Broncos Top Six Challenges
Last year the Boise State Broncos returned to glory under first-year head coach Bryan Harsin. The team finished off the Arizona Wildcats in the Fiesta Bowl. The Treasure Valley, the state of Idaho, and Bronco Nation celebrated that the Blue was back.
The following is a list of challenges that this year's Broncos must conquer if they want to continue their post season success.
- The Pete Factor. It is official, September fourth will be a Friday night for the ages as Washington Huskie Coach Chris Peterson returns to Bronco Stadium. It will be teacher against student before a national audience. A win adds another block to the growing Harsin Empire. A loss and people will continue to wonder why Pete left BSU.
- Who is Eliah Drinkwitz and can he run the offense? Drinkwitz was the tight ends coach last year, however, filling Mark Sanford's shoes is easier said than done. Sanford's guidance was crucial in developing former BSU Quarterback Grant Hedrick. Let's not forget his gutsy play calls that turned losses into big wins. The good news is that Coach Drinkwitz has Harsin, the former QB, and OC, to lean on if needed.
- Let's not forget who will be the next Kellen Moore or Joe Southwick. Does anyone know who will be the Bronco starter this Fall? How about during Spring practice? There're lots of speculation about the usual suspects. Whoever wins the job will be one of the most inexperienced BSU starters in years. Jameis Winstons and Johny Manzels do not grow on trees. Let's hope they do at Bronco Stadium.
- Since we're opining about former college stars now in the NFL, Let's not forget the J Train. Jayi Ajayi was the Bronco offense. Despite the loss of Matt Miller, the fragility of Grant Hedrick, Ajayi was constant in the Bronco Attack. He'll now be playing on Sundays. Who will replace him on Saturdays is another big question?
- The entire coaching staff will have to beware of the possible sophomore slump. Last season will be tough to match both in wins and breaks. Losing a senior class means that new leaders will have to step up. Leadership skills develop with experience. It will be up to Harsin to lead his Broncos just as Coach Allen led him.
- Finally the fallout of the Rick Smith incident. Published reports indicate that Smith is recovering in a California Hospital. His family is considering legal actions. We all want to make sure the truth will be revealed in this case. A lawsuit will garner plenty of attention that could impact team chemistry. It's tough to focus on Fresno State when players, coaches, and others are being interviewed by lawyers and police officers.
It's a new year, a new team and the same Bronco Nation expectations. Win and win big! Those that doubt Harsin and the Broncos only have to look at recent history to know that you never count out Harsin and the Blue.