In 2004, the Broncos ranked fourth in the nation in total offense. If they are going to achieve the same success this year, they are going to have to do so with a line that returns three starters, a fourth that split time as a starter and a redshirt freshman. As good as the offensive line was last year, there is still a lot of work to be done to repeat their success.
While most of the success of any offense is attributed to the quarterbacks, running backs or receivers, the battle between the offensive line and the defensive line is usually where the game is won or lost. To start the season in Athens, Georgia, between the hedges and against a defense that ranked 8th in total defense last year, would be a lot to ask of any offensive line. But this is no ordinary offensive line, this is Boise State.
Don't let the size of the Bronco offensive line fool you, it isn't as big as most, but it's like Hawk always says, "Bigger is not better, better is better".
Let's meet the Boise State starting offensive line:
Left Tackle - #73 – Daryn Colledge – Senior - North Pole, AK. (6'5, 307lbs.) – Returning starter and three year letterman that started all 39 of his career games at left tackle. One of the strongest Broncos in the weight room, setting school records in the power clean (438 pounds), hang clean (464 pounds), and back squat (665 pounds). Ranked 34th on the hot 100 list of the top 100 college football players in 2005, by ESPN.com… The third ranked offensive tackle and fourth ranked offensive lineman on the list. Named the 32 best pro prospect by collegefootballnews.com. named to the 2005 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List. Named to the preseason second-team All America and first-team All WAC by Athlon Sports. Backing up Daryn at left tackle will be Junior Tony Volponi (6'4, 299) from Olympia, WA.
Left Guard - #66 – Tad Miller – Sophmore - Boise, ID. (6'5, 305) – Returning Starts who started all 12 games last year as a freshman. Named preseason Second-Team All WAC by Athlon Sports. In 2004, helped the Broncos finish second in the nation in Scoring and fourth in total offense. Helped the offense set a school record with 49 rushing touchdowns. Backup up Miller will be Micah Kormylo (6'4, 290) from Meridian, ID.
Center - # 54 – Jeff Cavender – Sophmore – Elko, NV. (6'2, 290) – Returning Starter will move from right tackle where he started all 12 games last year. In 2004, helped the Broncos finish second in the nation in Scoring and fourth in total offense. Helped the offense set a school record with 49 rushing touchdowns. Backup Center is still a battle at this point. It could be either Junior Joe Weigand (6'1, 286), Olivehain, CA or Junior Jadon Dailey (5'11, 288), Phoenix, AZ. Wigand has the upper hand when it comes to experience, but has been hampered by injuries throughout his career.
Right Guard - # 64 – Pete Cavender – Sophmore – Elko, NV. (6'2, 290) – Has struggled to hold off freshman Andrew Woodruff of Victoria, British Columbia for the starting spot at right guard, where he split time as a started last year. In 2004, helped the Broncos finish second in the nation in Scoring and fourth in total offense. Helped the offense set a school record with 49 rushing touchdowns.
Right Tackle - # 79 – Ryan Clady – RS Freshman – Rialto, CA. (6'6, 315) – Ryan was so impressive during spring ball that he was elevated to the starting position at right tackle. Backup up Ryan at right tackle will be Ryan Keating (6'4, 318).
Let's meet the defensive line for Georgia:
DE - # 58 - Will Thompson - Senior, Warner Robins, Ga. (6-3, 254) Returning Starter that was granted a 6th yr. of eligibility by NCAA. Recorded 16 tackles during the regular season, including 2.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for a loss... also, 10 QB hurries. Part of a team that posted a 42-10 record from 2001-04, three straight seasons of 10 or more wins, three straight bowl victories, and three consecutive national top six finishes. Backing up Thompson at Defensive End will be Junior Ray Gant (6'2, 277) Chapel Hill, N.C.
DT - #98 - Darrius Swain - Senior - Decatur, Ga. – (6-2, 330) - Starting in this position because of the off-field problems and one game suspension of Kedric Golston. In 2004, Darrius moved to offensive line to compete at the tight guard position, but returned to defensive line during preseason camp... Recorded 15 tackles during the regular season and five quarterback pressures. Part of a team that posted a 42-10 record from 2001-04, three straight seasons of 10 or more wins, three straight bowl victories, and three consecutive national top six finishes. Backing up Darrius at Defensive Tackle will be Junior Marquis (Mudcat) Elmore (6'4, 279) Folkston, Ga.
NT - #92 - Gerald Anderson - Senior – Waycross, Ga. (6-2, 315) – Three year starter. Started all 11 games at nose tackle made 29 tackles, including 18 solo 6.5 tackles for a loss... also had nine quarterback pressures and a fumble recovery. Part of a team that posted a 42-10 record from 2001-04, three straight seasons of 10 or more wins, three straight bowl victories, and three consecutive national top six finishes. Some media publications have Gerald listed as the best pro prospect on team. Backing Gerald up is Junior, Dale Dixson, Garland, Texas (6'2, 306).
DE -#94 - Quentin Moses – Junior - Athens, Ga., (6-5, 248) Recorded 23 total tackles including 6.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for a loss. Had 3 sacks in the regular season finale against Georgia Tech. Recorded 17 qb pressures.. Recorded four tackles, one tackle-for-loss and on QB sack in Outback Bowl victory over Wisconsin... 2004 SEC Academic Honor Roll. Backup up Quentin at the Defensive End position is true Sophmore Charles Johnson, Hawkinsville, Ga. (6'2, 264).
The bulk of the Georgia defensive line is in the middle with Swain and Anderson. That is where the interior of the Bronco offensive line must use finesse to hold off the 'Dawgs. Tad Miller probably wins that matchup. The defensive ends for Georgia are quick, but they will also be going up against the strength of the Bronco line at tackle with Colledge and Clady. Boise State, with one of the top offensive lines in the country, must control the line of scrimmage to give Coach Chris Petersen flexibility in his play-calling. Unlike the matchup on the other side of the ball, this one favors the Broncos.