To The Top--Offensive Line

We begin a special series to determine if the 2010 Boise State football team has the right stuff to deserve all the attention it is getting. Right off the bat, we see that the offensive line does not.

In this series of articles, we will be analyzing the current members of the Boise State football team to ascertain if they are up to the task of being the best they can be.  For the Broncos to be the top team, each individual unit must be the best.  Today, a look at the offensive line.  

The much-maligned guys up front sucked it up and got better as they progressed through last season, although they only managed one offensive touchdown against TCU in the Fiesta Bowl.  Had it not been for a pick six by cornerback Brandyn Thompson and special teams magic from punter Kyle Brotzman, Boise State would not have found the end zone the entire game.  Then, there's the first-and-goal opportunity inside the five versus UC-Davis when the Broncos could not punch it in on four running attempts.  

I'll say it right now— Boise State has zero chance of beating Alabama , Ohio State , Florida or any of the other major powers if they cannot run the ball.  If they cannot do it against UC-Davis, they won't even begin to run against the aforementioned teams and they may not be able to do it against Virginia Tech.  Yet the line that returns this fall is pretty much the same unit on the field against the unheralded UC-Davis defense.  

Boise State did improve during the year in 2009 to the point of averaging 186 yards a game (26th in the nation) but just 30 rushing touchdowns.  Those are far from what is needed to lead the nation.  The Bronco offensive line didn't drive people downfield but relied on a talented group of running backs to break tackles.  The o-line not only is not the best in the nation, they aren't even #1 in the Western Athletic Conference.  Oh, They aren't even #2.  

Nevada was the envy of the league and the country, averaging 345 yards per game and scoring 48 rushing touchdowns, a full 18 more than Boise State 's offensive line.  Fresno State was #2 in the WAC, sporting 229 yards per game on the ground.  

The starting unit right now appears to be center Thomas Byrd, guards Will Lawrence and Brenel Myers and tackles Nate Potter and Garrett Pendergast.  But when Coach Chris Petersen indicated the coaches were looking for underclassmen to win starting jobs this fall for Boise State , you can bet the first place they are looking is the offensive line.  

This would point to sophomores Joe Kellogg (6-2, 305), Bronson Durrant (6-3, 266), Michael Ames (6-4, 281) and Faraiji Wright (6-3, 284) as having the best chance to take the bull by the horns and be awarded starting positions.  Redshirt freshmen Spencer Gerke (6-3, 290) and Charles Leno (6-3, 249) and junior Cory Yriarte (6-1, 281) are others that would no doubt love to start for a team with a legitimate chance at winning a national title.  

Not every unit is going to be the best in the country, but that should be the aim.  And certainly a strong, take no prisoners offensive line that knocks opponents on their keisters is a good place to start.  

If the current Bronco linemen aren't tough enough, you can bet there are people on the sidelines that will be.   

The battle is on!

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