2008 Boise State Broncos Football Preview

By: Joel Welser

2007 Boise State Record: (10-3, 7-1 WAC)
2007 Bowl: Hawaii Bowl vs. East Carolina (L 38-41)
Boise State Head Coach: Chris Petersen (23-3 at Boise State, 23-3 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Bryan Harsin
Defensive Coordinator: Justin Wilcox

Returning Leaders for Boise State:
" Rushing: Ian Johnson, RB, 1,041 yards
" Passing: Bush Hamdan, QB, 98 yards
" Receiving: Jeremy Childs, WR, 1,045 yards
" Tackles: Kyle Gingg, LB, 94
" Sacks: Mike T. Williams, DE, 6.0
" Interceptions: Dallas Dobbs, LB, 3

Other Key Returnees: FB Richie Brockel, LB Tim Brady, S Jeron Johnson, WR Austin Pettis, CB Kyle Wilson, DE Ryan Winterswyk, WR Titus Young

Key Losses: C Jeff Cavender, OT Ryan Clady, OT Dan Gore, G Tad Miller, TE Ryan Putnam, CB Orlando Scandrick, DE Nick Schlekeway, DT Ian Smart, S Marty Tadman, DT Sione Tavake, QB Taylor Tharp last season with two consecutive losses. That does not happen very often these days in Boise. The winning attitude was lacking down the stretch and the Broncos need to get it back. Losing a couple games should help if the team was feeling complacent after their undefeated season in 2006.

Boise State's Strengths:

The defense struggled during those losses, but the team still ranked first in the conference in just about every major defensive category. With linebackers Tim Brady, Dallas Dobbs and Kyle Gingg returning to their starting roles, the defense will be the best in the Western Athletic Conference again this season. The secondary has to replace corner Orlando Scandrick and safety Marty Tadman, but Kyle Wilson is an all-conference performer and Jeron Johnson will improve with a year of experience under his belt. The offense has a few questions to answer, but with Ian Johnson back for his senior year it will make things much easier. Johnson, who rushed for 1,041 yards and 16 touchdowns last year is a legitimate Heisman contender. Wide receiver Jeremy Childs could miss some time in the fall after spending the spring off the team. If he is back, Childs will join Titus Young and Austin Pettis to create a very dangerous group of receivers.

Boise State's Weaknesses:

But who is going to get the ball to the receivers? The good news is that Coach Chris Petersen has plenty of options to replace Taylor Tharpe at quarterback. Bush Hamdan, Michael Coughlin, Nick Lomax and Kellen Moore all have potential, but will one of them be ready to consistently run the offense? It will not be easy without tackle Ryan Clady and three other starters on the offensive line. Clady was a first round selection of those other Broncos in Denver in the NFL Draft. The huge success of the running game and the passing game can be partially attributed to the experienced line and Boise State needs to fill those holes if the offense expects to rank 12th in the nation again in total yards.

The Bottom Line for the Broncos:

The line on the other side of the ball needs to replace Nick Schlekeway, Ian Smart and Sione Tavake. The Broncos were not that great at getting pressure on the quarterback last season, but they were not bad either. If the team can find a couple new tackles to stop the run, the defense will be fine. And with Johnson leading the way, the offense will be tough to stop…no matter who ends up at quarterback.

2007 Boise State Broncos Team Stats:

" Rushing Offense: 184.92 (33rd in nation, 3rd in conference)
" Passing Offense: 282.46 (23, 3)
" Total Offense: 467.38 (12, 3)
" Scoring Offense: 42.38 (4, 2)
" Rushing Defense: 130.85 (35, 1)
" Pass Defense: 207.15 (26, 1)
" Total Defense: 338.00 (25, 1)
" Scoring Defense: 21.62 (25, 1)
" Turnover Margin: .08 (47, 3)
" Sacks: 2.69 (26, 3)
" Sacks Allowed: 1.46 (29, 2)

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Joel Welser is a senior staff writer for College Sports Fans, one of the leading College football & basketball fan sites online today. In addition to his 2008 Boise State football preview, Welser is a regular contributor providing college football & basketball previews, bowl game previews & NCAA Tournament coverage.

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