Boise State has been the epitome of a team under Chris Petersen, but it has its share of standouts.
The Broncos announced their presence with authority on Saturday night, handling a talented Georgia team in a road game—just another step in Boise’s seemingly never-ending quest to prove its legitimacy.
Let’s take a look at the five players who are leading the charge.
Kellen Moore is the biggest reason Boise State began this season in the top five. As the season goes on, his play will determine whether the Broncos can stay there.
Moore’s accuracy is other-worldy. He pilots his offense with unyielding perfection, distributing the ball all over the field. In Saturday’s win over Georgia, Moore connected with nine different receivers. He doesn’t take what the defense gives him, he simply spreads the ball so equally across his targets that the defense has no idea what he wants.
Moore did slip up for one interception in Week 1 but recovered to toss three touchdowns. Those touchdowns were caught by three different receivers.
Doug Martin is exactly the type of player that many people think Boise State can’t get. Powerful and explosive, he’s thunder and lightning all at once. He has the extra gear to accelerate away from defenders, though he’d rather run through them than around them. His ground game provides a perfect balance for Kellen Moore’s aerial assault.
Going into his senior season, Martin was already a darling of NFL scouts.
Martin embodies all of the under-appreciated parts of Boise State football. Everybody knows about the blue turf and the trick plays, but Martin is proof Boise can win by lining up and blowing the opposition off the ball. He proves Boise isn’t some mid-major that survives on a clever playbook and a can-do attitude.
The Broncos are a force to be reckoned with.
Just like Doug Martin.
Matt Miller came out of Helena, Mont. as a top high school recruit. It looked like he would have an immediate impact for the Broncos in 2010 until an ACL injury robbed him of the opportunity,
Now, that opportunity has been dropped right back in Miller’s lap. With former top receivers Titus Young and Austin Pettis gone to the NFL, Miller can slide into the role of Kellen Moore’s top target. He’s fully recovered from his injury and ready for step in as Boise’s big target on the outside.
Although Saturday’s win over Georgia was Miller’s first game, he already seems to have a strong rapport with Moore. Miller was the Broncos’ leading receiver in that game; look for that trend to continue throughout this season.
Kyle Efaw vaulted on the scene in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, catching punter Kyle Brotzman’s lob on the fake punt that launched Boise State’s game-winning drive. Like the rest of the Broncos, Efaw is more than just trick plays.
Efaw is a versatile tight end, just as comfortable opening holes for Doug Martin as he is catching passes from Kellen Moore. This season, he’ll be especially valuable in the passing game as one of the few holdovers from last year’s corps of top receivers.
Efaw grew up in Boise, and as a senior he’ll have a chance to lead his hometown team to a national championship.
Boise State’s defense doesn’t have many big names. The Broncos have sent more than a few defensive players on to the NFL, yet the attention remains squarely focused on the Boise offense.
Billy Winn might just change that.
Winn is a ferocious pass-rusher and run-stuffer. At 6’4” and 295 pounds, he has the size and strength to start on any defensive line in the country. His sack total dipped to just 4.5 last season, but Winn’s job as a defensive tackle is to collapse the pocket, regardless of whether or not he’s the one that actually cleans up for the sack.
This season, Winn will lead the charge for Boise State’s nameless defense. Even if the college football world doesn’t seem to notice, the NFL most certainly will.