Last year was supposed to be a down year. It wasn't. The Boise State Broncos are now supposed to be a top-flight team once again in 2009.
This program continues to bring out blue-chip talent. Last season, the concern was at quarterback. Freshman Kellen Moore made sure to put those concerns to rest, having a standout season.
People said the defense would struggle. Wrong again. The unit gave up over 17 points just twice last year.
Going into this year, some will point to the loss of Ian Johnson. But the Broncos still bring back a team rich in talent. Moore will be better than before. And the loss of Johnson will open things up for Jeremy Avery. He's explosive and will make big plays all season — barring he stays healthy.
The team continues to roll out the weapons offensively. Wide receiver Austin Pettis, tight end Kyle Efaw and center Thomas Byrd are top-notch players in the WAC.
Defensively, this team will have a solid tandem at cornerback in Kyle Wilson and Brandyn Thompson. Jeron Johnson is a big-time safety who will make the secondary the conference's best.
BSU has an interesting schedule this year. They host Oregon to start the season on ESPN. Last year, the Broncos beat the Ducks in Eugene. Oregon's going to be a much different team this year, but having a PAC 10 program come to town is still exciting. They host Miami of Ohio, then get conference play under way, on the road at Fresno State, another ESPN affair. That game promises to be hard hitting. They go to Hawaii, they go to Tulsa, they go to Louisiana Tech. This has been a top-tier program for some time. Those are some tough tests away from the blue turf. But BSU always seems to respond.
Regardless, the Broncos will be strong. Look out for Moore. He's going to have a monster season as he enters Year 2 in the offense.