If Boise State fans aren’t already thinking about next football season, they should be.
Chris Petersen has built up such a prestige with the program that anything less than an undefeated regular season campaign is a disappointment. At 9-2 with not a single victory over a ranked opponent on their resume, the Broncos are currently on the outside looking in at the AP Top 25. Because of that, they won’t sniff a BCS bowl this year.
In 2013, though, Boise State will likely be relevant once again. If it competes for a perfect record, these three offensive stars, who must improve this offseason, will be the keys to its turnaround.
3. Matt Miller
Miller was the Broncos’ best receiver in 2012. That isn’t saying much, though. He’s the only returning wideout who scored multiple touchdowns this year.
Of course, for a sophomore, managing to reel in 53 receptions for 552 yards and four touchdowns is pretty impressive—even if he is a No. 1 target.
But at 6’3”, 215 pounds, Miller has the size to really wreck havoc in opposing secondaries and he must become a legitimate go-to guy for Boise State’s offense to break out of its mediocrity.
2. Jay Ajayi
As just a redshirt freshman, Ajayi proved to be more than capable of spelling D.J. Harper. The 6’0”, 222-pound monster rushed for a staggering 7.1 yards a pop on the season and racked up a total of 490 yards and four touchdowns.
With Harper scheduled to graduate, Ajayi should have the opportunity to carry the workload on the ground in 2013. He’s shown flashes of becoming the next great Broncos back. And if does indeed succeed, Boise State will be back in business next season.
1. Joe Southwick
The Broncos miss Kellen Moore.
Southwick definitely didn’t make them forget about the NFL-bound passer in his first year as a starter. The junior quarterback only threw for 2,267 yards and 15 touchdowns compared to seven interceptions. After four straight seasons in which Moore recorded at least 3,400 passing yards and 25 touchdowns, it's no surprise Southwick's numbers failed to satisfy.
If Boise State plans on winning the Big East, or whatever conference it plays in next season, the QB's stat line must be unrecognizable next season.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.