Best Boise State Offensive Player
QB Brett Rypien, Sr.
One of the best and most consistent passers in the Mountain West over the last three seasons, he’s approaching the 10,000-yard mark for his career with 60 touchdowns and 22 picks, hitting 63% of his passes.
The 6-2, 208-pounder isn’t much of a runner, but he gets the ball out of his hands in a hurry and he moves just well enough in the pocket to get by.
He missed a little bit of time last season, and rotated in and out with former QB Montell Cozart, but he caught fire late, throwing for 246 yards or more in each of the last seven games with 14 touchdown passes and three picks – but two of them kept Oregon in the game in a blowout of a Las Vegas Bowl. This year, without a true No. 1 receiver emerging – at least not yet – he’ll have to make everyone around him better. He can do that.
2. RB Alexander Mattison, Jr.
3. OT Ezra Cleveland, Soph.
4. OG John Molchon, Jr.
5. WR A.J. Richardson, Sr.
Best Boise State Defensive Player
DE Curtis Weaver, Soph.
Leighton Vander Esch might have been the star of the defense last season, but the 6-3, 266-pound Weaver was the best pass rusher. A breakthrough star of his own, the sophomore came up with 11 sacks, 33 tackles and 13 tackles for loss, along with a 55-yard scoop-and-score against Washington State.
But he’s just part of the loaded defense full of all-stars – the Broncos have at least eight players who could turn out to be the best player of the bunch. And there’s always the possibility of another Vander Esch rising up.
2. CB Tyler Horton, Sr.
3. CB/KR Avery Williams, Soph.
4. DT David Moa, Sr.
5. S Kekoa Nawahine, Jr.
Key Player To A Successful Season
WR A.J. Richardson, Sr.
The No. 2 wideout last season has to rise up and start doing far more with Cedrick Wilson done. At 6-0, 203-pound senior, he’s a solid, physical receiver who was more consistent than sensational – even with the 15-yard-per catch average, he’s not going to take the top off a D.
Smart enough to be an academic all-star, he also has the experience and talent to grow into a volume mid-range receiver. The spotlight is on.
Key Game To The Boise State Season
at Wyoming, Sept. 29
The world might be a bit more focused on the date against San Diego State a week later – it could and should be a preview of the Mountain West title game – but Wyoming is loaded, and the road date in Laramie could be a problem.
The Broncos got by 24-14 last season, but the 30-28 loss two years ago turned out to be the key to the Mountain Division season. The Cowboys won, and a loaded Boise State team couldn’t get it back in the chase for the Mountain West title. It’s the league opener, and the last thing Boise State wants is to be down early.
2017 Boise State Fun Stats
– 3rd Quarter Scoring: 69 – 4th Quarter Scoring: 126
– 4th Down Conversions: Opponents 14-of-23 (61%) – Boise State 3-of-17 (18%)
– Penalties: Boise State 82 for 700 yards – Opponents 62 for 585 yards