#18 Boise State Football 2013 Preview

Boise State Broncos

Overall Rank: #18
#1 Mountain West

Boise State Team Page#18 Boise State Football 2013 PreviewBuy Boise State Football Tickets

Coach Chris Petersen has only lost eight games during his seven years with Boise State. Two of those losses came in 2012, including a very rare conference loss on the blue turf. As usual, Boise State will get an early non-conference test. This time it is at Washington, a team they beat in the Las Vegas Bowl 28-26 to close out the 2012 campaign.

2012 Record: 11-2, 7-1
2012 Bowl: Las Vegas Bowl vs. Washington (W 28-26)
Coach: Chris Petersen (84-8 at Boise State, 84-8 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Robert Prince
Defensive Coordinator: Pete Kwiatkowski

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Jay Ajayi, RB, 548 yards
Passing: Joe Southwick, QB, 2,730 yards
Receiving: Matt Miller, WR, 769 yards
Tackles: Jeremy Ioane, S, 70
Sacks: Demarcus Lawrence, DE, 9.5
Interceptions: Jeremy Ioane, S, 3; Darian Thompson, S, 3

Other Key Returnees: OL Charles Leno Jr., OL Matt Paradis, WR Kirby Moore, DT Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, DE Sam Ukwuachu, LB Blake Renaud, LB Corey Bell, S Darian Thompson

Key Losses: RB DJ Harper, LB JC Percy, LB Tommy Smith, DB Jamar Taylor, DB Jerrell Gavins, S Lee Hightower, K Michael Frisina

Boise State had their least potent offense since 1998 when they averaged just 30.23 points per contest last season. It was a relatively inexperienced group and the unit will be better this year. It starts with quarterback Joe Southwick who struggled with consistency his first year as a starter. Southwick did throw for 2,730 yards and 19 touchdowns, while only being intercepted seven times and sacked eight times. A year older and a year wiser, the senior quarterback will be more productive. The return of receiver Matt Miller will help Southwick put up bigger numbers. Miller caught 66 passes for 769 yards and five scores and there is a lot of talented around him that Coach Petersen can call on depending on the situation. The offensive line will be strong with center Matt Paradis leading the way, but Boise State does need to find a new back to replace the 15 touchdowns and 1,137 yards tallied by D.J. Harper during his senior season. Jay Ajayi had a very promising freshman campaign and is an interesting option at running back. Ajayi dropped ten pounds over the summer and has become even more explosive. If he can handle the workload, Ajayi will be the next in line of 1,000 yard rushers.

The Broncos defense kept the team in most games while the offense was struggling. The roles could be completely reversed a year later. The front four has a solid group of starters, but very little known depth. End Demarcus Lawrence led the conference with 9.5 sacks and Sam Ukwuachu had a great freshman campaign on the other end. Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe and Tyler Horn will start in the middle. Corey Bell and Blake Renaud have been key supporting linebackers, yet now it is time for them to step into starring roles. And freshmen like Ben Weaver will be asked to at least provide quality depth. Safeties Jeremy Ionae and Darian Thompson are proven playmakers, but filling in the cornerback spots will be difficult. Jamar Taylor and Jerrell Gavins were a huge part in Boise State’s fifth best passing defense in the country. Donte Deayon and Bryan Douglas have plenty of talent and even more potential, yet the total lack of experience could lead to some offensive explosions against a usually tough Boise State defense.

The Bottom Line:
It will take some time for the defense to come around, but they will be fine in Mountain West play. Some of the more potent offenses, like Fresno State, who happens to play Boise State early, will give them some trouble. That game is in Fresno as well and should be a huge contest as far as the conference standings are concerned. Southwick has some young and explosive players on offense and that, along with a good enough offensive line, will lead to the dominating offense that we have all become used to seeing in Boise.

Projected Bowl: Maaco Bowl

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 168.15 (55th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 223.15 (70, 4)
Total Offense: 391.31 (68, 5)
Scoring Offense: 30.23 (54, 4)
Rushing Defense: 146.15 (46, 2)
Pass Defense: 169.46 (5, 2)
Total Defense: 315.62 (12, 1)
Scoring Defense: 15.77 (8, 1)
Turnover Margin: 1.54 (2, 1)
Sacks: 2.92 (11, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 0.77 (6, 2)

Madness 2014 NFL Draft Rankings:
#96 Demarcus Lawrence


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