Boise State predictions for ’16-17 season

Bronco Fans, I am going to take an in-depth look at Boise State’s offense and give my prediction for how I think they will fair in different categories on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. I will look at things on the offense such as turnovers, passing yards, rushing yards, etc., give you my prediction, and then an explanation for why I think what I do. I also wanted to give predictions on how I think each game this season will go for the Broncos, from the season opener at Louisiana Lafeyette to the last game in Colorado Springs against Air Force. Enjoy!

Offense

Turnovers:  Less

source: mwconnection.com

Looking back Brett Rypien had 8 interceptions last year. 6 of those 8 came in two games (3 against Utah State and 3 against New Mexico). So in the 9 other games that Brett played, he only threw the ball away twice. The Broncos also turned the ball over a baffling 8 times in that game against the Utah State aggies. So without tumultuous games like those two Boise State had last season, I feel they will better protect the football. Also in the first two games of the season, Ryan Finley turned the ball over 4 times. With Brett being a more accurate passer I believe this turnover number will be lower. If you aren’t sure how accurate Rypien is – check out this video! Jeremy McNichols is also very good at securing the football, so there are no worries about him carrying the pigskin all next season.

Passing yards last season (4032): More this season

source: foxsports.com

With Brett Rypien starting every game this season I predict Boise State will have more passing yards this upcoming season. With weapons such as Sperbeck and Chaz Anderson, as well as many rising stars there won’t be a shortage of players getting receiving yards. Having Bryan Harsin calling the plays as well, you know he will be utilizing Rypien much like he did with Kellen Moore – passing to many different targets. Last season the Broncos had 4032 passing yards, with 3353 of those coming from Brett. Expect that number to rise as Rypien gets more comfortable in the pocket and other receivers get open as defenses have to double-team Sperbeck.

Rushing yards last season (2488): Less

McNichols NIU

source: saturdayblitz.com (USA today sports)

Jeremy McNichols ran for 1337 yards last season and I see him running for about the same amount of yards this season. The one game that McNichols sat out due to injury was when the Broncos had one of their worst defeats in recent history at Utah State. Due to his absence, this forced Brett to put the ball in the air and Utah State knew this and capititalized on it (Boise State only mustered out 34 total rushing yards in the game!) – of course keep in mind that accounts for loss of yards on sacks too. Due to the importance of having McNichols balance out BSU’s offense, Harsin can’t play him too much to risk injury and will utilize him enough to win football games but he won’t be breaking any yardage records. I predict you will see his numbers go down as he is so vital and last season McNichols was almost literally our entire offense vs Washington, BYU last season (against Washington and BYU he accounted for all of the touchdowns).

Touchdowns (60): More

McNichols TD

source: wtop.com (Associated Press)

Boise State scored 16 and 24 points in their first two games. And then Brett Rypien took over, scoring more than 50 points 6 times last season. The only other game they went below 30 points was of course the infamous Utah State fluke game. With “McWeapon” and Sperbeck doing very hot with no thought of looking back, the Broncos are on their way to score more touchdowns this upcoming season behind the play-calling of Harsin and the hot hand of Brett Rypien. Red-zone efficiency will improve as well which will add to their touchdown number.

Defense

Turnovers (31): Less

source: ajc.com

It is a sad day for us Bronco fans to be parting with the ball-hawking Darian Thompson who set the Mountain West record for career interceptions (19), who will now be adding INTs to NFL quarterback’s records for the NY Giants. Not only did we lose on ball-hawk but we lost Donte Deayon as well who had an impressive 17 interceptions, who joins his teammate on the Giants. That being said, I predict BSU’s young secondary will not be getting as many INTs this upcoming season. Also in a season or two I see Boise State getting right back to it’s ball-hawking ways.

Sacks (32): Less

source: gettyimages.com

 

Losing stud Kamalei Correa to the NFL and other players like Tyler Gray, Armand Nance, and Justin Taimatuia will show up on the stat sheet when they aren’t as able to get to the opposing team’s quarterback. The Broncos had 32 total sacks in 2015. Correa and Gray led the team last season in sacks with 7 and 4 respectively. Nance had 3.5 and “JT” Taimatuia 2, both who have now graduated. These losses I believe will hit the defensive side of the ball significantly and I predict less sacks in 2016.

Losses at home: Less (none)

source: forums.oneplus.net

It goes without saying that the Broncos biggest question mark is their defense coming into the 2016-2017 season because of key players moving on. But I do believe they will improve in certain areas such as stopping the triple option, preventing another Mangum disaster, and I predict they will protect the blue this season. Losing as many games away as they did at home last season is unlike the Broncos and they will bounce back next season. Losing in back to back weeks at home hasn’t happened since 1989 according to Idaho Statesman. Let’s hope it’s another 26 years before anything like that happens again (maybe Boise State will be in a P5 conference by then).

 

2016 Game-by-Game predictions:

Protect the Blue

source: twitter (@chasebaker91)

@ Louisiana Lafayette: (W) Boise State will be very prepared for their season opener, and will win handily. Their only struggles will be working on their D-line depth, and stopping RB Elijah McGuire who ran for over 1000 yds last season.

Washington State: (W) The Broncos will be once again very prepared and it will be an offensive shootout. WSU struggled a bit in defense last season, 94th in the country allowing 423 yards a game on average. Luke Falk who was 5th in offensive yards last season (4561) will test a young secondary for BSU but the home-field advantage and Brett Rypien will be too much for the Cougars. It will be a close game nonetheless, the closest of the season.

@ Oregon State: (W) Interesting Note: The Idaho Vandals allowed 486 yards a game, and the Beavers allowed 482, only slightly better than a team that was just moved to FCS play. That being said, I don’t feel like the Broncos can slip up against a team who struggles so mightily on defense. Brett Rypien will come out firing and this game won’t be as close as the 2010 game and will be revenge for BSU losing to them in the Hawaii Bowl in 2013.

Utah State: (W) With key losses for Utah State to their defense (Vigil and Fackrell), a healthy McNichols in the backfield for Boise, and a game on the blue gives Boise State the edge they need to beat the team that gave them so many problems last season. Boise State beats the Aggies by at least two touchdowns.

@ New Mexico: (W) Brett Rypien and his offense do a much better job securing the football and have an offensive shootout similar to the 60-49 win over the Lobos in 2014. Triple option still gives secondary problems but linebackers are difference maker in helping Boise State win.

Colorado State: (W) Boise State continues winning as they put on an impressive win against the Colorado State rams at home. BSU’s biggest weakness shows itself again as the Rams pass the ball fairly effectively.

BYU: (W) After some grueling football games, BYU’s Taysom Hill is able to get some yards with his scrambling, running but ultimately it’s Mangum’s passing that is more effective against the Broncos. Boise State wins a close one by a touchdown. Defensive play is key to win.

@ Wyoming: (W) Broncos get back to their normal play and blow out Wyoming in Laramie. Defense holds Wyoming in the passing game but struggle to contain RB Brian Hill and their losses at D-line expose themselves with young players.

San Jose State: (W) McNichols and Rypien pour it on in a home game against SJSU beating them by 3+ scores.

@ Hawaii: (W) Hawaii doesn’t get blown out quite like last season but it doesn’t end much better for the Warriors as Brett Rypien and his offense blow them away. BSU’s secondary gives up more passing yds than the past two games.

UNLV: (W) Getting back on the blue, Boise State reminds UNLV they are not last year’s team as the offense embarrasses UNLV’s secondary. Bronco defense gives up a score or two.

@ Air Force: (W) Topping off the regular season, Boise State goes out with a bang beating the team who has bested them the past two years. It is a hard fought battle in Colorado Springs but despite slip-ups against the option, Boise State has too many weapons on offense to be stopped. Win by two or more scores

I know it’s crazy to predict an undefeated season but I don’t see much of a chance of Boise State losing, maybe slipping up against BYU or Washington State but they will be fighting to be the #1 G5 team and have the best chance of a major bowl game. Boise State has shown it bounces back from bad seasons with amazing seasons (the season before the 2007 Fiesta Bowl won their record was 9-4, and 8-5 the year before they beat Arizona in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl) and they will do it again.

Side note: Those on twitter predict the team with the best chance to upset the Bronco’s perfect season would be Washington State.

Poll

Prediction: 12-0 in regular season play, go to MWC championship against San Diego State and play in a major BCS bowl like the Peach Bowl. Go Broncos!

Stat source: espn.go.com, cfbstats.com

Boise State: 6 different offensive coordinators since 2010

How are all you Boise State fans doing this summer/off-season? So I am sure like all of you, I am getting anxious for the Boise State season that starts in exactly 65 days!

Boise State offensive lineman Matt Paradis warms up before facing Colorado State in the first quarter of an NCAA football game in Fort Collins, Colo., on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Former Boise State offensive lineman and Superbowl 50 champion Matt Paradis

So the Broncos have a new offensive coordinator this year, Coach Zak Hill, a different one for the 6th time in this now…the 7th year of offense play-calling turnover.

TurnoverThe different coordinators have been:

  • 2010: Bryan Harsin
  • 2011: Brent Pease
  • 2012: Robert Prince
  • 2013: Robert Prince
  • 2014: Mike Sanford
  • 2015: Eliah Drinkwitz

So it’s fair to say that Bryan Harsin isn’t very happy with the instability in play-calling, and the learning curve that comes with it every year. Players have to get used to a different style and the lack of consistency prevents them from building strong relationships and reaching a unity/harmony that would be ideal for these players. Think about this, Kellen Moore had Bryan Harsin as his offensive coordinator three of his four years he played there (his next offensive coordinator had been on the staff too) – same type of play calling, way practices were ran, and they were able to work amazingly in-sync together. Imagine how much more successful you could be in high school if you had the same teacher you had great chemistry with, teaching you all of your subjects for all four years.

Hence Coach Harsin said he will be calling the plays this season. He mentioned to the Idaho Statesman that he had been very involved in developing game plans and suggesting things to Coach Sanford and Drinkwitz in the past, but it will be him calling the shots from the field this season. I have never been more confident in a play caller.

Bryan Harsin play caller

Why am I so confident you ask? Take a look at the numbers of BSU’s offense the past few years. Even with the frequent changes the past few years, the offense has still put up large numbers and prepare for that number to increase under Harsin’s play calling.

Total yds of offense

Total pts scored

Avg pts per game

Passing ydsRushing yds

From the looks of this, things should be pretty good this year with the amount of offensive weapons that Boise State has and Harsin calling the shots. Rypien, Sperbeck, McNichols…with those 3 players returning Boise State’s offense could be one of the best in the country. Let’s hope they can secure the Mountain West and get a BCS bowl game!

Go Broncos!

Fiesta bowl champs

 

image sources: bronconationnews.com , magicvalley.com

sources: http://www.idahostatesman.com/sports/college/mountain-west/boise-state-university/bronco-beat-blog/article58335653.html

Former Recruits and Coaches Deserve More Respect

I usually write very light articles with some laughter and fun in them. But in the last week somethings I have read on Twitter really irked me. We had a commit that for what ever reason left Boise for another school. Whether it was a coaching vacancy, a possible lack of playing time, or he liked the weather better in the other city it doesn’t matter. No 18-year-old should ever have to listen to multiple 30 something year-old fans talking crap or putting him down. These are 17/18 year old kids who are making a huge decision that may impact the rest of their lives. I don’t know about everyone else but it usually takes my wife and I an hour to decide where to go on date night or even what to eat for dinner. I couldn’t even imagine what goes through these kids heads in choosing a college to attend. To make a decision on where they will spend their next four years, where they will live, where they will study, where they will play and most importantly where they will grow as adults. Most of these kids will be away from their parents for an extended for the first time. Grown adults should never belittle, humiliate or make any child feel bad for a decision. These “adults” are the same people who at 18 only decision was what high school prank to pull off. These type of people are absolutely disgusting. They will be the reason why the NCAA may in the future put stronger regulations about the recruiting process. They may feel like not allowing the athletes to commit early would save them from the unnecessary scrutiny that comes with verbal commits. I know we all see this happen ever year on our timelines and it is absolutely sickening to those of us that are grown mature people.

Same goes with coaches that move on. Most coaches have a family that need to support. They do what is in the best interest for both them and their family. Sure it’s not all about money but let’s face it money is what makes the world go around. There is no need to criticize or talk crap to the coaches that leave. I’m sure a lot of people would leave their job for one that pays a lot more money.
Be proud of the organization that you support, and support them no matter what but most of all support the human behind that prospective play or coach. They are not just someone who we watch on game days, they are a human also. So let’s all act like adults and treat these kids/coaches with respect.

From the Outside Looking In

BTN Pic

We have all heard what great moments and memories that us Boise State faithful have had but what about others? How do fans of other teams feel about the Broncos? Are we hated? Liked? Do people even know who the Boise State Broncos are?

My first interview in this series was with Chris Warner. Chris is an actor, author, and  inspirational speaker. He has been in many movies and TV shows some of which include Sin City, No Country for Old Men, Harold and Kumar, Justified and NCIS: Los Angeles. He also had the joy/burden (lol) of playing football in the great state of Texas for seven years from Pop Warner all the way through high school. We all know that when it comes to football Texas is king. Mr Warner is also a huge Texas Longhorn fan as well as a proud Texas alumni and a complete fan of the sport itself.
Perception is almost everything when it comes to college sports. Kids have to have a good perception of a school in order to want to play there and fans have to believe in the school to live and die for that school. When I asked Chris of his perception about Boise State football he replied “I feel like they are a very solid football program overall, with EXCEPTIONAL offensive prowess” He went on to bring up what everyone says about our great program, with the location and climate of Boise, ID he is amazed at the talent that BSU brings in year after year after year. The talent rolls into Boise like it were a “Power Five” program. And his thoughts about the Famous Blue Turf??  He believes that from a marketing standpoint it was an extremely genius idea but from a viewer point of view not so much. “For me, the players get “lost” in the color of the field, no matter what color uniforms they are wearing, which makes it difficult to keep track of the game.”  Chris went on to say that he has no idea why other fans would have hate for the Broncos they way they do but did note “Not matter who you are, people always talk shit when you are at the top.”

I would like to thank Mr Warner for taking the time out of his busy schedule to get together with me to answer some questions and participate in this article with me. He also has a book coming out in March “Live Bully Proof” This book is a must buy. We have spoken a little bit about bullying in the past and he has some great points of view on the issue. Check him out on Twitter at @WarnerInc

Attack The Opponent (Bowl Edition!): Northern Illinois Huskies

The matchup with NIU has been years in the making. They’re another blue collar team from a small city, built on a reputation for giant killing. The Huskies are not “The Next Boise State,” they have forged their own identity. But it’s still the MAC.

The Huskies have had the same sort of trajectory over the last few years, a big win in a big bowl game, and the same kinda disappointing season where expectations were derailed but there have been flashes of brilliance. Their best game was a loss, coming within a score of Ohio State early in the season.

They lost to a tough Bowling Green in the MAC championship, lead by a fourth string walk-on QB and a fairly strong running attack. The Huskies defense is fairly stout, but hasn’t been really tested in a while outside of that last game.

As long as Boise State isn’t the team that distraction built, this game is a slight edge on paper to the Broncos. Their offense is just more explosive, and defense slightly more stout. However, there’s been some, uh, off the field distractions in the form of some legal issues, and a couple of important people to this team (no matter how little they would’ve played) aren’t with the team in San Diego.

BettyWhiteGlare_zps341f3c4f

Good work, gentlemen. Betty White disapproves.

However, maybe these guys have learned how to focus down, have healed up, and are going to come out and put on a show. NIU has one of their scholarship QB’s back, and both teams are more than capable of scoring points both on the ground and through the air. They’ve got a rather impressive run game, so expect them to pop off for at least a few long runs. The real battle here is going to be on the lines though. Boise’s defensive line should cause havoc on a young QB, but theirs should technically do the same to Ryp. So who knows.

step-brothers-o

We should prepare for the eventuality that this is the result and we have a 10-7 battle of the turnovers or something.

Either way, this game is going to be close enough to make both fan bases very uncomfortable, and might finally settle that question of who is the next Boise State (hint: It’s the team wearing Blue and Orange) to those on the other side of the country. NIU is a respectable program and will be a good matchup as both teams that didn’t quite live up to the lofty expectations that some of us had on them at the start of the season.

All of this is okay. Because 2016 is quickly approaching and while there are all of the questions right now and none of the answers going into next season, this game will give some young guys valuable experience, up to and including everybody on the coaching staff. The more they learn, the more dangerous they are.

Happy holidays, and Go Broncos!