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 secondary for the Broncos.
Secondary: The secondary will be a cornerstone of the Boise State defense this season, with four out of five starters returning to the mix. The returning group recorded 17 of Boise State’s 22 interceptions in 2008.
The Broncos return two starters at safety with junior Jeron Johnson (5-11, 191) and sophomore George Iloka (6-3, 191) leading the way. Johnson was named Second Team All-WAC last season after recording a team-high 98 tackles and three fumble recoveries. He also had three interceptions, seven pass breakups and 4.5 tackles for loss.
Iloka played in all 13 games as a freshman and finished the year fourth on the team in tackles with 63. He tied for the second-most interceptions on the team with four. He also finished the season with six pass breakups. Rounding out the group of safeties will be junior Jason Robinson (5-11, 200), who recorded 22 tackles in 13 games last year.
Sophomores Cedric Febis (6-3, 191) and Travis Stanaway (5-11, 184), and junior Winston Venable (6-0, 210) are all expected to contribute at safety as well. Febis played in seven games for Boise State last season, registering four tackles. Stanaway played in 12 games last year, primarily on special teams, and recorded 13 tackles and a pass breakup. Venable will join the Broncos this season as a transfer from Glendale Community College.
Boise State returns its top two cornerbacks from 2008 that combined for 89 tackles and nine interceptions. Senior Kyle Wilson (5-10, 185) was named First-Team All-WAC after recording 35 tackles, 26 of which were unassisted. He led the team with five interceptions and 10 pass breakups. His 15 passes defended tied for 18th best in the nation, while his five interceptions ranked second in the WAC (28th nationally).
Junior Brandyn Thompson (5-10, 180) returns as the other Bronco starting cornerback after finishing 2008 with 54 tackles. He recorded four interceptions on the season. Thompson grabbed three of his interceptions against Hawai’i, which is the second-most single game total in school history.
Sophomore Jamar Taylor (6-0, 185) and senior Garcia Day (6-1, 199) will provide depth at the corner position. Taylor played in all 13 games for the Broncos. He recorded 24 tackles, one interception and one pass breakup. Day recorded three tackles last season, playing primarily on special teams for Boise State.
| Position Previews|
| Receivers & Tight Ends|
| Offensive Line|| |
| Defensive Line|| |
| Special Teams|| April 16|