Boise St. Broncos
Boise State always seems to be in a David versus Goliath battle with the big names in college football and can’t afford one single slip up. The Broncos are a perennial football power that just can’t get to that National Championship level, be it a crucial loss, questionable schedule or the polls so will 2013 be any different for Chris Petersen and crew?
With just nine players back, most programs would be considered to be in a rebuilding mode. That might be true to a certain extent , but the Broncos always seem to have the talent waiting in the wings to step right in. Fortunately, quarterback is not one of the areas of worry with Joe Southwick back with his 2,730 yards on 66.8% completions. Southwick has had the misfortune of trying to fill the shoes of Moore, which isn’t going to happen but with 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions, his numbers are solid. Southwick does get his top target back in Matt Miller (66-769) and has a decent running back in second leading rusher Jay Ajayi (82-548) who will get a boost from All Conference center Matt Paridis and LT Charles Leno.
The offense will have several new faces, but the defense will have even more with just four players back. The obvious question is can they once again hold the opposition to to less than 320 yards and under 16 points with the current unit. DE Demarcus Lawrence had 9 1/2 sacks and will be the leader of a line that will have to make a name for themselves although he won’t be called upon to do it all alone. The linebacking crew return the units #6 and #7 tacklers in Blake Renaud and Corey Bell respectively, with both needing to plug any holes in the defensive front and keep opposing runners from breaking through to the secondary. The secondary has plenty of options but experience is a question, although no body can question the available talent the Broncos have. Returning players, back ups that saw time and JC transfers are sprinkled throughout the D in 2013, so overall this unit isn’t in bad shape.
If Boise State can avoid the injury bug, the talent is in place for them to capture the Mountain Division, although a huge reason for concern is a tough away schedule in the conference. I didn’t think the Broncos were going to be an eleven win team in 2012 but I learned you can’t count out a Chris Petersen coached team and I won’t bet against him in ’13.