Team #5 – Boise State Broncos College Football Preview

Kellen Moore Boise State Broncos Football
Even With 20 Starters Returning and a 14-0 record, Maddux Says There Are 4 Teams Better Than Us
Let the Boise State Bronco fans complaining begin.  Here is team #5 and the 2010 Boise State Broncos Football Preview.  All part of our 31 teams in 31 days college football season preview from ncaa football picks handicappers at Maddux Sports.

No. 5 Boise State Broncos

2009 record: 14-0
2009 Bowl Game: 17-10 win over TCU in Fiesta Bowl
2009 ATS:  9-4
Returning starters: 20 (10 on offense, 10 on defense)


The Broncos return ten of their 11 Fiesta Bowl winning starters. They lose right guard Kevin Sapien who retired because of injuries. The rest of the high-flying offense is back, and the Broncos look like the best team they’ve ever fielded.

Junior quarterback Kellen Moore received Heisman votes last year after throwing for 3,536 yards and 39 touchdowns. He was very accurate completing 64.3 percent of his passes and throwing only three interceptions in 431 attempts.

Moore’s most dangerous weapons return in Austin Pettis and Titus Young.  Pettis hauled in 63 passes and scored 14 touchdowns while totaling 855 yards. Young caught 79 passes for 1,041 yards and 10 touchdowns. Tight end Kyle Efaw and receiver Tyler Shoemaker pose threats to opposing defenses as well.

The Bronco’s running game was no less dangerous than their passing attack. Jeremy Avery ran for 1,151 yards and six scores on 209 carries. Doug Martin carried the ball 129 times and scored 15 touchdowns. He averaged 5.9 yards per attempt for a total of 765 yards. DJ Harper has shown his explosiveness, averaging 6.5 yards on 44 carries.

The offensive line might be the biggest question mark. With Sapien missing, Will Lawrence is set to step in at right guard. He has 14 starts under his belt and has plenty of experience to show for. Redshirt freshman Charles Leno is the only offensive linemen without starting experience. He will take the left tackle position. Right tackle Garrett Pendergast has one career start.


While many fans associate a high-flying offense and trick plays with the Broncos, the defense has been very strong the last couple of years. Boise State loses first round pick, and now Jets cornerback Kyle Wilson, but they return everybody else.

Cornerback Brandyn Thompson will most likely be assigned to the opponent’s No. 1 receiver, and he has shown his ability to play the ball. He picked off six passes in 2009. He will get help from sophomore Jamar Taylor, who had one start in his true freshman season in 2008. He missed last year due to an injury, but played in all 13 games in 2008. He recorded 24 tackles and one interception and broke up one pass in his freshman year.

Safety Jeron Johnson was the team’s top tackler last year (91) and he also showed off his ball-hawking skills. He broke up six passes and snatched four interceptions. The linebacking unit is two deep and adds Byron Hout, who played defensive end last year.

Senior Ryan Winterswyk leads a strong line. The defensive end had nine sacks last year and added eight tackles for a loss. The line is two deep as well with everybody getting playing time in 2009.

The defense looks as strong as last year despite the loss of Wilson, and should have another dominating season, its last in the weak WAC.

Special Teams

Kicker/punter Kyle Brotzman has shown that he can be counted on as he goes into his senior season H averaged 43.9 yards in 2009 and forced the opposing offense to start within its own 20-yard line 15 times.

He went 63-for-64 on extra points, but struggled at times on field goals. He went 18-for-25, missing one from 29 and under, and three out of nine between 30 and 39 yards. He made his lone attempt from 50+ yards, a season long 52-yarder.

Titus Young got the majority of the kick returns and scored two touchdowns. He averaged 26.9 yards per attempt and should be the main return guy again.

The Broncos lose a dangerous returnman in Kyle Wilson. He averaged 10.4 yards on 24 attempts last season and will most likely be replaced by Young.

Against the spread

 The Broncos went 9-4 against the college football odds in 2009. They were 4-2 when favored at home and 4-2 as the favorite on the road. They went 1-0 in a neutral situation. Boise State had a 5-3 record ATS when playing WAC opponents, and went 4-1 in on-conference matchups.

The Broncos are 30-18 ATS under fifth year head coach Chris Peterson and 75-44-2 in the last ten years.

You can bet on it

Bet on the Broncos at New Mexico State on October 2. The Broncos have outscored the Aggies 149-7 in the last three years, including two shutouts. They also outgained New Mexico State by an average of 405 yards in those meetings. Boise State could have shut out the Aggies for a third time in a row last year, but allowed a score after a fumble at their own 17 yard line in the fourth quarter.

Favor the fade

Fade the Broncos in their home opener against the Oregon State Beavers on September 25. Boise State is 2-4 against the Beavers, but won the last game 42-14 behind a Heisman-worthy perfor­mance by Ian Johnson in 2006. Despite the win in the last meeting, I don’t think the Broncos cover here.

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  1. Drew 2-2 since 2003, but these 2 teams played twice in the 80s. 37-13 in 1989 and 34-3 in 1986 both wins for Oregon State.

  2. How is the record going back 25 years significant to the game? BSU was a 1-AA team in the 80s,

  3. True. BSU may have lost to Oregon State in the 80’s. But they were Division 1AA in those days. It is tough from a recruiting and scholarship standpoint to compete against PAC10 schools would be improbable at best. So, I think removing those earlier games and comparing schools that are on an even competitive basis is the correct thing to do.

  4. I agree with everything you guys are saying, when I wrote up the piece the games in the 80s had nothing to do with the reasoning to possibly fade Boise State at home against the Beavers, I was just stating the series history between the clubs as facts.

  5. I can’t believe how sensitive you people are!! Maddux just lays out the facts…not picking winners….yet you find a way to complain about it.

    That being said….when are the gambling lines released for Week 1??? I’m dying for them!!!

  6. Kyle last year bookmaker opened the college football lines for week 1 on August 10th, so we are getting real close. Once they go live we wil post something on the blog for sure letting people know.

  7. I am a Boise State fan, and I for one am not complaining. I don’t think we can make any major claims until after the Virginia Tech and Oregon State games. If we win those, then I would expect us to be ranked toward the top of the polls. For now, a top 5 ranking is actually unexpected, and appreciated. We are all hoping we can make it to the National Championship game, but we know that is long way down a very uncertain road. We also know that even if we go undefeated, the chances of being in the top 2 at the end of the season will depend on a number of factors well out of our control.

  8. Dan I agree, beat Virginia Tech in week 1, and take care of biz against the Beavers and if Boise rolls through the conference schedule like they usually do they will get a shot to play for the title. Only way it doesn’t happen is if 2 of these 4 Ohio State, Texas, Oklahoma, and whoever wins the SEC runs the table. You are not only respected in the media’s eyes, but also by the handicappers. Any time you are laying 2.5/3 against Virginia Tech (who is a top 10-12 team this year), your team is damn fine.

  9. Until they get waxed by VT and Oregon State…then can everyone jump off the BSU bandwagon? Boise is the home of the one-game season. This year they made the jump to the two-game season (yet still wouldn’t go on the road to VT) but they’re schedule is still a farce. The thing it…BSU fan afford to have all the bad games they want. Just don’t have them at the beginning of the season. They should not be rewarded for that. I’d still take a one-loss BCS team over an undefeated BSU.

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