College Football Preview: The 2015 Boise State Broncos
Boise State Broncos Preview
2014 Record: 12-2
The loaded Boise State Broncos look for a return to national prominence this season.
Overview: While many associate Chris Petersen with the national success the Broncos have enjoyed, Bryan Harsin quietly guided this team to a 12-2 record in 2014 capped off by winning the Fiesta Bowl. If the Broncos get a quarterback the Broncos are going to win a lot of games.
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Offense: The one glaring loss is at quarterback where Grant Hedrick takes nearly 3,400 passing yards on 70.8% with him. Backup Ryan Finley appears to have the inside track to grab the starting position after going just 12-27 as a freshman. Shane Williams-Rhodes (68-585) and Thomas Sperbeck (51-883) lead a group of seven players back that caught at least eleven balls. Top rusher Jay Ajayi takes over 1,800 yards with him and second leading runner Grant Hedrick takes 767 yards with him but Devan Demas and Jeremy McNichols seem perfect fits to run behind a line that returns all five starts including All MWC performers C Marcus Henry and LT Rees Odhiambo.
Defense: The defensive line was one of the best in the game against the run so losing one player seems unfair to opponents. An outstanding group also returns Justin Taimatuia and Tyler Horn who missed last year with injuries. Kamalei Correia paced this group with 19 TFL and a whopping 12 sacks. The top four are back at linebacker (each are 3 star rated) with Tanner Vallejo leading the unit with 15.5 TFL and three sacks although the unit is not deep. The secondary gets back eight of ten with safety Darian Thompson and corner Donte Deayon combining for 13 interceptions. Mostly three star athletes with three star recruits coming in.
Special Teams: Punter Sean Wale averaged 42 yards on 66 boots and 76% were not returned so that job is set. PK Dan Goodale takes 16 field goals to graduation while Jeremy McNichols and Shane Williams-Rhodes handled the majority of kick and punt returns.
Outlook: On paper Boise State looks like the 900 pound gorilla of the Mountain West and have the makings of a top 20 team or beyond if the quarterback and running back spots are solidified.