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Fast 40 countdown: Boise State Broncos

September 1, 2011  |  By Benjamin Miraski

Boise State Broncos

Last season: 12-1, 1st in the MRI

The good: The offense could be better than last season when the Broncos had 521 yards per game and scored 45. Kellen Moore returns and should be making another run at the Heisman Trophy. He probably has a better shot this season, as Stanford will be breaking in a new head coach and Andrew Luck will be hard pressed to repeat his performance.

Moore has the easier schedule and the better supporting cast returning in order to do his business.

Boise State will also remain tough on defense despite the losses of Winston Venable and Ryan Winterswyk. The Broncos are deep and experienced and have just two difficult games facing them.

The toughest, as always, is the first game of the season. This year it will be Georgia trying to knock Boise out of the picture, and the Bulldogs come in as one of contenders in the SEC (unlike in 2010). The game is in Atlanta, but since 2006, Boise has exactly shied away when they are put on the big stage.

The other difficult trip will be into Fresno State, which is always a difficult game. Every other top team comes to the blue turf (TCU, Air Force).

The bad: The only real question is how Boise State will deal with losing its top two all-time leading receivers. While Moore is good enough to make up for the losses with his grandmother running routes, it is an actual chink in the Bronco armor.

The game against Georgia will certainly be difficult and a tough way to begin the year. If the Broncos do lose (they are 6-1 against BCS teams since 2006, so it will be somewhat of a shocker), they avoid the "letdown" game the next week as they take one of their two byes. There will be no 0-2 start like they brought out of Virginia Tech last season.

Best name: While defensive back Ebinezer Makinde is great because he has the built in nickname of Scrooge, the winner is Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe.

Trending: Flat - There should be nothing stopping Boise State from repeating its top MRI ranking. The Broncos return almost every important piece on offense and defense and have just two difficult road games. The difference this year may be that there are some BCS teams with enough talent disparity over their schedules to rack up the necessary points and dethrone the Broncos. But if Boise wins its first game against Georgia, there is nothing left to keep it from staying in the top five all season long. Look for another run for the title from the Broncos.

   

Posted September 1, 2011 2:00 PM

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