Boise State's depth chart against New Mexico State reflects the attrition of a 13-game season. Gone are Austin Pettis and Daron Mackey. In their place are Mitch Burroughs, Hunter White, and an emo Buster Bronco.
After the jump, find out how injuries have affected the Boise State roster, discuss how BSU's offense might look on Saturday, and weigh in on how effective Doug Martin would be in a No. 1 role.
Boise State offense
Boise State defense
LT - 73 Nate Potter 6-6 293 So.
E - 98 Ryan Winterswyk 6-4 263 Jr.
94 Byron Hout 6-0 241 So.
CB 1 Kyle Wilson 5-10 186 Sr.
PK - 35 Kyle Brotzman 5-10 201 Jr.
84 Jimmy Pavel 5-9 212 Fr.
HD - 46 Michael Choate 6-0 190 Sr.
SNP - 44 Chris Roberson 6-0 222 Fr.
PR - 1 Kyle Wilson 5-10 186 Sr.
Disclaimer: Depth charts mean as much as you want them to mean. Keep in mind that things change over the course of a game week and that game situations, injuries, and performance will render some of this depth chart moot. Still, it's fun to speculate ... with hyperbole!
Who will be senior day's Bush Hamdan this year?
Last year, Hamdan started on senior day at QB and promptly put the Broncos in a 7-0 hole with a pick-six. What will Coach Pete do for an encore this season? I'm going with a Michael Choate fumblerooski on a fly sweep or a Garcia Day blown coverage TD. Why isn't Vegas on top of this?
Mitch Burroughs as starting wide receiver? BAD WORDS!
Here is some food for thought: Is the falloff greater at any other position on the Boise State football team than it is between Austin Pettis and Mitch Burroughs? You have possibly the best player on the team backed up by one of the most frustrating and most inconsistent. Who would even come in second place?
I'm glad you asked.
- Kellen Moore - Mike Coughlin
- Kyle Wilson - Garcia Day
- Titus Young - Chris Potter
- Kevin Sapien - Brenel Myers
- Jeron Johnson - Travis Stanaway
That's my Top Five. What's yours?
Percy moves to MIKE linebacker in wake of knee carnage; does this mean Derrell Acrey is a no-go?
Fallout from linebacker armageddon last week against Nevada has forced some creative thinking among the linebacker corps. JC Percy, an outside linebacker at heart, will be pressed into duty on the inside, sharing responsibilities with Hunter White. Aaron Tevis looks to receive the bulk of the playing time at outside linebacker as his backup, Tommy Smith, has yet to appear on the depth chart all season long.
A notable absence is Derrell Acrey, listed as day-to-day in Coach Pete's Monday press conference. Does Acrey's exclusion from the depth chart mean that he'll be sitting out on Saturday? Don't be surprised. With the way that White has been playing of late and with a one-dimensional offense like New Mexico State's anti-pass collective, Boise State linebackers should have an easier time defending against the Aggies than virtually any other team they've faced this year.
Your backup holder? Nobody!
The roster issue that no one is talking about because a) no one knows to talk about it and b) it's New Mexico State week is holder. Michael Choate resumes the holding duties following Austin Pettis's injury, which is only a little like Brent Guy coming back to coach Utah State because current coach Gary Andersen is on holiday.
Choate was the kicking game's scapegoat early on in the year as his holding left a lot to be desired. But three months later, you have to wonder: Was it all his fault?
Brotzman has proven to be shakier than anyone thought with his FG tries. Snapper Chris Roberson has steadily improved week in and week out following an iffy start. There is hope that Choate as holder won't be the special teams Achille's heel that it could be. After all, Choate did fine in emergency duty last week on extra points and field goals.
Just don't let Choate run the two-point conversion play. Troy Oppie will not allow it.
Broncos barely capable of 5-WR sets; what kind of offense will we see?
With Austin Pettis and Tyler Shoemaker on the shelf, the Bronco receiving corps is short on depth and long on freshmen. How queasy would you have felt if the opening day WR roster went Burroughs, Titus Young, and Kirby Moore with major doses of Choate and Chris Potter? I would have had to start seeing a shrink.
Here's another possible problem about Saturday's game: New Mexico State plays a lot of man-to-man defense. Which Boise State receivers are good at creating separation? Titus Young, most definitely. Maybe Kirby Moore. Anyone else? Not really.
So what will the Broncos do on offense? The OBNUG community has a theory: tight ends. Well I'll go one better: tight ends and running backs. The Broncos have playmakers across the board on offense, and there are still several healthy ones at TE and RB. Don't be surprised if Boise State comes out in more two-TE sets and traditional offensive looks rather than spread formations and empty backfields. If they do go pass-happy, expect Jeremy Avery, Kyle Efaw, Tommy Gallarda, Doug Martin, and gang to be very involved.
What do you think the Broncos will do on offense?
And now a word about journalism
The Arbiter broke the story about Austin Pettis's broken leg on Saturday. The Idaho Statesman and Idaho Press-Tribune first reported the news on Monday. The Thrifty Nickel is currently waiting to confirm some sources.
The media backstory to the Pettis injury is actually quite fascinating if you are one who finds journalism politics fascinating (if you don't, jump down a couple paragraphs to actual football analysis). The Treasure Valley's two biggest newspapers both refused to cover a huge story on the most popular topic in the area. Curious, don't you think?
Even if the Statesman and Press-Tribune don't consider the Arbiter to be a credible news source (and that's an entirely different debate and one in which I would side with the Arbiter's credibility; they have an advisor and journalism training and an editorial process, which is more than most news websites have), the two papers should have at least pursued the story and acknowledged the potentially huge news.
KTVB.com did things correctly ... at first. The TV news site made mention of Pettis's potentially season-ending injury over the weekend and even credited the Arbiter. But after Coach Pete's press conference, the Arbiter mention was removed, and the story ran as if the news was brand new.
The newspapers could have mentioned the possibility of Pettis's serious injury and phoned in their sources to find out what was really up. If, as I assume, no one at Boise State was talking, a simple explanatory sentence or two would have sufficed. "Austin Pettis injured his lower leg in Boise State's win over Nevada. BSU's student newspaper is reporting a fracture; Boise State will not release official injury information until Monday's press conference." Easy, right? Guess not.
What is your take on the way the reporting went down?
Welcome back, Garrett Pendergast
After several weeks of matador training, Pendergast showed signs of dominance against the best pass rushing duo in the WAC last week. Kellen Moore was kept clean, and Pendergast was a big reason why. Looks like Michael Ames will have to hope for some second-quarter mop-up duty.
Potter or Slater: Who you got?
When Nate Potter left last week's game with an eye injury, Matt Slater stepped in and shut down Nevada's Moch and Basped. With Slater's good showing and Potter's recent string of starts, I have to ask: Which player do you prefer at left tackle?
And with Slater and Potter both kind of similar looking: Can you even tell a difference between the two?
Would Doug Martin be doing as well if he was the No. 1 running back?
There is a popular theory among Bronco fans that the team's No. 1 running back always plays worse than the No. 2 back. The theory worked with Ian Johnson (No. 1) and Jeremy Avery (No. 2) last season. It had its moments with Avery (No. 1) and D.J. Harper and Doug Martin (No. 2s) this year. Over the past several weeks, Avery has done his fair share to debunk the theory as he has put together some of his best performances in some big spots. But that's ancient history. Have you seen Doug Martin over the last 12 days?
Martin's excessively awesome production brings up an interesting question: Would he be playing so well if he were the team's No. 1 running back and Jeremy Avery were No. 2? Share your thoughts in the comments.