Boise State has quickly built a reputation for having some of the best offensive lines in the country. In 2004, Boise State went undefeated, finished second in the nation in scoring (48.9 points per game), fourth in total offense (492.7 yards per game) and were ranked 14th in the country in rushing (229.8) and 20th in passing (262.8). In the past several years they have run the ball successfully against Iowa State, TCU, Oregon State, Louisville and even Georgia. Last year, the Broncos ranked 20th in the nation in fewest pass sacks allowed with 1.46 per game. Boise State will have all but one of the members of that starting line back next season. In fact, several Broncos will be playing this fall as third-year starters.
That's welcome news to new offensive line coach Sean Kugler, who comes to Boise State from the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. Kugler had the same position at Detroit for the final five games of last season, after serving as tight ends coach and assistant o-line coach for the Lions over the past five seasons. Now, he's ready to put that NFL expertise to work at Boise State.
However, the Broncos did suffer a decrease in offensive production last year and now, All-American Daryn Colledge is on to the NFL. Ryan Keating (6-4, 319, Sr.) has been on the verge of cracking the starting lineup the past two years and it appears he is the favorite to replace Colledge in the starting lineup. Paul Lucariello (6-4, 216, Fr.) is penciled in as Keating's backup.
Ryan Clady (6-6, 319, So.) drew raves in his first full season last year opposite DC, and he'll move over to the other side this year and start at left tackle for the Broncos. Clady was named to the ESPN All-America Freshman team following the '05 season. "He's a great player and one that will be a staple of this offensive line for a long time to come," said Colledge. Tony Volponi (6-4, 315, Sr.) is currently #2 on the depth chart behind Clady.
Dependable Tad Miller (6-4, 304, Jr.) continues to improve and, along with Clady, makes the left side of the line formidable. Junior Jeff Biederman (6-3, 303) provides backup. Pete Cavender (6-2, 293, Jr.) was a spot starter for Boise State last year at guard but Andrew Woodruff (6-3, 331, So.) has been making huge progress and the two will fight it out for the starting position at right guard. In the weight room, Woodruff recently broke Colledge's school record in the hang clean lifting 465 pounds. It's quite possible both will see considerable action. Pete's brother Jeff (6-2, 286, Jr.) is expected to start at center with Jadon Dailey (5-11, 285, Sr.) backing him up.
West Virginia transfer Ben Iannacchione (6-3, 305, So.) has to figure into the equation somewhere as well. This is an extremely deep area; Coach Kugler will go with the five best lineman regardless of position.
Building a good offensive line is the basic groundwork that must be done for any team to be successful. That is what the coaches at Boise State have done. They have been a close-knit unit, a factor that has led to their cohesiveness and teamwork on the field. It will be up to this year's Broncos to continue that tradition.
C--Jeff Cavender, Dailey
RG--Woodruff or Pete Cavender