College Football Preview: The 2014 Boise State Broncos
Boise State has the talent to make a run at the Mountain West title.
2014 College Football Preview
Boise State has their sights set on the Mountain West crown with Bryan Harsin leading the team.
Overview: With Chris Peterson taking the job at Washington, Boise State hired Arkansas State HC Bryan Harsin who also was a former offensive coordinator under Peterson. Harsin has almost an entire new staff so can he get the Broncos back to the elite status they once were?
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Offense: When Joe Southwick was hurt last season, Grant Hedrick stepped in and did a solid job. Hedrick threw for over 1,800 yards with 16 TD's and five picks on 69% while adding another 350 yards on the ground. The good news is the top two targets return in the passing attack with Matt Miller (88-1138) and Shane Williams-Rhodes (77-702) forming a solid one, two punch. Jay Ajayi (249-1425) was the work horse on the ground and will be once again if he can avoid fumbling at inopportune times especially with Aaron Baltazar transferring and no proven backups. The O-Line loses the top three including all conference performers Charles Leno Jr. and Matt Paradis which leaves the door open for a slew of youngsters to make an impact.
Defense: The most glaring loss for the defense is a line that loses three of the top five which is significant because this group were decent run stoppers. On top of that Demarcus Lawrence takes a hefty 10.5 sacks with him aside from 55.5 tackles. Eight players are back with experience and thee JUCO's were signed to bolster this unit. Leading tackler Ben Weaver heads a veteran group of linebackers that gets the top five back yet still have youth on their side. Experience is the name of the game in the secondary with a whopping ten players back which is a good thing with a group that had some issues in 2013.
Special Teams: Punter Sean Wale brings a 41.5 yard average back while Dan Goodale was nearly automatic on field goals with a 17-19 mark. Bryan Douglas and Williams-Rhodes are outstanding in the return game with the former bringing a kick back for six.
Outlook: Boise won't be anywhere near the National Championship now or in the forseeable future but the MWC title is certainly within their grasp as Harsin can thank Peterson for a cupboard that is not completely bare.