The Boise State Broncos escaped with a win against BYU on Thursday, but the team will not achieve the success that it has grown accustomed to in recent years.
During Chris Petersen’s tenure at Boise State, the Broncos have been a perennial powerhouse despite playing in a Non-Automatic Qualifying Conference. The team has finished the season ranked 11th or higher in the AP Top 25 poll in five of the last six seasons.
But, this year will be different as the team will fail to stand out and may not even end the season as a top-25 team.
Heading into Thursday’s game against an unranked BYU team, the Broncos offense—which had been so potent under Petersen in the past—failed to make plays against the Cougars. The defense played excellently and scored the game’s only touchdown, thereby preventing a loss.
But, the offense failed to get in the end zone for the second time this season, and there are major concerns surrounding the unit. Quarterback Joe Southwick has been frustratingly ineffectual as a passer, and D.J. Harper has not been able to make a large enough impact for the Broncos offense to succeed as a one-dimensional offense.
The defense certainly deserves credit for doing everything it could against Michigan State and BYU, but when a team has an awful offense and a stout defense, it is simply ordinary.
This is not what Boise State fans expect from the team, although a rebuilding year was expected following Kellen Moore’s departure.
Going forward, the team faces a manageable schedule in the Mountain West Conference, but even 10 wins will likely not be enough for the team to have a successful season.
In the past, the Broncos have beaten ranked opponents such as Georgia in 2011 and Virginia Tech in 2010. But, the team failed to capitalize on its opportunity to defeat Michigan State and now stands little chance to finish in the top 10 of the AP poll this season.
Boise State has almost no room for error going forward as the No. 24 team in the country heading into the BYU game. A single loss would undoubtedly drop the Broncos from the top-25.
With the offensive woes the team has had, thus far, another loss is all too likely, and that will ensure that Boise State has a disappointing 2012 season.