As a Bronco fan for 42 years I am a veteran of several "crucibles" in the evolution of the team. The last 2 are the most germane. They can be identified with a coach to give some sense of a timeline but I'm not necessarily implying that the coach was responsible for either the deficiency in or acquisition of talent.. As a start let me say the Broncos, since they became a college, have always had good qb's, wr's , rb's, and db's. The linebacking came along so long ago as to not be an issue. The 2 areas that have posed the most dificulty have been the offensive line and d-line, specifically DT.
Crucible I was about the Koetter time vaguely. We had decent o-line and DT but depth was always a problem. Koetter and Hawk were adept at devisng ways to deal with this esp on the o-line, but DT was not so amenable. We played light guys and when one of them got hurt things could change in a hurry.
Crucible I was being crossed during K and into the Hawk period.Starters were good and the backups on the o-line got progressively better. D-line improved, some depth, but again not prepossessing in terms of size and power. But the transition was occurring nonetheless although when we played So Carolina it was clearly not complete.
Crucible I reached its apogee in the Louisville game where we just wore out. But by that fall it was crossed albeit in a loss. If you watch the Georgia game dispassionately(!-is that possible) you'll notice our lines were playing well against the SEC size. We lost but not like at So Car where they just pushed us like a jr hi team. We had players but not enough of them.
Crucible II; following Fiesta I Coach Pete was asked who he wished he had back. His immeditate response:Browning the walk on DT from Lake Oswego. In Fiesta I our D-line played well but even they admitted by the end of the game "we were gassed". Our O-line played well but there were several seniors, we had no significant injuries, and we had Clady. But worms were turning and BIG ones at that.
Monday's game shows that the Crucible II has been crossed and ,like Caesar at the Rubicon, apparently irrevocably. On O-line,at the start of the season Im not sure Myers was even in the depth chart. His play alone makes the point but the play of the rest of the line furthers it. We have several redshirts at least one of whom I confidently predict WILL start next year. At DT? Coach Pete admitted after Fiesta I that DT is always a problem, and more so for the smaller schools like Boise State. Well problem (BW) solved. I'm not even going to go through the 5 or 6 we saw Monday. Grimes, Paradis and Hayes(he was second in depth before injury) will play next year. I lose count; that is something like 9. I havent mentioned DE but we have 2 fine redshirts(and Wynterswyk, McClellin, Hout and Root).
Briefly: when Southwick finally takes the field you will see NO dropoff from KM. You heard it here-and I said last year KM was the best to ever play qb at Boise State. Aaron Burks will challenge and may win #2 behind Pettis. Malcolm Johnson will make you forget Ian.
As they say, size matters; so does how deep you go.