Spring Break: After their first full week of practices since the Poinsettia Bowl, the team is off this week for Spring Break. Some players chose to head out of town, while others decided to take a low-key approach and enjoy the week long break from school work and film sessions.
Top 37: It’s tough to make football postseason play, as there are only 34 bowl games available. However, it’s even tougher for a school to send it’s football team to a bowl game and it’s basketball team to a postseason tournament (NCAA, NIT, CBI, and CIT). Boise State is one of the 37 schools that were fortunate enough to send both their football and basketball teams into postseason play:
Boise, State, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Ohio State, USC, Penn State, Utah, Virginia Tech, Tulsa, UCONN, Kentucky, Clemson, Nebraska, Michigan State, South Carolina, LSU, Minnesota, Kansas, Boston College, Oregon State, Houston, Oklahoma State, Nevada, Northwestern, Missouri, Miami (Fla.), Florida State, Wisconsin, North Carolina, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Troy, Wake Forest, BYU, Arizona, and Memphis.
Unbeaten: Looking ahead to the 2009 non-conference schedule, the Broncos have to feel pretty good about their chances against the teams. They have never lost to any of the five non-conferences opponents that they are slated to play.
UC Davis: 3-0
Schedule Watch: Tomorrow, Boise State will release an updated tentative non-conference schedule for the 2009 season. There are a couple of changes that fans will find, stay tuned to BroncoSports.com for the latest. The Broncos are still waiting on the WAC and ESPN to finalize the dates and times of the conference games.
Days Off- The Broncos will practice every other day for the entire Spring. The coaches will use the days off to evaluate film and look for areas that they can improve on. Taking days off is an something that the coaches have always liked doing, so they figured why not have a day off after every practice so they can prepare more for the next practice.
Protection- The offensive line is going to be one of the most looked at positions this spring. Without a doubt, the team needs to achieve greater success with the running game, so choosing the right guys to get that ground attack rolling is an important task. Chris Petersen liked the fact of having a lot of depth at the position “...tremendous competition there, which is great for a coach. In some situations we almost have too many guys there. We need to widdle it down so we can give guys a chance to gel”.
Economy Issues- With the tough economy issues and fact that season ticket prices are increasing, the topic is on Chris Petersen’s mind. “...to truly do what we want to do, we need that Bronco Nation, and we can’t continue to do what we’ve done if we don’t’ have that backing, there’s no doubt about it. That’s what’s so awesome about being a Bronco right now, that relationship we have with the fans....This can start really to separate some programs. We believe that we have the fan base that can come back and help us because a lot of places won’t. In some ways it may separate the contenders from the pretenders, and a lot of it comes from what the people in this town are all about”.
Golden Toe- The Broncos want to keep Kyle Brotzman sharp with his field goal accuracy next season. One-way of doing that is by assigning someone else to backup punter duty for Spring practice to help keep Brotzman fresh. The two leading contenders to fill hat role are wide receiver Austin Pettis and junior college transfer Winston Venable. The only problem that may arise from having one of those two players back there is that the punts would never happen, each player would want to fake the kick every time.
New Numbers- Bronco fans will be confused when they see Tanyon Bissel out on the field next season. But if you look closer fans will see that the person in the #2 uniform is playmaker Austin Pettis. Pettis will be changing from #87 to #2.
It Begins: Spring practice begins today, as the Broncos will get twelve practices and three scrimmages. It’s been less than two months since the Broncos ended their 2008 campaign and the new season has already begun. To the student-athletes, there really is “no off-season in bronco nation”.
Senior Citizens: There are only five seniors on the 2009 roster. Led by Kyle Wilson and Richie Brockel, the Broncos will once again be one of the youngest teams in the WAC. The other three seniors are Michael Choate, Garcia Day, and Andy Silsby.
Making The Switch: Sophomore running back Doug Martin is trying to play on the other side of the ball this camp. Martin is trying his hand on the defensive side as he looks fill the nickel slot. The rest of the Bronco secondary will be a force to that will carry the team. With Kyle Wilson, Jeron Johnson, Brandyn Thompson, Jason Robinson, and George Iloka the secondary may be one of the deepest positions for the team next season. The group combined for 16 interceptions in 2008.
Powers-Outage: Ellis Powers created a new position in the Bronco defense last season, as the now departed senior earned team defensive co-MVP honors (along with Ryan Winterswyk) and first team All-WAC recognition. Powers was a safety-linebacker hybrid, blitzing off the edge, dropping into pass coverage and using his athleticism in the open field. Spring ball will give Bronco defensive coaches a chance to audition players for that role, as it has become a key staple of the defensive scheme. With the highly physical and athletic Doug Martin giving the defensive side of the ball a shot this spring, keep an eye on him in that position. Also, one to watch will be junior college transfer Winston Venable, who at 6-0 and 210 pounds could be an imposing presence at that position.
Receiving Questions: One position to keep an eye on this spring is the wide receiver. The Broncos have lost four of their top five receiving leaders with junior Austin Pettis being the leading returner. Pettis had 49 receptions for 567 yards and 9 touchdowns last season. The next leading returner is sophomore Kyle Efaw, who had 17 receptions for 262 yards last year.
Young Gun: Junior receiver Titus Young will be back on field for the first time since October of 2008. Young played in three games in the 2008 campaign, where he had ten catches and led the team with a 16.8 yards per catch average. Included was an 80 yard touchdown reception against Idaho State. Young also showed his versatility in the running game averaging 10.4 yards per carry and scoring 2 touchdowns.
Somebody’s Watching Me: Junior Ryan Winterswyk has been named to the Lombardi Award Watch List, which goes to the nation’s top down lineman or linebacker. Last season Winterswyk had a team leading 4.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss.
Practice for the Broncos goes the following:
March 9 (Mon.)
March 11 (Wed.)
March 13 (Fri.)
March 16 (Mon.)
March 18 (Wed.)
March 19 (Thur.) Scrimmage #1 (2:30 PM Bronco Stadium)
March 30 (Mon.)
April 1 (Wed.)
April 3 (Fri.)
April 6 (Mon.)
April 8 (Wed.) Scrimmage #2 (2:30 PM Bronco Stadium)
April 10 (Fri.)
April 13 (Mon.)
April 15 (Wed.)
April 17 (Fri.) Spring Game (6:00 PM Bronco Stadium)