Hey Everyone. Football season is upon us. This is the week, you guys! Yes, the week of the first game of the 2012 football campaign, and I decided to do something special. Instead of just having a normal preview, I got Boise State Blogger DarthProphet of The Blue Turf to do a preview on this site! In exchange, I did a game preview on The Blue Turf. Check it out here. Here’s the post, enjoy.
Before you all start yelling at Mr. Draper for allowing me this privilege, hear me out
Some of you may know me as the right wing nut job that has terrorized the freep for years. Some of you may know me as a huge homer for Boise State, but what you may not know is I live right here in Michigan. Metro Detroit to be exact, born in the UP, raised most of my youth in Midland, and even played some ball for H.H. Dow High. So you are probably wondering why I’m such a huge homer for Boise State and just what are my ties to the school. Well, that is a 10 page dissertation and this is more about me helping you know more about Boise State and not so much about me, but to make a long story short I’ve lived about 15 years of my life in Idaho, married a girl from Idaho and played high school ball in Idaho with the likes of Merrill Hodge coach by Dirk Koetter. Does that help? If not, here is a link that might offer more background.
Ok, now that we got that out of the way, I would like to address those of you that are going to the game about who and what Bronco Nation is and what to expect. First let’s be clear; 99% of the folks you meet from Boise are nothing like me nor the majority of sports fans you have meet in the past like Bronco fans. They are nice polite folkies people who are easy to get along with as well, many are quite knowledgeable about college football in general, which I believe is a result of all the slack they have taken from just about every fan base in the country.
Boise State and Michigan State share many things in common. Both are schools close to their state capital, both lost their best QB ever and will be starting QB’s who have never before started a game in the collegiate level, and both have returning RB’s and DB’s. But that’s about were the similarities end.
While most of MSU’s LB core is returning (and parts of their starting D line), Boise State will be starting all new starters on the line and in the LB core. In regards to the DL, you will see Michael Atkinson- a 300+ wrecking ball who has played in every game since arriving in Boise From Canada. Starting next to Bacon is another non-American straight from Holland: Junior Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe another 300+ DT.
As for DE’s, they are replacing 3 guys who are off to the NFL. It would seem like there is a massive hole there now wouldn’t it? Add in J.C transfer Demarcus Lawrence, and Samuel Ukwuachu at 6’5”, 245 pounds, you find your replacements.
Bear with me now as we finish up on the D, while Gavins and Taylor are considered two of the best cover corners in the game both expected to go on to the next level it’s just a question of what round the fact remains last year when Boise State needed them the most against TCU both were out injured, so now you know why TCU keep going for the long ball and how they put up the points to win by 1. The good news this year is Boise State fans consider this group of young athletes may be considered the best young corners Boise State has ever had. Names to watch for coming in rotation in the backfield are Donte Deayon, Chanceller James, and Bryan Douglas.
At Safety it’s lights out don’t even think about it. Between Lee Hightower and Jeremy Ione you have two of the most physical Safeties in all of college football. Hightower was the only true freshmen to get a start last year. Boise State is solid in the DB’s: they have depth, experience and top skill at every position. All that is left are the linebackers.
Here again with the departure of Hout, Tevis, Hunter White and Travis Stenaway it would appear Boise State was gutted. The only returning LB’s with quality experience are Tommy Smith and J.C. Percy. I expect both to be starters and I really don’t see much drop off from the 2 middle linebackers.
Enough with the Defense let’s get to what you all think is Boise States Achilles heel- its offense. Sure the winningest QB in college history is gone to the Lions (I feel very good about that however I will never forgive them not taking Doug Martin in the first!) and Doug Martin is gone. Boise State will ever win another game it’s over right? Wrong first Kellen was great I love Kellen Moore, but while that’s all true a bit of Boise State history is needed here, Boise State has always produced Kellen-like QB’s. Go through Boise State’s history in every era you will find their version of Kellen Moore! There are people in Bronco nation who don’t even consider Kellen Moore the best of all Boise State’s QB’s and you would be hard to argue against them.
Who will start this year at QB? My money’s on Joe Southwick, the red shirt Junior in his fourth year at Boise State and 3 years behind Kellen Moore. Joe certainly isn’t Kellen he’s a bit taller has more of a QB look to him and few lbs heavier, much more fleet of foot and has a rocket arm and the strength to throw the ball deep to those speedy receivers Kellen seemed to under throw often. I still wouldn’t count out Jimmy Laughrea who if he was enrolled at Michigan would be starting over Denard, he’s the prototypical Californian QB the kind Michigan fans fawn over, at 6’3” 210lbs massive arm and 4.5 speed I still think the red shirt freshmen scout team player of the year last year has a fair shot at starting this summer. Camp competition for the QB job is red hot. Coach Petersen has made it clear no one has separated themselves from the others and that he’s pleased with them all.
Let’s get this out of the way: running back D.J. Harper is an animal, and he has many benefits over every other running back in college: he’s already graduated playing a 6th year medical red shirt after finishing his first full year without injury. If you liked Doug Martin (trust me I have a man crush on him), you are going to love the 2013 version of D.J Harper. Don’t question his toughness because the last time he blew out his acl against Oregon State in 2010 he didn’t tell anyone and stayed in the game until half time when the medical staff noticed his limp and pulled him aside- now that’s toughness and focus! I’ve heard from offensive lineman on the team he’s killing them on the bench. He’s doing what Doug Martin displayed at the NFL combines: crushing the competition. I have every reason to believe in this young man, and I cannot possibly wait to see him on the field in East Lansing.
Probably the strongest part of this Boise State team it’s receivers core. They are experienced, they have deep speed, flexibility, and power. The Broncos have it all from TE’s like Gabe Linenah, to the speed of the Burroughs brothers to the speed and size combinations of Geraldo Boldewijn and Troy Ware to the sure hands and rout running of Kirby Moore (yes he’s Kellens younger Brother, all time Oregon state receiving leader), and Matt the Super Star Miller.
So there it is folks as short as I could make it for you yet as informative as I possibly could, that who is coming to East Lansing August 31 and if you have failed to secure your ticket well shame on you I have mine!