FIVE QUESTIONS: Boise State

SUCCINCT AND TO the point, Kevin Hiatt of BroncoCountry.com recently discussed the Boise State program - key players, strengths and weaknesses on both sides of the ball and more.

1.

Name four players to watch - two on defense and two on offense - and why they are ones Oregon State fans should keep their eyes on.
OFFENSE

Everybody knows about QB Kellen Moore already so I'll give you the wide receivers.

WR Austin Pettis (pictured left) - Mr. Reliable. Down in the red zone he's the number one option.

WR Titus Young - Mr. Big Play. He's a threat to go yard anytime he touches the ball.

BF.C NOTES:

  • Senior WR Austin Pettis is the school's all-time leader in career touchdowns with 32 and is the school's third all-time leader in receptions with 167 - just 22 catches short of the school record.  On the year he has nine receptions for 161 yards and three touchdowns. With his two TD
     
  • Senior WR Titus Young has 10 catches for 178 yards and one touchdown this season while averaging 26.0 yards per kickoff return.
     
  • In just over two seasons QB Kellen Moore is already ranked among the top 10 in several Boise State individual career statistical categories - they include total offense (7,552 yards - 5th); passing yards (7,607 - 5th); pass attempts (904 - 5th); pass completions (601 - 5th); touchdown passes (69 - 4th); 200+ yards passing games (24 - T-4th); 300+ yards passing games (7 - T-3rd).

 

DEFENSE

DT Billy Winn - a big play DT who dominated Virginia Tech's offensive line until they doubled him. He's both fast and strong, and plays mean.

DE Ryan Winterswyk (pictured right) - a former walk on safety who moved to DE. (Crazy no?) He's a freak, put on roughly 45 pounds and didn't lose much speed. Strong and smart, plays run and rushes equally well.

BF.C NOTES:

  • Senior DE Ryan Winterswyk moved into a tie with John Rade (1981-82) for fifth in Boise State history for career tackles for loss as he recorded the 39th of his career against Wyoming.
     
  • The Broncos have seven sacks on the season and lead the WAC in tackles for loss with 23 TFLs for 88 yards.
     
  • The defense has given up just 107 yards rushing in two games this year.

 

 

2.

What are the strengths of the Boise State offense? What are its weaknesses?

STRENGTH: The skill positions are amongst the best in the nation.

WEAKNESS: Receiver depth. After the two starters it's a fairly large drop off.

 

BF.C NOTES:

  • The Boise State offense made its way into the school record books with its dominating performance
    at Wyoming in which the Broncos tallied 648 yards of total offense. The offensive total ranks fifth all-time in Boise State history.
     
  • A big reason for Boise State's success over the past two seasons can be attributed to the consistency of QB Kellen Moore, who currently leads the nation in career pass efficiency rating for active players. Moore's career passer rating of 159.26 is the highest of any active quarterback that has played
    in at least 15 games and attempted at least 15 passes per game.
     
  • The Bronco attack averages 515.5 yards per game (221.5 on the ground and 294.0 through the air), good for seventh in the nation, while averaging 6.97 yards per play.  The offense has lost three fumbles.

 

 

3.

What are the strengths of the Boise State defense? What are its weaknesses?

STRENGTH: Defensive line. They're big, fast, good, and deep.

WEAKNESS: Defensive back coverage. Replacing Kyle Wilson, a first round pick of the Jets, has been difficult.

 

BF.C NOTES:

  • Boise State leads the WAC in total defense giving up an average of 224.5 yards per game - good for the fifth least in the nation.
     
  • The Broncos are third in the WAC in pass defense yielding 171 yards a good.  The defense has given up three touchdowns by the pass while picking off two passes.
     
  • BSU leads the WAC in rush defense giving up just 53.5 yards a game - the second least in the nation. The Broncos have allowed just two rushing touchdowns in two games.

 

 

4.

Coming into this game where would you rank your team on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the team playing at peak performance) and why?

There's always room for improvement, but the way they won in DC against that hostile crowd and then dismantled Wyoming was impressive.

I'd say the team is at a strong 8.5-9 right now.

 

BF.C NOTES:

  • Boise State is 32-10 in home openers since becoming a four-year institution in 1968, including a stellar 9-1 record since 2000. Boise State has won eight consecutive home openers with its last loss coming in 2001 against Washington State (20-42).
     
  • Despite starting 0-2 at home against the Pac-10 prior to joining the WAC, Boise State has improved its all-time record against Pac-10 opponents to 3-2 in Bronco Stadium.  Both of Boise State's Pac-10 losses at home came at the hands of Washington State in 1998 (21-33) and 2000 (35-42).
     
  • The Broncos enter their 27th consecutive game ranked in the top-25 when they face Oregon State on Sept. 25.

 

5.

A prediction.

Boise State lost one starter and only two players that contributed last season with regularity. So, obviously, they're deep and very experienced.

The competition for playing time has been fierce and has pushed the starters to be even better than the last couple of years.

However, obviously the team goes as does Kellen. Luckily for Bronco fans, Kellen has been freakishly consistent and steady.

 

BF.C NOTES:

  • The Broncos have won 26 consecutive home games and 16 in a row overall, the second longest streak in the nation.

  • BSU has defeated five straight BCS teams.
     
  • For the second time in school history, Boise State will open its season at home with a match up where both the Broncos and their opponent are ranked. The first time Boise State hosted a home opener with both the Broncos and their opponent ranked was in 2009 when the No. 14/16 ranked Broncos beat No. 16/14 Oregon, 19-8.

 

***

 

A big thanks to Kevin for taking the time out of his busy day to answer the questions.  Please head over to BroncoCountry.com for Boise State football coverage.


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