The Boise State Broncos have really turned things on in recent weeks, which is great news for season-ending stat projections and for my all-Bronco fantasy team. And they laughed at me when I took D.J. Harper in the fourth round. Who's laughing now?
But stats aren't the only thing interesting in this week's spin around the depth chart. There is a new starting corner for the Air Force game, and it's not because the guy in front of him tore an ACL in practice. Everyone's ACLs are okay, as far as I know. From corner drama to ageism and to the Dutch, this week's depth chart has it all. Read on after the jump.
Visit the BroncoSports website for the full pdf of the depth chart. You can also find a detailed roster and, if you're really wanting to kill an hour, the team's weekly notes.
Bold = Starter
Italics = Depth chart change
Wingdings = Secret Mayan decoder message
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! asdf
Season stats on pace
The Broncos are halfway through their 12-game regular season schedule, and I am all about projecting full-season stats for Boise State's skill players when the math is easiest. All current stats have been doubled. Feel free to pencil in your own bowl game stats for the final, final numbers in the margins.
- Kellen Moore - 3,458 passing yards, 42 touchdowns, 8 interceptions
- Doug Martin - 1,244 yards and 16 touchdowns
- D.J. Harper - 476 yards and 10 touchdowns
- Tyler Shoemaker - 48 catches, 802 yards, 16 touchdowns
- Matt Miller - 56 catches, 616 yards, 6 touchdowns
- Mitch Burroughs - 60 catches, 646 yards, 2 touchdowns
- Tyrone Crawford - 9 sacks, 15 tackles for loss
- Shea McClellin - 7 sacks
- Dan Goodale - 58-for-66 on extra points, 4-for-6 on field goals
Moore's touchdown total would be a career-high. He threw for 3,800 yards last season, so he would need a pretty big bowl game to top his yardage mark. Should he get to 11 INTs, he'll have career bests in all three categories - a hat trick that no one particularly wants to see.
Martin rushed for 1,260 yards last season, so he is on pace to top his career mark should he fall forward a few times in Boise State's bowl game. I imagine he'll do a little more than that.
Quaylon-Ewing Burton loses starting job to Ebo Makinde. Explain.
Explanation: Makinde earned the start after playing well in relief of a benched Ewing-Burton last week. I would also accept "because Boise State's coaches know best."
Wrong explanation: Ewing-Burton got beat deep all the time against Colorado State. QEB got beat once on Colorado State's three deep passes. The other two times were Jamar Taylor.
Silver lining: Ewing-Burton should still see plenty of playing time as the third corner. Plus, Makinde really looked solid last week, forcing a fumble on a blitz and generally playing shutdown defense. Remember, Makinde was pushing Jerrell Gavins and Jamar Taylor for a starting spot two offseasons ago, and were it not for a chest injury in Fall Camp, he would have been the team's third corner from the get-go.
Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe returns to action. But how much action?
The T-A-T is back in the lineup and will be active for the Air Force game. And while it would be great to have him throwing his knees at the cut blocks of Air Force linemen, I wonder just how much we can expect from a player who has taken the last six weeks off. I took one week off for my honeymoon, and I couldn't do a full day's work for months.
Fortunately, there is history of Dutch extradition. Cedric Febis played sparingly against Toledo in his return, coming up with a big forced fumble and sharing time with starter Travis Stanaway. Geraldo Boldewijn returned to the lineup against Fresno State and caught two touchdowns on three receptions. He wasn't a huge part of the offense, but still.
So the projection for Tjong-A-Tjoe probably won't be much different than his typical backup role. I wouldn't expect his minutes to be that of a full-time backup (which for the D-line is about one-third of the snaps), but I do think he will be on the field for plenty of plays and make his mark at least once. I hope he has a special sack dance involving family vacations Disneyland.
Lee Hightower, freshman sensation
Boise State burned HIghtower's redshirt last week, and it promoted him to backup corner this week. At this rate, he'll be the athletic director by November.
Chase Baker may play on Saturday
Although, if I were suffering from a calf injury, I wouldn't want people diving at my legs all day long.
Thomas Byrd is a victim of ageism!
When asked for an update on Thomas Byrd, Chris Petersen reiterated that Byrd needs rest because he is "old." Old people can do things, too!
Friend of the blog Joe Kellogg still having knee troubles
Kellogg initially hurt his knee in the opener against Georgia, and it still bothers him enough that he didn't play last week against Colorado State. Chronic knee problems? Thomas Byrd's old man disease is contagious! Get the injectable Centrum Silver out.
George Iloka interception watch hits Week Seven
The preseason All-MWC safety has made plenty of impact on the Bronco defense, but he has yet to get an interception. When will he get off the schneid?
Tyrone Crawford awesome stat of the week
Crawford registered the 13.5 and 14.5 sacks of his career last Saturday, moving him into 18th place on Boise State's all-time sack list, ahead of Billy Winn. And just think: Crawford has only been here a season-and-a-half.
23 days without an ACL tear
Congratulations, everybody! Same cannot be said for another streak we had going.
Record watch, Kellen Moore edition
As is their wont, several Boise State players are on the precipice of records. Here is the latest update on their pursuit of greatness:
- Kellen Moore needs two wins to pass Colt McCoy as college football's all-time winningest quarterback. He will tie McCoy with a win against Air Force on Saturday and will pass him two weeks later (following a bye) against UNLV. Then from there on out, he's just piling on.
- Moore and Case Keenum are in a two-way TD battle for the career TD record. Both are chasing Texas Tech's Graham Harrell and his record of 134. Keenum has 124 and Moore has 120. Moore passed Timmy Chang on the all-time list last week, and Chang has got to be wondering when Boise State is going to stop sticking it to him already.
- Moore went from 17th all-time in passing yards to 12th all-time after last week's game against Colorado State. He passed Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury, UTEP's Trevor Vittatoe (eh?), Missouri's Chase Daniel, and Louisville's Chris Redman. Next up are LaTech quarterbacks Tim Rattay and Luke McCown. Moore will pass both players with 150 more passing yards.
- The NCAA record for highest single-season completion percentage is 76.6 percent by Colt McCoy. Moore is at 75.9 percent.
- The NCAA record for highest career completion percentage is 70.4 percent by Colt Brennan. Moore is at 69.3 percent.
Oh, and Doug Martin is now 200 yards away from passing Jeremy Avery for sixth on Boise State's all-time rushing list. It's not a Kellen Moore record, but I'll count it.
Boise State likes these players, so I like these players
Boise State's internal players of the week against Colorado State were running back Doug Martin and wide receiver Tyler Shoemaker (offense), defensive end Tyrone Crawford (defense), linebacker J.C. Percy (special teams), left tackle Nate Potter (lineman), and the whole offensive line (Hammer).
Rumor has it that Nate Potter will be carrying out the Hammer on behalf of the Boise State offensive line on Saturday. So nuts to you guys who had "Thomas Byrd in a motorized scooter" in the Hammer pool.
- Dallas Burroughs was returning kicks last week, either because he is now the team's first choice at kick returner or because Boise State's first kickoff return didn't come until after the Broncos had scored five touchdowns. Either way, it's not a bad strategy. In fact, that is the same strategy I take into city league flag football games: Give the ball to the fastest guy. Also, nobody showers before coming to the game.
- I can see why Boise State coaches didn't want to hold Lee Hightower back any longer. If Corey Bell is half as good, I can't wait to see him make his first big hit.
- Was it just me or did Kirby Moore look less than thrilled to be congratulated by big brother Kellen after his touchdown? First on KTVB: Kellen's marriage is driving a wedge between them.
- I saw lots of Darren Koontz and Greg Grimes last week. And was that a new tattoo or magic marker on Grimes upper arm? And is it bad that I can't tell the difference?
How do you feel about Ebo Makinde starting at corner on Saturday? Any predictions for Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe's Saturday afternoon? Is Tyrone Crawford good or is Tyrone Crawford good? Share your thoughts in the comments.