After finishing a game out of first place in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference, there isn’t much hype surrounding the Boise State program heading into the 2022 season. That could change once those who bet online take a closer look at how many experienced players return for the team.
The Broncos were 12th nationally in scoring defense during the 2021 campaign and the unit could be even better in 2022. It doesn’t hurt to have three sixth-year players to rely upon.
The issue for Boise State came on offense as the Broncos averaged 16.7 points in their three losses. There are enough playmakers to expect things to do a little better this season.
TheLas Vegas odds puts the expected regular-season win total for Boise State at nine victories. With the two non-conference games against Football Bowl Subdivision teams with a combined expected win total of 12 games, a double-digit win season is a distinct possibility.
Boise State Broncos
2021 record: 7-5
2021 conference record: 5-3
Head coach: Andy Avalos
Odds to win national title: +50000
Defense will once again be the strength for Boise State with 13 of the top 15 tacklers returning from a squad that led the Mountain West Conference in scoring defense, allowed a conference-low 12 touchdown passes and ranked third in passing defense.
There won’t be many teams with more experience on the defensive side of the ball. Four players have already recorded 100 career tackles with the Broncos.
Those who made college football picks in 2021 learned to go with the under as six of Boise State’s last seven games finished under the total. The Broncos only covered in back-to-back games twice during the 2021 campaign.
Boise State could start three sixth-year players and five fifth-year seniors on defense. The list of returnees is led by safeties JL Skinner, the leading tackler for the Broncos last season, and Tyreque Jones.
Defensive linemen Scott Matlock (seven sacks in 2021), Shane Irwin (nine sacks in the last two seasons), Isaiah Bagnah and Jackson Cravens. Other than Ezekiel Noa, there are some questions at the linebacker position.
— Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB) June 16, 2022
Not only does Boise State return players who accounted for 27 of the 28 sacks last season, but George Tarlas, who had five sacks at Weber State, transferred to join the defense.
On offense, Hank Bachmeier is going into his fourth season as Boise State’s starting quarterback. He completed 63 percent of his passes for more than 3,000 yards. He will certainly miss top receiver Khalil Shakir, who caught 192 passes over the last three seasons. Stefan Cobbs appears ready to step into the role as the No. 1 receiver.
George Holani ran for 1,014 yards and averaged 5.3 yards per carry during the 2019 season. His numbers have dipped a bit since so keeping Holani healthy is crucial
Boise State allowed 27 sacks and ranked 10th out of 12 Mountain West teams with 3.1 yards per rushing attempt last season, so the offensive line needs to be better. That group is led by John Ojukwu and Ben Dooley while Cale Beresford is a Washington State transfer.
Jonah Dalmas was 26 of 28 on field goals. Only eight Football Bowl Subdivision teams attempted more field goals than Boise State, so the Broncos would benefit by Dalmas kicking more extra points and fewer field goals this season.
With six players leaving and three players coming in, Boise State was impacted much by the transfer epidemic.
2022 Boise State Outlook
Boise State didn’t exactly put together the toughest non-conference schedule in the nation.
The Broncos open the season playing Oregon State, a New Mexico team that finished last in Boise State’s division last season, UT Martin and UTEP. A 4-0 start could very well happen before things get more challenging with games against San Diego State, Fresno State and Air Force, who combined to go 13-5 in conference play in 2021. An early November matchup with BYU could be huge.
The college football odds list Boise State as a four-point underdog in the 2022 season opener at Oregon State.
The defense dominated the spring game with three interceptions and three sacks while holding the offense to 2.1 yards per carry. Top rusher Holani didn’t play in that contest but still that is not the most encouraging sign. The offense needs to be better for the Broncos to make a run at a Mountain West title.
2022 Boise State Schedule
Sept. 3 at Oregon State
Sept. 9 at New Mexico
Sept. 17 vs UT Martin
Sept. 23 at UTEP
Sept. 30 vs San Diego State
Oct. 8 vs Fresno State
Oct. 22 at Air Force
Oct. 29 vs Colorado State
Nov. 5 vs Brigham Young
Nov. 12 at Nevada
Nov. 19 at Wyoming
Nov. 25 vs Utah State