2018 Preview: Boise State Broncos

Season outlook 

 

Over the course of his first four seasons, head coach Bryan Harsin has cemented Boise State as one of the premiere programs on the West Coast and in the nation. Last season, the Broncos finished 11-3 overall and 7-1 in the Mountain West. This season, the Broncos will be led by a senior quarterback on offense and a talented secondary and defensive line on the other side of the ball. Senior cornerback Tyler Horton (5'11, 190) and junior safety Kekoa Nawahine (6'2, 207) are the undisputed playmakers in the secondary.

Nawahine posted four double-digit tackle games for the Broncos in 2017.

Nawahine finished last season with three interceptions and six pass deflections while Horton had 11 pass deflections to go along with two picks. Both players have played more than 25 games apiece and bring a wealth of experience to the Broncos defense which projects to be one of -if not the best- in the Mountain West. Along the front seven, senior defensive tackle David Moa and sophomore Curtis Weaver (6'3, 256) combine to stop the run and get after the quarterback. Moa is the run-stuffer and Weaver, who finished with 11 sacks as a freshman, is the pass rusher. On offense, senior quarterback Brett Rypien (6'2, 202), the nephew of former Redskins Super Bowl-winning quarterback Mark Rypien, will be asked to continue his steady play.

Brett Rypien shared snaps in 2017 with former Broncos quarterback Montell Cozart.

Rypien, a three-year starter, has amassed 9,876 passing yards, 60 touchdowns and 22 interceptions while completing 62 percent of his passes. Harsin once again has a team capable of winning 10-plus games and can even dream of a darkhorse chance at the College Football Playoff if his team goes undefeated, thanks to a tough non-conference schedule.

Troy's Player to watch

55 David Moa 6'3 275 DL-Senior
Moa is the prototypical run-stuffer and the anchor of the Broncos defense. The senior defensive tackle opens lanes for the other members of the front seven to make plays. Last season, Moa finished with two sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss while being named a second-team All-Mountain West Conference selection. He hopes to return to his junior year form after an up-and-down junior campaign (https://www.idahostatesman.com/sports/college/mountain-west/boise-state-university/boise-state-football/article216096480.html).   In 2016, he recorded 8.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss. Look for Moa to continue making waves in the Mountain West and, with another strong season, he could get looks from the NFL.

Game of the season

September 29th vs. Wyoming
The  Broncos have a Week 3 matchup on the road against Oklahoma State, which figures to be their most challenging non- conference game. However, two weeks later against Wyoming in Laramie, they will play the Cowboys in a game that will have conference championship implications. Last season, the Broncos defeated Wyoming, 24-14. The Cowboys are projected to be the Broncos stiffest competition in the Mountain West mountain division. Wyoming lost star quarterback Josh Allen (2018 NFL Draft, 1st Round, 7th overall, Buffalo Bills) but return several defensive playmakers and will be poised to test Boise State at home. 

DraftNasty's Prospect Watch

8 Jabril Frazier 6'4 243 OLB-Senior

Frazier heads into his senior year with 12.5 quarterback sacks and 15.5 tackles for losses.

Frazier often has been employed at the outside linebacker/STUD position for the Broncos.  He can put his hand in the dirt or rush from a two-point stance.  An athletic defender with range, he hasn't yet established himself as a consistent force setting the edge versus offensive tackles. In addition, his pass rush variety when working from either position leaves room for improvement.  Aside from putting on added weight, he needs to finish on the quarterback with more regularity to truly get looks from NFL scouts as a potential 30-front Rush OLB prospect.

Prediction: 11-1

Boise State will handle road contests against Troy and Wyoming but  fall to Oklahoma State in Stillwater.  Other than a Week 3 loss against OSU,  Draftnasty's Troy Jefferson is predicting an 11-win season and a Mountain West Conference championship.

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