Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Boise State Broncos season with what you need to know.
2018 Record: 10-3 overall, 7-1 in Mountain West
Head Coach: Bryan Harsin, 6th year, 52-15
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE BOISE STATE OFFENSE
– It’s Boise State, so there are always replacements, but even for the Mountain West powerhouse it’ll be hard to replace a veteran starting quarterback as good as Brett Rypien, a do-it-all back in Alexander Mattison, and replace the top two receivers. The O averaged 460 yards and 35 points per game, but …
– Who’s the quarterback? It wasn’t settled in the spring, but sophomore Chase Cord has the inside track – sort of. He only completed 6-of-9 passes last season for 67 yards with a touchdown and a pick, but that qualifies for experience among these QBs. The problem? He’s coming off a torn ACL, but no one else grabbed the gig by the horns when he was out.
Jaylon Henderson came in from the JUCO ranks last year after starting out at UTSA, and freshman Hank Bachmeier is the star of the near future, but wait until fall camp to figure this one out.
– Boise State isn’t usually a rotation running back team – Mattison ran the ball 302 times last year – but that might be what it is early on with 216-pound junior Robert Mahone and 220-pound junior Andrew Van Buren each seeing plenty of work. They both got a little bit of time last season, but not enough to matter. Like the quarterback situation, wait for fall camp – an underclassman could grab the gig.
– Yes, there’s a ton of experience. Yes, the line has to be a whole lot better. It did a decent job generating a push for the ground game, but it was miserable in pass protection. There’s talent – left tackle Ezra Cleveland might just be the Mountain West’s best blocker – but with all five starters back, the experience has to translate into production.
– Sean Modster and AJ Richardson are gone after combining to catch 16 of the team’s 31 touchdown passes, but the receiving corps is easily the strength of the offense. CT Thomas, John Hightower, Khalil Shakir, and Akilian Butler were the next four more productive targets behind Modster and Richardson, and they’re all back.
Throw in John Bates and a deep group of tight ends, and the new starting quarterback will have more than enough weapons.