Oregon transfer Cyrus Habibi-Lakio to make an immediate impact.
Another concern is who will emerge as the third play maker for the offense behind Khalil Shakir. There are plenty of capable talents with CT Thomas, Stefan Cobbs, and Billy Bowens. Bowens had a really impressive scrimmage, he made plays and looks improved from this past fall. I still think there is a chance that the Broncos look at the transfer portal for a large wide receiver that can be a red zone threat.
Most Impressive Performances
Kaohoni Kaniho did not look like a redshirt freshman. He looked like a starter and an elite lockdown defender.
Cole Wright the wide receiver nobody is talking about. Wright made some nice catches and was a frequent target for Sears and Bachmeier
Riley Whimpey looks like an NFL linebacker. He has put on even more muscle and was an absolute force. He had a lethal hit on running back Andrew Van Buren.
Scale Igiehon looks faster and stronger. He is someone who will make major noise with the scouts if he can stay healthy.
Jackson Cravens was all over the place and played great at the defensive tackle position. He had some buzz around him when he transferred from Utah and looks like he is ready to make an impact.
Holani showed a great burst and there were no noticeable side effects from the injury he had this last fall.
That’s it for spring football. What are you guys expecting from the Broncos this fall?