2010 Boise State Preview – Offense
Boise State WR Austin Pettis
Boise State WR Austin Pettis
Posted Jun 23, 2010

CollegeFootballNews.com 2010 Preview - Boise State Bronco Offense

Boise State Broncos

Preview 2010 - Offense

- 2010 Boise State Preview | 2010 Boise State Offense
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What You Need To Know: The offense will be ultra-efficient with ten starters returning and all the stars back at the skill positions after leading the nation in scoring averaging 42.21 points per game. The line spent last year shuffling around filling in for injuries and with some new players stepping in, but it still led the nation in sacks allowed and was a rock for the ground game. It's not a huge line and there aren't many stars, but it'll be very deep and very good once the starting five is found. Skill-wise, the Broncos are silly-good with the receiving duo of Titus Young and Austin Pettis leading a deep corps of playmakers who'll average close to 13 yards per catch, while the running back trio of Jeremy Avery, Doug Martin, and D.J. Harper should combine for 2,000 yards and over 20 scores. And then there's Kellen Moore, the tremendously productive junior quarterback who'll be deep in the Heisman hunt if he can start out strong.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Kellen Moore
277-431, 3,536 yds, 39 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Jeremy Avery
209 carries, 1,151 yds, 6 TD
Receiving: Titus Young
79 catches, 1,041, yds, 10 TD

Star of the offense: Junior QB Kellen Moore
Player who has to step up and be a star: Sophomore OT Brenel Myers
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore OT Faraji Wright
Best pro prospect: Senior WR Titus Young
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Moore, 2) RB Jeremy Avery, 3) OG/OT Nate Potter
Strength of the offense: Experience, Scoring
Weakness of the offense: Good Defensive Lines, Consistent Line Combination


Projected Starter: It's time to start including junior Kellen Moore in the discussion among the best players in America. Everyone wants to talk about Boise State being a buster in the BCS and possibly the national championship, but Moore could also be a bit of a trailblazer (at least since Ty Detmer won 20 years ago) and bring the Heisman to a non-BCS team.

After setting the NCAA record for completion percentage by a freshman (69.4%), the lefty was even more magnificent last year completing 69.3% of his throws for 3,536 yards. After throwing ten picks in 2008, he threw just three last season along with 39 touchdowns (to 25 in 2008). But his great year was more than just about stats; he always seemed to generate the foot-on-the-throat drive to put teams away and came up with the scores needed to prevent any legitimate threats. At 6-0 and 186 pounds he's not big, has decent arm, and he's not all that mobile, but he's accurate and he knows how to get things moving. The Washington high school record holder for touchdown passes (173) is ultra-efficient, mistake-free, and as cool as they come. A 26-1 career record isn't bad, either.

Projected Top Reserves: There was supposed to be a bit of a fight for the starting job a few years ago and Michael Coughlin was supposed to be in the hunt, but he has been a career backup with the talent to make the offense work if thrown into the mix. The 6-5, 212-pound senior is a big, strong passer who completed 12-of-19 passes for 50 yards in his little bit of work, and while he might not be Kellen Moore, he'd put up big numbers as the starter.

A star on the scout team, redshirt freshman Joe Southwick will have to sit and wait his turn for at least another year, but the hope is for him to be ready to rock in 2012 once Moore graduates. While he's only 6-1 and 195 pounds, he's a good runner and has a strong, accurate arm.

Watch Out For … Moore to be in the Heisman hunt. Everyone will be hot on the Boise State bandwagon, and if Moore can be strong in an early win over Virginia Tech, he'll be deep in the hunt for the big individual prize.
Strength: Deadly efficiency. The Broncos finished fifth in the nation in passing efficiency and should be even better with all the parts returning. Moore has been ultra-careful in his first two years and finished second in the nation last season in passing efficiency.
Weakness: Great defenses. Moore did his job and got the wins against Oregon and TCU with efficient, effective games, but he threw for one scoring pass against the Ducks and none against the Horned Frogs. Two of his four lowest passing totals came in those two games, however, he threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns against Oregon in 2008.
Outlook: Moore will get all the time in the world, he has a loaded backfield to hand off to, and a tremendous receiving corps to work with. It's all there for another outstanding season, while Coughlin is good enough to step in and produce if needed.
Unit Rating: 8.5

Running Backs

Projected Starters: Senior Jeremy Avery isn't all that big, but he's a flash with the ball in his hands with the ability to crank out big plays whenever he has the ball in his hands. The team's leading rusher, and with a career 5.8 rushing average, he ran for 1,150 yards and six touchdowns and was deadly in WAC play with all four of his 100-yard games coming against conference foes (highlighted by a 186-yard performance against Fresno State). Great as a receiver, he also caught 23 passes for 257 yards and a touchdown. Now the 5-9, 179-pound second-team All-WAC performer should be even more dangerous as part of a rotation; he'll be fresh throughout.

First Dan Paul was a linebacker, and then a fullback, and now he's both working on the strongside behind Hunter White while also serving as part of the backfield for the offense. The 6-0, 240-pounder brings more size to the position than White, and he's a tough player who turned into a blaster of a blocker while catching four passes with three going for scores.

Projected Top Reserves: Some players seem to produce every time they get a chance to bask in the spotlight. Junior Doug Martin might have finished second on the team with 765 yards, but he scored 15 touchdowns, ran for 100 yards four times, scored four touchdowns against both Utah State and New Mexico State, and was versatile enough to average 22.25 yards per kickoff return. At 5-10 and 212 pounds, he's a compact power back who originally moved to the defensive side before last season before injuries to the offensive backfield forced him to move back. The change of mind paid off as he powered his way to 5.9 yard-per-carry average as a demoralizing sledgehammer.

5-9, 203-pound D.J. Harper was supposed to be a breakout player, but the junior suffered an ugly knee injury in the third game of the season and was lost for the year. Before getting hurt, he was on fire running for 284 yards and three scores in three games with 88 against Oregon, 89 against Miami University, and 107 against Fresno State. While it should take a while before he's fully back to normal, he was able to keep a year of eligibility. Not necessarily considered purely a speed back before, he should be able to return and show off good power on the inside until he's able to get his quickness back.

Watch Out For … several of the young backs. Good luck finding time with a backfield of Avery, Harper, and Martin in place, but the Broncos are stocked with running back prospects, along with a veteran backup in senior Jarvis Hodge, who'll get their chances in blowouts to show what they can do.
Strength: Returning production. In Avery, Martin and Harper, the top three backs from last year, 2,200 of the 2,606 yards gained and 24 of the 30 rushing touchdowns are back. The trio can work in a rotation to keep everyone fresh.
Weakness: The passing game … and that's not really a weakness. The stats would be through the roof if the passing attack wasn't so good, but the running game should be able to crank out at least 2,000 yards again and should blow past 2,500 with a little luck.
Outlook: Speed, experience, power, depth … the Broncos are loaded. With a tremendous offensive line paving the way and a good passing game to take the heat off, the backs should combine to average more than five yards per carry and should average close to 200 yards per game. However, the backs have to show they can produce against good defenses after being shut down by TCU and held to 164 yards by Oregon.
Unit Rating: 8


Projected Starters: Senior Austin Pettis needed to come up with a big year as one of the team's lone veteran targets, and he responded by catching 63 passes for 855 yards and 14 touchdowns as a first-team All-WAC performer. Unstoppable by anything other than an ankle injury that cost him the final two games of the regular season, and limited him to one catch for five yards in the Fiesta Bowl, he had four 100-yard games and destroyed Idaho with eight catches for 123 yards and four scores. At 6-3 and 197 pounds he has good size, excellent quickness, and a nose for the goal line when he gets a chance to make the big play. While not necessarily a field stretcher, he can be used on the deep ball from time to time.

Back at the outside X position is senior Titus Young , a 5-11, 168-pound speedster who earned first-team All-WAC honors as both a receiver and a kick returner. Not only did he lead the team with 79 catches for 1,041 yards and ten scores, but he averaged a whopping 26.9 yards per kickoff return with two scores. His suspension issues of 2008 well in the past, he's one of the WAC's most electrifying playmakers and will get the ball as a runner, receiver, and a returner once again while also serving as the team's most dangerous deep threat.

6-5, 254-pound senior Tommy Gallarda might be the main starting tight end, but he's the blocker. However, four of his nine catches went for touchdowns and one out of every three career grabs has gone for a score. A star high school defensive end, he brings that kind of toughness to the offense and he's just now growing into a decent receiver.

Projected Top Reserves: Sophomore Kirby Moore went from being a true freshman who was going to get garbage time work to a starter at the H position. While it took have the year to get revved up and into the offense, he finished with 21 catches for 242 yards and two scores making two grabs or more in six of the final seven games. Kirby has the ability to get open showing a special rapport with his older brother, QB Kellen Moore. And he's great after the catch. Smart and tough with good hands, he'll play a bigger role now that he knows what he's doing.

Junior Kyle Efaw might be the team's backup tight end, but he's the No. 1 receiving option in the rotation finishing third on the team with 31 catches for 444 yards and a touchdown. He'll likely always be known for being on the other end of the pass on the fake punt that turned the tide of the Fiesta Bowl. Athletic with just enough toughness to be used as a blocker and a special teamer, the 6-4, 242-pounder is big, fast, and certain to be for around three catches a game.

A scout team star and a major playmaker in practices, sophomore Mitch Burroughs is good enough to see far more work coming his way after making 11 catches for 92 yards with a touchdown. A key backup who got the start against New Mexico State, the 5-9, 189-pounder is a very quick target who always gets open and is a great route runner.

Junior Tyler Shoemaker has been a nice backup on the H and can play in a variety of positions. At 6-1 and 217 pounds, he's a good-sized target with great hands and excellent route running ability. He started eight times last year making 21 catches for 345 yards and two scores finishing with a team-leading 16.4 yards per catch, and now he'll work behind Austin Pettis as well as in three and four-wide sets.

Watch Out For … Moore. He might not have the talent or the upside of Pettis or Young, but he and his brother know how to connect. He'll be a key target on big downs and he'll exploit the single coverage he'll see all season long.
Strength: Returning experience. Adding the running backs to the mix, Boise's top ten receivers from last year are back. Young and Pettis could be in the discussion of the nation's best 1-2 receiving duos.
Weakness: 2011. Who's going to replace Young and Pettis? Yeah, yeah, yeah, worry about next year 12 months from now, but if Pettis and/or Young go down, there will be some scrambling this year and some new stars have to shine this season to be ready to hit the ground running next season.
Outlook: As long as Pettis and Young are on the field, the receiving corps will be deadly. The complementary targets are going to be terrific with all the attention paid to the two stars, while the tight ends will blossom once again with both Efaw and Gallarda able to come up with big plays. They'll make Kellen Moore look great, and vice versa.
Unit Rating: 8

Offensive Line

Projected Starters: The big question going into last year was whether or not Nate Potter could be healthy after missing spring ball hurt, but he was more than fine after being out with an eye injury starting the final eight games of the year earning first-team All-WAC honors. The 6-6, 297-pound junior is a phenomenal athlete and a whale of a pass protector working at left tackle, and now he'll get a look at left guard to allow others to get on the field. Even though he's tall for a guard, he gets great leverage and is excellent into position.

If Potter stays at guard, that means sophomore Faraji Wright will get a good look at left tackle. The 6-3, 284-pounder saw a little time last year, but he's a terrific talent who could be a fixture for the next three seasons. He's very quick, very athletic, and very promising as a top pass protector.

The one major opening up front is at right tackle where undersized sophomore Brenel Myers will get a look. Originally a guard, the 6-2, 267-pounder got a few starts and was excellent against TCU's great line. While he's not going to plow over anyone, he's a polished technician who should be solid on the outside.

Back for his third year as the starter in the middle, junior Thomas Byrd is a strong leader who plays bigger than his 5-11, 279-pound size. The former high school track star is extremely strong and is great on the move, and he rarely makes mistakes. While he might not be an all-star, he's among the WAC's most dependable centers.

6-2, 300-pound senior Will Lawrence is the team's biggest blocker and one of the better pounders for the running game. Originally a defensive lineman, the mauler from Maryland is tough, physical, and moves well for his size. He's built for right guard.

Projected Top Reserves: Looking to get back on the field is junior Garrett Pendergast , a 6-4, 274-pound tackle who started five games last year and showed how good he could become as an excellent pass blocker. He broke his ankle in bowl prep and was out this offseason. The former defensive linemen will try to get back in the mix, but he'll be brought along slowly and will likely start out the year as a backup. Junior Cory Yriarte was supposed to be the starting left guard going into last year, but he suffered a torn ACL and missed the entire season. On the plus side, the injury happened early enough that he'll be ready for this year. The main backup at both guard spots, the 6-1, 285-pound veteran backup will be a versatile enough to move around on the interior and could even play center if needed.

Sophomore Joe Kellogg got a start at center against Tulsa and was a key backup the rest of the way. Originally considered a left guard, he can move around where needed and be one of the team's bigger, stronger blockers. At 6-2 and 304 pounds, he's a large inside presence who's smart enough to not make many mistakes. After working in eight games as a key backup, 6-5, 288-pound Zach Waller will be the main backup at right tackle offering a bigger option than Brenel Meyers. With a good frame and nice feet, he's solid in pass protection but he isn't a mauler for the ground game.

Redshirt freshman Charles Leno Jr. is a tremendous talent who'll end up starting at tackle in the very near future. The 6-3, 278-pounder could've played on the defensive line at the collegiate level, but he'll push for time in the rotation on the left side. He could play on the right side if needed.

Watch Out For … Potter at left guard. Who moves an all-star left tackle to guard? With Wright and Leno available, the idea will be to put the best players on the field as possible, even if they don't necessarily fit the right spot.
Strength: Pass protection. It didn't matter who was on the field or who was playing where, the line was phenomenal at keeping the quarterbacks upright allowing a nation-fewest five sacks. The athletes are in place to expect more of the same.
Weakness: Consistent starting lineups. The coaching staff had to play around with the depth chart throughout last year to overcome injuries and a few minor problems. The results were always fantastic, but the hope will be to keep the same five players in the same five spots all year long.
Outlook: The line might not have a slew of all-stars or NFL talents, but it's one of the deepest lineups around and among the most productive. This group won't barrel over any defensive line with talent, but it'll keep everyone off the quarterback and be among the best in the nation in sacks allowed. There might be some juggling early on, but eventually there will be a set starting five that the coaching staff will stick with.
Unit Rating: 7.5

- 2010 Boise State Preview | 2010 Boise State Offense
- 2010 Boise State Defense | 2010 Boise State Depth Chart
- Boise State Previews  2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006