After all the idle talk and speculating, the 2008 football season is finally here. Head Coach Chris Petersen leads his Boise State team against Idaho State tonight in Bronco Stadium. Here is a brief look at the Bengals.
avoid what happened to Michigan
of the Big Ten Conference last season, namely the early season upset to a Football
Championship Subdivision team?
was no Appalachian State, suffering through a 3-8 season last year in his inaugural
season in Pocatello.Still, the Big Sky Conference is the best
league in the FCS, as BoiseState
fans well know.The Broncos played in
the Big Sky Conference from 1970-1995.
Russel Hill (6-0, 200, So.) returns as the starting
quarterback for the Bengals.He hit
58.7% of his passes last fall (176-300) for 2,313 yards with 14 touchdowns and
15 interceptions.Joining him in the
backfield are former Idaho
transfer Jayson Bird and Clint Knickrehm (51 attempts for 260 yards and four
TD's).Bird ran for 859 yards his
freshman season at Idaho.
Leading receiver Eddie Thompson (83 catches for 907 yards
and six touchdowns) returns this fall for the Bengals.Jaron Taylor (32 catches for 616 yards and
three TD's) is the other wideout and Isaiah Burel (eight catches for 90 yards,
1 TD) will see plenty of action as well.Trevor Messersmith (6-3, 230, Sr.), who had 10 receptions for 67 yards
last fall, is the Bengal tight end.
The starting line consists of tackles Evan Dietrich-Smith
(6-4, 300, Sr.), a starter in 32 career games to date, and Aaron Klovis (6-6,
305, Sr.).Lance Cartwright (6-6, 305,
Jr.) and former Bronco Mitch Rudder (6-3, 290, So.) are the guards while Ryan Henry (6-3, 285, Jr.) is the center.
Defensively, IdahoState features a 4-3 defense with
Jeff Tuua (6-2, 235, So.) and Jon Tuua (6-3, 255, Sr.) at the ends.Jon had 23 tackles last season.Demetrius Amos (6-1, 300, Jr.) and Josh
Crittenden (6-3, 255, Sr.) will start at tackle.Amos had 35 stops last season including 11
for loss with two fumble recoveries.
Brad Rife was fourth on the team in tackles last season (75)
from his middle linebacker position.He
will be flanked by Phillip Arias (6-2, 215, So.) and Ryan Phipps (6-0, 225,
Sr.).Phipps led the Bengals with 116
tackles (11.5 for loss) and had four sacks last season.
quarterback Kellen Moore will be cornerbacks D.J. Clark and Kelvin Miller (6-1,
with four interceptions last season and his 10 career picks place him ninth in Bengal
history.Chris Holmesly has earned the
starting nod at safety after transferring from OrangeCoastJunior College
while Amir Owens (29 tackles last season) is the free safety.
Another JC transfer, Jarret Huk, is the new Bengal
placekicker while Jon Vanderwielen will do the punting this year for IdahoState.Kenyon Blue did a nice job returning both
punts and kickoffs last season and returns this fall.Blue averaged 21.3 yards per kickoff return
and an 11.0 punt return average with a 78-yard touchdown.
The Bengals are looking for respect in Boise.Each season brings renewed optimism and they
would love nothing more than an upset on the Blue turf.BoiseState, meanwhile, is also looking
to forget last season's late disappointment and hopes to ride their young team to an