WHEN Thursday, Aug. 28, 8:00 p.m. EST
WHO Ole Miss vs. Boise State
ON TV ESPN
Boise State has a new coach in Bryan Harsin, but the same old mentality. That is to play with a “blue collar” mentality and win every game on the schedule. They are looking forward to a new season and a refreshed approach by coach Harsin. As much success as Coach Peterson had brought to the program, the past the last couple of seasons had ended with a stale taste in BSU fans, not quite living up to expectations. They finished 8-5 in 2013 and 11-2 the year before. Even if the expectations were a bit high, Boise State created them by upsetting Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl and countless other times almost every year sneaking into the top ten.
Though Boise State has a harder road making it to the College Playoff’s because of strength of schedule. They do have a greater chance of making it into one of the six New Year’s bowls. According to www.collegefootballplayoff.com: “The highest ranked champion of the other five Football Bowl Subdivision conferences (the American Athletic, Conference- USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt), as determined by the selection committee, will play in one of the six New Year’s bowls. Other available berths will be awarded to the teams ranked highest by the committee. The committee will assign teams to bowls. When the Fiesta, Cotton and Atlanta bowls are not hosting semifinal games, their participants will come from three sources: (1) The highest ranked champion among the five conferences listed in the paragraph above, (2) conference champions that are displaced when their contracted bowls host semifinals and (3) the remaining teams ranked highest in the committee’s rankings.”
Boise State does have a chance to make it into one of the six “money” bowls but will likely have to win out and have one or more of the “Power Five” conference teams to stumble. This is where Bryan Harsin comes in. He was a former a Boise State Offensive Coordinator before moving on to Texas as a Co-Offensive Coordinator, then finally this past year as Arkansas State’s head coach.
He went 7-5 in his lone year with the Red Wolves which received a bid for to the GoDaddy bowl. Now he is tasked with continuing the high level of success that Boise State has come a custom to. He is up for the challenge, and said his ultimate goal was to end up back at Boise State. He takes the tough task of following in Coach Peterson’s’ success, and welcomes the challenge with open arms.
Their first game is against the SEC opponent Ole Miss at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, which also happens to be the first game of the college football season. No better stage to kick off a new coaching regime than to make a statement on National TV on ESPN.
Leading the way for the Broncos this year is Doak Walker Watch List running back Jay Ajayi. He rushed for 1425 yards on 249 carries while accounting for 19 total touchdowns last year. Ajayi could be the most underrated RB in the country, and by the end of the year be mentioned in the likes of Todd Gurley (Georgia), TJ Yeldon (Alabama), and Mike Davis (South Carolina). Ajayi was also placed on The Maxwell Awards’ Watch List this year.
The team returns 5 starters on offense, 8 on defense, and 1 one special teams. Here’s a complete list of Boise State players named to preseason watch list’s:
- Paul Hornung Award – Shane Williams-Rhodes
- Maxwell Award – Jay Ajayi
- Lou Groza Award – Dan Goodale
- Thorpe Award – Donte Deayon and Jeremy Ioane
- Biletnikoff Award – Matt Miller
- Davey O’Brien Award – Grant Hedrick
- Doak Walker Award – Jay Ajayi
- Walter Camp Player of the Year – Jay Ajayi
- Polynesian College Football Player of the Year – Jeremy Ioane
Tune in to the game Thursday night, it should be an exciting game. Also look out for your Fans Favorite Fan Staff, we will be represented at the game. Featured image (photo credit: boiseweekly.com)