Boise State is set to host Miami (Ohio) in its 2012 home opener. It has been two weeks since the Broncos battled Michigan State in East Lansing, and no doubt fans, coaches and players alike are ready for some more action.
The bye week will either really help the Broncos, who looked rusty on offense against Spartans. Or, it will hinder them when they play an opponent who has had a bit more game time to work out the kinks.
Either way, you know that Chris Petersen will have a solid game plan in place, and his players will be mentally ready to go.
If the Broncos can bounce back from their opening game loss and find a way to a convincing win against the RedHawks, they might very well climb back into the top 25 polls.
However, a loss could be devastating for Boise State. It could show everyone that this is a team in serious rebuild mode.
What will happen come Saturday? Well, let's look at all the data before we jump to any conclusions.
Game: Miami (Ohio) at Boise State
When: Saturday September 15, 2:00 p.m. (MST)
Where: Boise, ID
Stadium: Bronco Stadium
TV: NBC Sports Network
Radio: Bronco Radio Network, Miami Sports Network
Boise State Offense
QB: Joe Southwick, Grant Hedrick
RB: D.J. Harper, Drew Wright
FB: Dan Paul, Chandler Koch
TE: Gabe Linehan, Chandler Koch
WX: Matt Miller, Aaron Burks
WZ: Mitch Burroughs, Troy Ware
HR: Kirby Moore, Chris Potter
RT: Jake Broyles, Rees Odhiambo
RG: Michael Ames, Brenel Myers
OC: Matt Paradis, Spencer Gerke
LG: Joe Kellogg, Marcus Henry
LT: Charles Leno, Faraji Wright
DE: Demarcus Lawrence, Tyler Horn
NT: Mike Atkinson, Greg Grimes
DT: Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, Darren Koontz
DE: Sam Ukwuachu, Beau Martin
WB: J.C. Percy, Tyler Gray
MB: Tommy Smith, Blake Renaud
NB: Dextrell Simmons, Corey Bell
CB: Jamar Taylor, Ebo Makinde
CB: Jerrell Gavins, Bryan Douglas
S: Jeremy Ioane, Hazen Moss
S: Lee Hightower, Darian Thompson
P: Trevor Harman, Dan Goodale
K: Michael Frisina, Dan Goodale
KO: Trevor Harman, Dan Goodale
KR: D.J. Harper, Mitch Burroughs
PR: Chris Potter, Mitch Burroughs
LS: Chris Roberson
Miami (Ohio) RedHawks Offense
QB: Zac Dysert, Austin Boucher
RB: Jamire Westbrook, Spencer Treadwell
FR: Nick Harwell, Luke Swift
XR: Andy Cruse, David Frazier
ZR: Dawan Scott, Jimmy Turvy
TE: Dustin White, Steve Marck
RT: Josh Harvey, Trevan Brown
RG: Trevan Brown, Matt Kennedy
OC: Brad Bednar, John Anevski
LG: Marcus Matthews, Matt Kennedy
LT: Zach Lewis, Jeff Tanner
LE: Wes Williams, Bryson Albright
LT: Austin Brown, Wesley Scott
RT: Mike Johns, Mwanza Wamulumba
RE: Jason Semmes, Luke Kelly
SB: Chris Wade, Collin Boucher
MB: Jaytee Swanson, Kent Kern
WB: Pat Hinkel, Josh Dooley
CB: Chrishawn Dupuy, Trey Payne
FS: D.J. Brown, Jarrell Jones
SS: Brison Burris, Justin Bowers
HB: Dayonne Nunley, Orne Bey
P: Zac Dysert
K: Kaleb Patterson
KO: Kaleb Patterson, Mason Krysinski
KR: Brison Burris, Dawan Scott
PR: Dayonne Nunley, Nick Harwell
LS: Bryce Lehwald
What happened to the Broncos last week? In the immortal words of Allen Iverson, "practice!" Boise State had a bye week so there was practicing going on.
No doubt they were working on a few things.
Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman had an article quoting coach Petersen's thoughts about the bye week and his team.
Chris Petersen said:
It feels like it’s been forever since we’ve played. It really does. It feels to me like we still have just so many questions to get answered.
The Broncos will be looking for those answers this week against the RedHawks of Miami University.
Last week Miami (Ohio) faced the Southern Illinois Salukis and walked away with a 30-14 win.
The RedHawks were only up 14-7 at halftime and were actually out gained by the Southern Illinois offense 349 yards to 336.
However, they clearly looked like the better team.
As expected, the bulk of the Miami offense was due to the arm of their excellent quarterback, Zac Dysert. The senior has already thrown for 529 yards with a completion rating of 66.3 percent in his first two games.
He has thrown two touchdowns and two interceptions, but considering how his first game was against Ohio State, those numbers aren't all that bad.
In the end, it was the first win for the RedHawks in the year, and they are now 1-1.
This game means a lot to both teams. However, it has to be mean much more for Boise State.
The Broncos lost their opener, and it left a lot of questions for the team. For a team not used to losing big game openers, they had to face fans and critics picking apart their new quarterback, the new offensive coordinator, offensive line, defensive line and running backs.
However, any one who really watched the game or went back and watched it again could see that the Broncos played well in many areas against a very good top 10 opponent. For a squad with 15 new starters, they didn't do all that bad, all things considered.
But, you have to know that "not that bad" is not what Chris Petersen looks for.
Look for the Broncos starting quarterback Joe Southwick to play hard this week in his efforts to show that he belongs. The game will definitely mean a lot to the redshirt junior, and expect him to rebound.
This game also will mean a lot to D.J. Harper and the offensive and defensive lines. All of them have something to prove this week, and they should do just that.
Joe Southwick has to be the key player for the Broncos. Many fans are still up in the air on Southwick, and a great performance from him might silence many voices.
Not only that, but it could go a long way toward helping Southwick to gain some confidence.
Joe will need to be smart with the ball, be more aggressive, run when needed, lower his shoulder rather than slide and take advantage of red-zone opportunities.
If he is able to do all of those things, along with not turning the ball over, he is going to have a great game. You can also expect his O-line to step up and redeem themselves. It should have no problems opening holes for the running backs this week.
Once the running game is established, it will allow Southwick the tools that he needs to lead his team to victory.
Quarterback Zac Dysert is the key for Miami (Ohio). His play will dictate how far the RedHawks can take this game.
However, he is facing one of the best defensive secondaries in the nation in Boise State. The Broncos proved that against Michigan State when its secondary forced four turnovers including three interceptions.
The Broncos secondary was the biggest reason that Boise State was in a position to win that game.
To win this game, Miami quarterback Zac Dysert will need to play one of the best games of his life. He will need to be smart with the ball and not try to force anything. If he does that, he could have some success against Boise State.
However, if the defense of the Broncos is able to get pressure on him, force him out of the pocket and then contain him, he is going to have a very long day. It's out of the pocket on the run when Dysert gets a little sloppy, and with a advantageous and opportunistic defense like the Broncos have, they will make him pay for it.
The noise, the pressure and the secondary are going to be big obstacles for this RedHawk to overcome.
Boise State will win if Joe Southwick plays smart and tough—if he is able to make good decisions and utilize his running game.
If the line can open holes for Harper and others, and the short to mid range passes are working, the offense should have great success.
On defense, the Broncos will need to get some pressure on Dysert and thwart the run game. If they do that, it will put Miami into a long passing game, which Boise State is well equipped to handle.
The Broncos should be able to limit the powerful passing game of the RedHawks all day long, and that should be enough to ruin the Miami game plan.
If Boise State comes out ready to play and with the same kind of toughness and passion that it played with against Michigan State, the RedHawks probably don't stand a chance.
Miami (Ohio) has its hands full. In order for the team to win this game, it is going to have to shut down a very unhappy offense.
The Broncos offensive line is a veteran group with lots of pride. It is probably going to do all that it can to make sure that the Broncos pound the ball inside. D.J. Harper will be looking for some redemption after a less than stellar performance against the Spartans.
If the RedHawks can make the Bronco offense one-dimensional, it will help them in their quest. However, even if they stop the run, they will have to deal with a solid receiving corp that is looking to bust out.
Southwick can be dangerous when pressured as well, so even if Miami (Ohio) gets him to flush out of the pocket, they will still have to contain him.
On the other side, the RedHawks are going to have to establish some kind of run game. However, they don't have a Le'Veon Bell-type that can wear down the Broncos. The quick, agile Boise State team matches up well with the RedHawks offense in that area.
If Miami is going to succeed they will need to find a way to beat the Broncos secondary. However, that is going to be a very daunting task.
For the RedHawks to take home victory in a very loud, newly renovated Bronco Stadium, they are going to have to play an excellent game in all areas and force Boise State to make big mistakes.
You can expect Boise State to get its first win of the season on Saturday. It is hungry for it and looking for redemption.
It has the weapons to dominate this game, and the coaching staff to make sure that it happens.
The Bronco defense will be too much for the RedHawks offense. Look for Dysert to be hurried all day and sacked on occasion.
Look for the Boise State secondary to keep the talented crew of receivers that Miami has, under wraps.
Look for the Bronco offense to have success when running the ball and when opening up a short to mid level pass game that will frustrate the RedHawks.
In the end, it should be a solid day for Boise State, and the Broncos should take the game going away.
Final prediction: Boise State 38 Miami (Ohio) 21