Spring Position Previews: Offensive Line

     Boise State heads into the 2009 football season with the unique challenge of trying to improve upon its near perfection in 2008. The Broncos fell just two points shy of finishing last year undefeated after a 17-16 loss to TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl. The Broncos ended the year 12-1, 8-0 in Western Athletic Conference action. Most importantly, however, Boise State achieved its primary goal of reclaiming the WAC title and winning its sixth conference championship in seven years.
    Head Coach Chris Petersen will try and capture his third WAC championship since taking over the program in 2006. Petersen enters his fourth season as the Broncos’ head coach. He is 35-4 with a 23-1 record against WAC Opponents.
    Boise State returns a young but experienced team in 2009, with 14 returning starters and 39 remaining lettermen on the roster. The Broncos return six starters on offense, six on defense and two on special teams.  Of those 14 returning starters, seven are under classmen and only one is a senior.
     Today's Spring preview will feature an in-depth look at the offensive line for the Broncos.

     Offensive Line: Boise State’s offensive production will once again rely heavily on the performance of its young offensive line. After losing two senior starters, Andrew Woodruff and Jon Gott, the Broncos will look to an offensive line that has six underclassmen and no seniors on it.
Fortunately for the Broncos, their offensive line may be young, but it isn’t inexperienced. Four of Boise State’s o-lineman played in at least 12 games last season. That group was part of a Bronco offense that averaged 288.5 passing yards and 152.3 rushing yards per game, while only allowing 13 sacks (fewest in the WAC).
Boise State will be anchored by junior Matt Slater (6-4, 281), who is expected to start at left tackle for the Broncos after playing in all 13 games last year. Junior Will Lawrence (6-2, 288) should compete for playing time at LT, having seen limited action last season as a backup. Sophomore Garrett Pendergast (6-4, 288) will likely fill the void at left guard after playing in three games as a backup in 2008.
Sophomore Thomas Byrd (5-11, 275) returns this season after starting all of last year at center. He will be joined on the right side of the line by junior Kevin Sapien (6-4, 275) and sophomore Nate Potter (6-6, 272). Sapien played in 12 games last season, starting most of the year at right guard. Potter also played in 12 games, starting at tackle part-time, after missing the season opener with an injury. Sophomores Cory Yiarte (6-1, 285) and Zach Waller (6-5, 277) will both be competing for playing time on the line, with Yiarte at right guard and Waller at right tackle.


 Position Previews
 Receivers & Tight Ends
 Offensive Line
 Defensive Line
 April 2
 Linebackers April 6
 Secondary April 13
 Special Teams
 April 16


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