Final pregame thoughts on Boise State versus Nevada

Otto Kitsinger III

1. Can Boise State score enough points to keep up?

There exists the possibility that the Bronco defense holds Nevada to zero points and zero yards and a billion Chris Ault sideline tantrums, but what if this game turns into a shootout? What if it turns into a shootout, relatively speaking for the Bronco offense? Say they need to score 28 points to win. Can they do it?

The Bronco offense has seldom come up big in big spots this season, so there are two ways this can go on Saturday:

  1. The Bronco offense never gets in a big spot because they jump out to a big lead and the outcome is never in doubt.
  2. The Bronco offense finally comes up big in a big spot.

The third possibility is a loss, I guess.

2. Has Pete Kwiatkowski figured out how to stop the Pistol?

Ever since Colin Kaepernick first ran roughshod over the Boise State defense back in 2007, Nevada's Pistol offense has been a constant worry for Bronco fans.

But really, Kwiatkowski has done a stellar job gameplanning to stop the Pistol ever since. Look back at the boxscores from the past few years, and you will see that the Broncos have taken big leads against the Wolf Pack in every matchup since the KaeperBowl, only to see those big leads slowly dwindle as the game goes on. Planning for Nevada is not a problem. Making in-game adjustments is.

3. Look at who's coming back

Around this time of year, I love looking ahead to what the Boise State football team will look like next year. Why live in the present when you can live in the future? The future has flying cars, you guys!

Here is the current two-deep depth chart with seniors crossed out.

OFFENSE

  • QB: Joe Southwick, Grant Hedrick, Jimmy Laughrea
  • RB: D.J. Harper, Jay Ajayi
  • FB: Dan Paul, Connor Peters
  • X receiver: Matt Miller, Aaron Burks
  • Z receiver: Chris Potter, Dallas Burroughs
  • Slot receiver: Kirby Moore, Geraldo Boldewijn
  • TE: Chandler Koch, Holden Huff
  • LT: Charles Leno, Faraji Wright
  • LG: Joe Kellogg, Spencer Gerke
  • C: Matt Paradis, Spencer Gerke
  • RG: Michael Ames, Jake Broyles
  • RT: Brenel Myers, Rees Odhiambo

DEFENSE

  • DE: Demarcus Lawrence, Beau Martin
  • NT: Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, Greg Grimes
  • DT: Darren Koontz, Tyler Horn, Armand Nance
  • Stud end: Sam Ukwuachu, Kharyee Marshall
  • MLB: Tommy Smith, Blake Renaud
  • WLB: J.C. Percy, Tyler Gray
  • N: Dextrell Simmons, Corey Bell OR Jonathan Brown
  • CB: Jamar Taylor, Ebo Makinde
  • CB: Jerrell Gavins, Donte Deayon, Deon'tae Florence
  • S: Jeremy Ioane, Hazen Moss
  • S: Darian Thompson, Dillon Lukehart

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • K: Michael Frisina, Dan Goodale
  • P: Trevor Harman, Dan Goodale
  • KO: Trevor Harman, Dan Goodale
  • Holder: Matt Miller, Joe Southwick
  • KR: D.J. Harper, Dallas Burroughs
  • PR: Chris Potter
  • Snapper: Chris Roberson, Kevin Keane

I feel much better about the outlook for 2013 than I did for 2012. In a lot of ways, this year has been a transition from the old guard to the new guard, and I would say that the new guard completely takes over beginning next season. Does that mean a new quarterback, too? I totally just went there!

4. Holden Huff may be my new favorite player

In my Madden video game franchise, I currently have five tight ends on my roster, all of whom are first-round picks and none of whom I regret picking. I am the Matt Millen of tight end roster management.

So you could say I have a thing for the tight end position. That puts budding star Holden Huff on my short list for favorite player next year. Sorry, Gabe Linehan. You snooze, you lose.

5. How much does a conference championship really matter?

There are few things on the line Saturday other than Boise State sharing a MW conference title and getting cosmic revenge for the Reno events of 2010. Cosmic revenge I know is important. But that conference championship? Meh.

You may feel differently, but winning the Mountain West just doesn't seem all that valuable to me this season. It won't get the Broncos into a better bowl. It won't get them into the college football playoff I wish existed. It might look good on a resume and on a trophy shelf, but that's it.

I'm glad that the Broncos place such a premium on winning one every season (otherwise Boise State would be treading Pat Hill waters), but after a long, strange season of hovering between okay and great, I find the whole MW championship chase a little meaningless.

But that cosmic revenge thing? I am totally behind that. Make 'em pay, Broncos. And, sure, win a conference championship while you're at it.

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