2009 CFN Boise State Preview
Boise State QB Kellen Moore
Boise State QB Kellen Moore
Posted Jun 4, 2009

Boise State keeps on winning tons of games, keeps on beating BCS league teams, and keeps on proving to the world that this isn't a fluke, yet it keeps getting disrespected and passed over in the discussion of the top teams. What more does the team have to do? Check out the CFN Boise State Preview.

Boise State Broncos

Preview 2009

By Pete Fiutak

2009 CFN Boise State Preview | 2009 Boise State Offense
- 2009 Boise State Defense |
2009 Boise State Depth Chart
- 2008 BSU Preview | 2007 BSU Preview | 2006 BSU Preview

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Head coach: Chris Petersen
4th year: 34-4
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 220, Def. 17 ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 17
Ten Best BSU Players
CB Kyle Wilson, Sr.
2. QB Kellen Moore, Soph.
3. DE Ryan Winterswyk, Jr.
4. RB Jeremy Avery, Jr.
5. FS Jeron Johnson, Jr.
6. P/PK Kyle Brotzman, Jr.
7. CB Brandyn Thompson, Jr.
8. WR Austin Pettis, Jr.
9. WR Titus Young, Jr.
10. FB Richie Brockel, Sr.

2009 Schedule
CFN Prediction
: 10-2
2009 Record:

9/3 Oregon
9/12 Miami Univ.
9/18 at Fresno State
9/26 at Bowling Green
10/3 UC Davis
10/14 at Tulsa
10/24 at Hawaii
10/31 San Jose State
11/6 at Louisiana Tech
11/14 Idaho
11/20 at Utah State
11/27 Nevada
12/5 New Mexico St

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2008 Record:

8/30 Idaho State W 49-7
9/13 Bo. Green W 20-7
9/20 at Oregon W 37-32
10/1 La Tech W 38-3
10/11 at Southern Miss W 24-7
10/17 Hawaii W 27-7
10/24 at San Jose St W 33-16
11/1 at NMSU W 49-0
11/8 Utah State W 49-14
11/15 at Idaho W 45-10
11/22 at Nevada W 41-34
11/28 Fresno St W 61-10
Poinsettia Bowl
12/23 TCU L 17-16

After ten years, 108 wins, three unbeaten regular seasons in the last five, and the 2007 Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma still seeming fresh two years later, you'd think the college football world would have Boise State football figured out by now. You'd think the program would start to get the benefit of the doubt after being a model of consistency, with the high level of production continuing on through three head coaches. You'd think that someone, somewhere would've given the program an honest look at an at-large BCS slot after going unbeaten. But the reality is that there's still a general lack of respect for Boise State football, and it's not going to change.

The numbers continue to be astounding. Boise State has the nation's best home-field record over the last ten years going 64-2 (more on that in a moment), it has the nation's highest winning percentage over the last decade, it has the eighth highest winning percentage in the history of any college football program, has been the nation's highest scoring team since 2000, and has the nation's best conference winning percentage (93%, 70-5) by far. Will any of this history matter to the pollsters come BCS time? Not really.

Yes, there's been a tremendous upgrade in talent level since the astonishing run began. No, the place isn't exactly a factory for NFL talent, even though Ryan Clady might be able to start working on his Hall of Fame speech. Since 2000, just 12 Broncos have been drafted, with none being taken in the 2009 Draft, and with just three going earlier than the fifth round.

Yes, Boise State fans are sick to death of being thought of as a little guy, and woe to anyone who dares to continue to call this a scrappy team. Worse yet, try to refer to the program as a cute story. No, Boise State wouldn't have anywhere near this level of success in a BCS league if it had to play non-WAC teams week in and week out.

Yes, Boise State is starting to generate enough recognition to be put in the top 20 on brand-name. No, the people in those polls don't know who Kellen Moore is.

Yes, Boise State deserved to be in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl instead of Ohio State. No, the Broncos still won't get the nod for an at-large spot in the BCS this year over a bigger-name program, even though they'll probably go undefeated again.

Unless the men in the nails-on-a-chalkboard bad new uniforms choke, which hasn't been the program's style over the last ten years, this is a four game season. Oregon, at Fresno State, at Louisiana Tech, and Nevada.
They're not better than the Ducks, but the Broncos don't lose statement games at home. In fact, they don't lose at home, period, with the last non-bowl defeat in Boise coming against Washington State on September 8th, 2001. (Seriously, let that one sink in for a moment.) Fresno State is better, but it's Fresno State, and Nevada, as good as it is, has to play on the screaming blue turf. Louisiana Tech is likely going to be the biggest non-Oregon problem, but any team good enough to think about the BCS has to be good enough to win that game.

But that's setting the standard too high, and it's unfair. So going 11-1 with yet another WAC championship would be a disappointment? Considering the team is about a year away from being truly special (by Boise State standards), well, maybe.

There's a lot of rebuilding to be done, but there's plenty of talent ready to rise up. The defense will be fantastic with a special secondary that'll be a brick wall against all the overrated WAC passing teams. The special teams, thanks to punter/kicker Kyle Brotzman, might be the best in America, and Moore (he's the starting quarterback, pollsters) would be the front-runner for WAC Player of the Year if it wasn't for Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick. The holes, like wide receiver and linebacker, aren't going to be filled that easily, but they aren't major weakness, while the defensive line might be better despite losing three starters.

America, your job is simple. Watch the Oregon game, watch the nationally televised games against Fresno State, Tulsa, Louisiana Tech, Utah State, and Nevada, and at least know what you're talking about in the post-season debate. Of course, if Boise State loses a game, the BCS question becomes moot, but at this point, not going unbeaten would be more of a shock than another 12-0 record.  

What to watch for on offense: The line. Boise State might be great at reloading, and it appears to have done so at receiver and on the defensive front seven, or six, but the offensive line could be a different story. Starters Kevin Sapien and Nate Potter are injured, and while there are good players waiting in the wings, the front five could use as many veterans as possible going into the Oregon battle. Kellen Moore isn't a runner, Ian Johnson is gone from the backfield, and three of the top four wide receivers from last year are gone. The more time the line can provide, the better, but everyone has to be 100% and the right combination has to be found considering there are four spots that are still open, at least on the depth chart, going into the fall.

What to watch for on defense: A 4-2-5 being used more often than not. The linebackers will be more than fine, even though just one starter, Derrell Acrey, is back. The secondary gets back four starters and has a fantastic recruit in JUCO transfer Winston Venable to work as a nickelback. The defense can easily transition on the fly between alignments, but it'll be hard to keep so many talented defensive backs off the field.

The team will be far better if … the run defense comes up big in the biggest games. Boise State was only challenged in three games last year: Oregon (win), Nevada (win), and TCU (loss). Those were the three games the Bronco defense allowed the most rushing yards along with five of the nine rushing scores. More often than not, teams got behind and had to abandon the ground game, but Southern Miss was held in check even though the score never got out of hand. With the secondary the Broncos have, a perfect season might just come down to the run defense stuffing the top teams.

The Schedule: The season will be made or broken in the first three weeks with Oregon to open things up and a trip to Fresno State to open up the WAC schedule. If the Broncos can win those two, it'll be time to think BCS even though there's a run of four road games in five and five in seven. There's a trade-off with the Nevada game at home and the Louisiana Tech battle in Ruston. Talk about your frequent flier mileage, Boise goes to Louisiana Tech two weeks after going to Hawaii, and three weeks after going to Tulsa. On the plus side, the weakest part of the schedule is at the end with Idaho, Utah State and New Mexico State part of the soft finish.

Best Offensive Player: Sophomore QB Kellen Moore. He threw three interceptions against Nevada. That was it as far as his struggles in a fantastic season throwing for 3,486 yards and 25 touchdowns with ten picks spread out over the non-Nevada games. He handled the pressure well, got rid of the ball quickly, and was deadly-efficient. He won't have as good a receiving corps to work with this year, so he'll have to be even sharper. If the offseason was any indication, he will be.

Best Defensive Player:
Senior CB Kyle Wilson. Not just a dominant coverman, Wilson is one of the surest tackling corners in all of college football. He could've turned pro early, and while he would've been a key player right away, he likely would've been drafted around the fourth round. He came back to Boise with an even harder work ethic and appears to be in for an even more dominant senior season. 

Key player to a successful season: Junior OT Matt Slater. Or sophomore Garrett Pendergast, or redshirt freshman Michael Adams. If healthy, Nate Potter is the right tackle, protecting Moore's blind side. The left tackle spot is open, and there's a major battle going on for it with Slater, a 6-4, 289-pound junior, leading the way. The line needs as many steady blockers as possible, and Slater has the tools to be a good one for the next few seasons.

The season will be a success if ... Boise State goes unbeaten. Again, the bar is set unreasonably high, but for a team that makes double-digit win seasons a habit, and with the two best teams on the schedule (Oregon and Nevada) coming to Boise, anything less than 12-0 will be a downer. That's all Boise State can do. The pollsters will have to decide the rest.

Key game: Sept. 3 vs. Oregon. This is it. Beat the Ducks for a second year in a row, and it's game on for a run to a possible BCS slot. Lose, and it's home for the holidays against someone from the Mountain West.

2008 Fun Stats: 

- First half score: Boise State 270 - Opponents 76
- Sacks: Boise State 34 for 248 yards - Opponents 13 for 102 yards
- Fourth down conversions: Boise State 9-of-13 (69%) - Opponents 10-of-36 (28%)

- 2009 CFN Boise State Preview | 2009 Boise State Offense
- 2009 Boise State Defense |
2009 Boise State Depth Chart
- 2008 BSU Preview | 2007 BSU Preview | 2006 BSU Preview