Boise State football returns this upcoming weekend, here's everything you need to know about the 2013 season.
2012 Season Recap
Boise State started the 2012 season 0-1 when they lost to Michigan State on the road, 17-13. It was the first time the Broncos started 0-1 since the Georgia nightmare in 2005. After dropping the close contest that ended the BCS talk months too early, Boise State reeled off 7 straight wins in a row before getting shocked by SD State at HOME ON THE BLUE, 21-19. However, the Broncos still ended up with a share of the Mountain West title, and ended the season with a last minute win over the Washington Huskies in the Las Vegas Bowl for the 3rd consecutive season. 2012 was different from the past, with the defense actually carrying the team. Boise State finished with the #8 ranked defense in the country, and FOR SURE if they had played @Michigan St in November they would have been successful. In the end, what was supposed to be a "re-building year" (post Kellen Moore era) Boise State finished 11-2.
Do yourself a favor and watch the game highlights from the Vegas bowl:
2013 Schedule Overview
This year's schedule, like nearly other year, includes a season opening road game in a hostile environment vs a non-conference team. These types of teams love to schedule Boise State early on, so that when they lose, they can rest on the idea that it is still very early in year with plenty of time to make up for a non conference loss.
This year, pre-season ranked #19 Boise State's toughest test is week 1, which is this upcoming Saturday. @ Washington. It was interesting that these two teams were paired up in the Vegas Bowl last December, especially already knowing this game was on the schedule. As mentioned, Boise State won that game with a field goal just over a minute left. Boise State is actually a 4 point underdog for this road contest, so the sharps think they will lose. My prediction is that the Broncos find a way to win again vs. Washington. Here is their brief history with the Huskies. Its a rubber match of sorts after these most recent matchups:
2012: W 28-26 in Las Vegas Bowl
2007: L 24-10 @ Washington
After Washington in Week 1, Boise State's schedule only gets slightly easier. The only other games I can foresee the Broncos possibly losing are to Fresno St, Utah St, and BYU. I would normally include SD State in there but there's a virtual 0% chance the Broncos lose to the Aztecs after last year's shocker.
3 of the 4 toughest games come before October, with 3 of those on the road. If Boise State gets off to a fast, unblemished start, look for them to crash the BCS party once again.
Here is the complete schedule:
The offense is returning with 5 starters, including Senior QB Joe Southwick, who was noticeably better the latter half of 2012. I expect Southwick to make a nice leap this year. He struggled last year in the red zone, and on 3rd downs, but a year of starting under his belt is likely going to help with all of that this year. Southwick can run too, so defenses must stay honest against him.
The RB corps is the largest question on offense after senior DJ Harper has graduated. This year they will be lead by sophomore Jay Ajayi. Watch and enjoy:
Obviously Ajayi is an electric runner. The problem at runningback is depth , Boise state has no clear back up rb, and Coach Peterson usually like to run a committee so we will see who emerges alongside Ajayi. (Jack Fields, Derek Thomas, Aaron Baltazar)
The WR corps, a major strength of this team, will once again be lead by junior Matt Miller- who has been a regular contributor since his freshman year. He will contend for all Mountain West honors at the end of the season. Outside of Miller the Broncos have a plethora of talented wide outs. Junior Geraldo Boldewijn is primed for a break out season... he had a nice TD in the Vegas Bowl and has the talent to really do some damage. Senior Aaron Burks, sophomore Shane Willams-Rhodes, and junior Dallas Burroughs are all worth mentioning as well.
The Offensive line for the Broncos is excellent. They have a couple studs up front that should pave the way nicely for the running backs, The depth and skill level of the back up lineman isn't ideal... but if the starters stay healthy this offense will thrive in 2013.
The defense carried the Broncos last year, however after a bunch of departures the unit will be relying on a few new faces in 2013. Both cornerback positions are up for grabs... I wouldn't be surprised to see a large rotation to start the year between all the DBs.
The D-Line will remain strong this year... Boise State likes to rotate a bunch of guys on this side of the ball and they have 6 or 7 starting caliber D lineman. The cream of the crop is All-American junior DE DeMarcus Lawrence and inside lineman Ricky Tjong-a-Tjoe. Somehow, that isn't a typo.
The Linebackers, like the other 2 units, will be heavily rotated this season. Unfortunately JC Percy and Tommy Smith have graduated, so the LB crew will have a different look this season. Blake Renaud is penciled in as the starting MLB, he's your typical hard-hitting, loud leader. I'm not sure who else will emerge for this unit, but Boise State is laced with young talent so I am sure they will be fine.
I am confident in Boise State winning at Washington this Saturday night. I am confident they will win the Mountain West and it only makes sense that they crash the BCS in the last year of it's existence.
Why? Cuz of this guy:
Coach Peterson was recently named the 3rd best coach in the country. He's an absolute animal when it comes to scheming, preparing, and executing a game plan. Realistically, his days on the Blue are probably numbered, as it's only a matter of time before Peterson is offered a big time SEC job he can't turn down. For now, lets have some fun with his career numbers at Boise State:
84-8 overall record
5-2 Bowl record
2 losses at home
3 BCS Appearances
2 BCS Bowl wins
2 Paul Bear Bryant Awards (only 2 time winner)
2 Undefeated Seasons (06 and 09)
7 1st or 2nd round NFL draft picks
So, in closing: