2009 Boise State Broncos Football Preview
2008 Record: (12-1, 8-0)
2008 Bowl: Poinsettia Bowl vs. TCU (L 16-17)
Coach: Chris Petersen (35-4 at Boise State, 35-4 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Bryan Harsin
Defensive Coordinator: Justin Wilcox
Other Key Returnees: FB Richie Brockel, C Thomas Byrd, TE Tommy Gallarda, S George Iloka, OT Nate Potter, G Kevin Sapien, CB Brandyn Thompson
Key Losses: DT Sean Bingham, DT Joe Bozikovich, LB Tim Brady, WR Jeremy Childs, LB Kyle Gingg, G Jon Gott, WR Julian Hawkins, RB Ian Johnson, WR Vinny Perretta, S Ellis Powers, DE Mike T. Williams, OT Andrew Woodruff
Boise State continues to upgrade their talent level. There are some major losses this year, but the Broncos will be able to fill those holes and should win a yet another Western Athletic Conference championship. Coach Chris Petersen has continued the success of his predecessors and the 2009 campaign should be no different. The goal, like every year, is a trip to a BCS game.
Boise State's Strengths:
The defense dominated most conference opponents last season and will again this year. While there are some big losses like linebackers Tim Brady and Kyle Gingg and safety Ellis Powers, not to mention most of the front line, the defense is still solid. The front line should be in good shape with end Ryan Winterswyk returning. Winterswyk tallied 4.5 sacks last year as a sophomore and should anchor a quality, albeit inexperienced, front four. The secondary returns safeties Jeron Johnson and George Iloka and corners Brandyn Thompson and Kyle Wilson. On the other side of the ball the strength is on the offensive line and in the backfield. Quarterback Kellen Moore had a superb freshman campaign, throwing for 3,486 yards and 25 touchdowns. Running back Ian Johnson is gone, but Jeremy Avery is back and ready to take over the load.
Boise State's Weaknesses:
However, who is Moore going to pass the ball to this year? Jeremy Childs, Vinny Perretta and Julian Hawkins were the top three receivers a year ago and now they are all gone. Austin Pettis will step into the staring role after catching 49 passes for 567 yards and nine touchdowns. Pettis certainly has the capabilities to be the go-to-guy, but the Broncos will have to find a few more target to work with. The defense needs to find some new playmakers in the linebacker corps. Brady and Gingg were not the best linebackers to ever grace the blue turf of Bronco Stadium, but their leadership will be missed and somebody has to fill the gap.
The Bottom Line for the Broncos:
Boise State will shoot for another perfect regular season, but they have to face a good Oregon team on the first day of the season. Will the kinks be worked out by September 3 rd when the Ducks come to town? The good news is that it is a home game and the Broncos have only lost two games on the blue turf in the last ten years. If Boise State can get by Oregon, the Broncos will slowly move up the polls and be in the mix for a BCS bid as long as they can avoid any upsets.
By Joel Welser
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