Boise State Broncos
Head Coach: Bryan Harsin
2013-14 Record: 8-5, 6-2 Mountain West Conference
2013-14 Bowl Result: 38-23 loss to Oregon St in Hawaii Bowl
Odds to Win National Championship: +32030
Offense: 7, Defense: 8
Boise State is the highest scoring team in the country since 2000, but things are going to change a bit under first year head coach Bryan Harsin, who takes over for Chris Petersen.
Redshirt junior running back Jay Ajayi is one of the more important players to handicap when making your college football picks in match ups featuring this squad, as he was named first-team All-Mountain West in 2013—racking up 1,425 yards on 249 carries last year.
The main problem for this unit is the fact that the group has no seniors on the offensive line with he career starts dropping again to 26.
All eyes will be on senior quarterback Grant Hedrick, who will look to build on some solid numbers of a season ago, as he stepped in for Joe Southwick a year ago when going down with a broken ankle.
The defensive line suffered three major losses, which will put a lot of pressure on a unit that allowed 24.8 points per game in 2013—the highest such figure for the program since 2004.
Boise State is hoping to turn the corner on this side of the ball under coordinator Marcel Yates, as the linebacker core is expected to be one of the best groups in years at that particular position—led by last year’s leading tackler Ben Weaver.
Junior cornerback Donte Deayon was a second-team All-MWC selection last season, as he tallied a season-high six interceptions. He also ranked 32nd nationally in averaging 1.2 pass defended per game.
College football handicappers have grown accustom to the Broncos starting off with a bang, and this year will be no different, as they take on the Mississippi Rebels at the Georgia Dome on Aug. 28.
There’s certainly some challenging stretches in conference play, with a pair of road games versus Air Force and Nevada, which is followed up by the team’s first bye of the season before hosting Fresno State and BYU in a pair of Friday games.
The Broncos should be able to put things together after taking on the Rebels next month, especially since they go from nine returning starters last year to 15 in 2014.
Boise State will continue to be a force in the national landscape in regards to teams outside the major conferences.
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