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The Broncos have some very good starters coming back in 2013. Quarterback Joe Southwick and nearly all of his receivers are back, as are a few key linemen and a backup running back in Jay Ajayi who seems like he is ready to start.
On defense, there are bigger questions marks. Cornerback is populated by a group of young players with only a moderate amount of playing time, and the defensive line is down one very good player.
When Boise State announced it had kicked starting defensive end Sam Ukwuachu off of the team for an unspecified reason, more than a few Broncos fans were disappointed. But not in Coach Petersen. Coach Pete has shown year after year that he will not compromise his standards.
Still, Ukwuachu was unbelievable last season, and he will certainly be missed.
Kharyee Marshall should be able step up for the Broncos, but with injuries in his history, it is hard to say how effective he will be long term. Sam McCaskill is a 6'3", 246-pound redshirt freshman who could also step up.
When you look up and down the Boise State roster, many of the starting spots have good players on the list. However, many of the backups are not proven, and injuries or suspensions could effect the Broncos in a big way as the season progresses.
Head coach Chris Petersen saw that same kind of trouble last season when some key players on defense went down with injuries. It hindered the things that his team wanted to do and arguably was a factor in the loss to San Diego State. Which, realistically, kept the Broncos out of the BCS.
You have to believe Coach Petersen is concerned about depth over anything else in 2013. Will he have a plan? Will backups step up when needed?
It should be a very interesting season for the Broncos.