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2017 Fierce 40 Previews: #33 Boise State

by DJ Boyer on Jul. 12, 2017

#33 Boise State Broncos

2016 Recap:
10-3 sounds magnificient but it isn't often that Boise State finishes a season with consecutive losses. Boise State laid an egg in the Cactus Bowl losing 31-12 against Baylor, a team that came in on a six game losing streak.


Coaching:
Bryan Harsin has emerged from the Chris Petersen as he enters his 4th year meaning the stamp on his recruiting classes are now at Boise State. Offensive coordinator Zak Hill and defensive coordinator Andy Avalos are both entering their second years as the leaders on both sides of the ball.


Offense

Boise State only has three starters coming back on offnese but don;t let that make you think this is a team that will struggle to score points. Brett Rypien continues to improve as a quarterback and could be the first Boise State signal caller to shed the "gimmick" label and actually land a job at the NFL level. The big problem for the offense a season ago was gaining a ton of yards and failing to put points on the board. The Broncos led the Mountain West conference in total yardage but were only 6th in scoring average. Alexander Mattison looks to be the next in a long line of Boise State running backs (Doug Martin, Jay Ajayi, Jeremy McNichols etc etc) that could succeed at the next level and become draftable. Jake Roh will lead a stable of tight ends which have the ability to block and stretch the field with reliable hands. The offensive line shows potential but is hardly a proven commodity at this point.
 

Best Draft Prospects: Brett Rypien QB 5th Round 2019.

                                       Jake Roh TE 6th/7th Round 2018.


Defense

The Brocnos have show what they can do with short field position. The special teams game and getting defensive turnovers has made Boise one of the leading schools in all of FBS since 2010 in the "average starting field positiion. The Broncos created a measely nine turnovers last year and their 116th rank nationally in turnover ratio (-9) was a remarkable low number for the defense. The defensive line has more depth so players like David Moa and Durrant Miles can get a breather when they need to. There is a complete turnover at the linebacker position as the secondary looks to be the strongest area on the defensive side of the football. Tyler Morton and Michael Young are a formidable cornerback duo. Boise will fluctate between an extra member of the secondary and at linebacker as they will copntinue to employ three memebers on the defensive line.

Best Draft Prospects: David Moa DE 6th Round 2019.                

                                       Tyler Horton CB  UFA 2019.


Special Teams:

It was tough to watch early in the season when Boise State was struggling on special teams. In part because they were brutally bad and another because it's an area where they have been known to excel in the past. Joel Velazquez looks like he has won both the kicker and punter job as a freshman so he is an unproven commodity. Cedric Wilson will likely pull double duty returning kicks and punts while the coverage teams look to rebound from what was comically poor tackling at times.


Schedule:

Opening at home against Troy and on the road against Washington State is definately a pair of great tests before Mountain West play.  What looks difficult for the Broncos is the teams that look to be the stifest competition after the first two games (BYU and San Diego State) are both road contests and are played back to back in October. Boise State has floundered late in the season in recent years so they need to ensure they stay on the gas and remain consistent.


Draft and Overall Outlook:

There may be a slight dropoff in Boise but it is far from significant. The Brocnos will not have as many top tier proxspects in the 2018 Draft but there are plenty of youngsters who will be at second day possiilities in the underclassmen ranks. Brett Rypien is far from a gimicky quarterback. While not looking like a superstar at the next level he has the arm talent to stick around in the league a few seasons in a backup capacity. Boise State is a perennial challenger and threat to win the Mountain West crown and that will not change in 2017.

DJ Boyer