#26 Boise State Football 2016 Preview

Boise State Broncos
Overall Rank: #26
#1 Mountain West
By the end of October, Boise State was looking like they were going to have another big season. The Broncos were sitting at 7-2. But then they lost a couple key home conference games to New Mexico and Air Force. That caused the Broncos to miss the conference title game and fail to win at least ten games for the second time in the past ten years. That probably will not happen again in 2016. The Broncos have reloaded and still have the most talented team in the Mountain West.
2015 Record: 9-4, 5-3
2015 Bowl: Poinsettia Bowl vs. Northern Illinois (W 55-7)
Coach: Bryan Harsin (21-6 at Boise State, 28-11 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Scott Huff, Zak Hill
Defensive Coordinator: Andy Avalos
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Jeremy McNichols, RB, 1,337 yards
Passing: Brett Rypien, QB, 3,353 yards
Receiving: Thomas Sperbeck, WR, 1,412 yards
Tackles: Ben Weaver, LB, 68
Sacks: Chanceller James, S, 3.0
Interceptions: Ben Weaver, LB, 3
Other Key Returnees: WR Chaz Anderson, TE Jake Roh, LB Tanner Vallejo, LB Joe Martarano, CB Jonathan Moxey. K Tyler Rausa
Key Losses: RB Kelsey Young, WR Shane Williams-Rhodes, OL Rees Odhiambo, OL Marcus Henry, S Darian Thompson, LB Tyler Gray, DE Tyler Horn, DE Kamalei Correa
The Broncos remain one of the most potent offenses in the country and that will not change this year. Quarterback Brett Rypien threw for 3,353 yards and 20 touchdowns last season. And all of that was as a freshman. With that year of experience under his belt, Rypien is poised for a big year. He is a smart passer, but does need to work on his overall consistency. With Thomas Sperbeck back at receiver, Rypien’s job will be easier. Sperbeck caught 88 passes for 1,412 yards and eight scores. He is the team’s big play receiver. Chaz Anderson can make big plays too and tight end Jake Roh is a consistent receiver underneath. Running back Jeremy McNichols is a great pass catcher out of the backfield also, but he obviously does a lot of damage running the ball too. Last season he rushed for 1,337 yards and 20 touchdowns and added 51 receptions for 460 yards and six more scores. The problem with the offense could be the lack of depth. There are not many proven playmakers behind Rypien, McNichols, Sperbeck, Anderson and Roh.
It was a tough 2015 season, but the defense ended the year by allowing just 33 yards to Northern Illinois in the Poinsettia Bowl. The defensive line needs rebuilt though and there is not a whole lot of experience in the unit. Sam McCaskill is a versatile senior and Gabe Perez has potential after missing last season with a shoulder injury. The group of linebackers has much more experience. Ben Weaver totaled 68 tackles last season and picked off three passes. Tanner Vallejo was third on the team with 57 tackles and Joe Martarano added 53. Those three will need to be the leaders of the front seven. The secondary will have to rely on senior cornerback Jonathan Moxey for leadership. The rest of the secondary could be filled with underclassmen.
The Bottom Line:
The Broncos will be tested early with games against Washington State and Oregon State. The conference slate will be tough this season. Mountain West action begins at home against a very good Utah State team. After that comes a trip to New Mexico and that is where we will learn if the Broncos can stop the option offense this year. And then comes home games against Colorado State and BYU. After that the schedule eases up a little bit until the season finale at Air Force. The game against the Falcons could decide the West Division and Boise State would like to get back to the championship game after a rare miss in 2015.
Projected Bowl: Las Vegas Bowl
2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 191.4 (39th in nation, 7th in conference)
Passing Offense: 310.2 (16, 1)
Total Offense: 501.5 (15, 1)
Scoring Offense: 39.1 (15, 1)
Rushing Defense: 108.2 (5, 1)
Pass Defense: 210.1 (45, 7)
Total Defense: 318.3 (12, 2)
Scoring Defense: 20.2 (18, 2)
Turnover Margin: 0.69 (15, 2)
Sacks: 2.54 (30, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 2.38 (82, 8)


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