Forget the record.
The question mark coming into this year was could Boise State replace the majority of their offense by losing Ajayi and Hedrick (around 80%, 6920 yards)
Brett Rypien and Jeremy McNichols combined for 72% of the offense (4220 yards). Keep in mind Rypien didn’t even play in the first two games and McNichols sat out the Utah State game with a concussion.
High points from this year: Boise beat Virginia on the road (only the 2nd true P5 road win) and beat Washington in their season opener on the blue.
With the regular season behind them, Rypien now has experience under his belt and has shown he can pass, a lot. He has also shown his toughness, mental and physical.
Think about this, BSU lost their starting quarterback – this season could have ended in a real bust. If Kellen Moore had gone down, no way could they have had the success they did. The team this year was also ravaged by injuries, yet they led the MWC with their offense and their rushing defense is 15th in the country. Sperbeck is 3rd in the NCAA with 1334 receiving yards and McNichols leads the NCAA with touchdowns (23). With better execution, better pass protection, and more consistent defensive play, Boise State is on the road to greatness.
And sure they have shown flaws this year, and they lost games they should have won. For the fans, players, and coaching staff it’s disappointing but at least they ended the “rebuilding” season with a winning record. I know the Broncos had lots of returning starters but what that doesn’t account for was the lack of returning leadership, especially on offense.
2015 also has turned out to be a weird year of football in general with great teams lacking consistency and losing games they shouldn’t have. Nebraska beat Michigan State who beat Ohio State?
Also keep in mind, we are not UCF or Kansas (0-12). The year before the 2006 undefeated season, they went 9-4. The year before last year’s Fiesta Bowl win they went 8-5. Sperbeck, McNichols, and Rypien will all be returning. New guys will step up. Other G5 teams will be in ashes losing their head coaches to bigger programs (Memphis, Toledo, etc…).
So chins up Bronco fans, it hasn’t been all bad. Besides there’s still a bowl game to watch this year.
But mark my words, next year Boise State will be playing in a New Years bowl.
Photo credit: @nevadahal