The Wait is Over: Previewing the 2022 Boise State Bronco Football Season
After months of anticipation, a long offseason, and a bitter taste in fans' mouths, the wait is finally over, and college football is back in the state of Idaho. The state has multiple colleges in the state, but most of the focus lies on currently, the only FBS program in the state, the Boise State Broncos. They are the closest thing that the state has to a professional team, and they are the pride of the state. Boise State is the only FBS program to not have a losing season since 1997. Every other program in the country has had at least one in that period. With the wait over and the season about to begin, it is time to look ahead and get ready for the 2022 Boise State football season.
Recapping the 2021 Boise State Football Season
Last year did not go the way that Boise State Bronco fans had imagined, and also not what they are accustomed to. While they continued their reign of longest streak without a losing season, they didn't live up to the expectations of the Boise State faithful. The Broncos went 7-5 a year ago, and 5-3 in the conference, their worst season since 1998. They had a new coach, first-time head coach Andy Avalos, who replaced Bryan Harsin after he left Boise to take the job at Auburn. Boise State had finished 2019 12-2 and Mountain West Champions, going 8-0 in conference place, before the 2020 COVID season saw them end their campaign 5-2, going 5-0 in conference play. Last year was rough, but the team looks to bounce back this year and get back to Boise State football form.
Who Returns for Boise State Football in 2022?
While last season may have been disappointing and breaking in a new coach, this year the team returns a ton of experience, as well as a coach in his sophomore campaign. While the leading receiver from last year, Khalil Shakir is gone, after being drafted in the fifth round of the NFL draft to the Buffalo Bills, this team returns plenty of firepower. Seven starters return on offense, including senior quarterback Hank Bachmeier. He has played a ton of football at Boise State and gives this year's team a veteran signal-caller. The leading rusher from a year ago, George Holani returns, but he will have to be better this season, after scoring only one rushing touchdown a year ago in the season opener, and then being held out of the end zone the rest of the season. Senior wide receiver, Stefon Cobbs, will be looked upon to be the go-to receiver this year after scoring five touchdowns a year ago and being second on the team in receptions.
Defensively, the Broncos should be better than a year ago, as they bring back eight returning starters, including star safety, senior JL Skinner, who lead the team in tackles a year ago. Senior defensive tackle Scott Matlock returns after leading the team a year ago in sacks, with the team's second leader in sacks, junior linebacker Isaiah Bagnah returning as well. While the offense struggled a little last year, the defense finished twelfth in the country, allowing only 19 points per game. Returning eight of those starters, most of which are upperclassmen bodes well for this year's defense.
Similar Faces in New Places
With the transfer portal becoming a huge part of recruiting over the last couple of years, Boise State has added a few new faces to an already experienced team. On offense, one of the biggest additions is Cade Beresford, who transferred from Washington State with his brother, Jack. Cade is projected to be the starting right tackle this season, and with his experience in Power 5 football, he should be a great addition. Jack redshirted his freshman year but should bring a big body to the tight-end room. On the defensive side of the ball, the Broncos add a couple of big bodies in Cortez Hogans and Deven Wright. Hogans transferred in from Snow College and is a redshirt senior defensive tackle. His experience and big frame should help the Broncos upfront this season. Wright comes to Boise from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and is a junior edge player. He can play outside linebacker or defensive end and bring a pass rush that can help Boise State pressure the quarterback this year, as well as added depth.
Looking Ahead to the 2022 Boise State Football Season
The 2022 season will kick off this Saturday night, September 3 against Oregon State in Corvallis, Oregon. Each week we will break down each game in more depth. The schedule is daunting, with a few marquee games to keep an eye on. Defending Mountain West champions, the San Diego State Aztecs, will play in Boise on Friday, September 30. A ten-win team from a year ago, the Fresno State Bulldogs will then travel to Boise the following week on Saturday, October 8. The biggest game potentially of the season, takes place the first Saturday of November, on November 5, when the Broncos take on a preseason top 25 team, BYU. Most of the tough matchups take place on the blue turf, but the opponents will be tough. The floor of this team appears to be 8-4, with a ceiling as high as 11-1. It is tough to see this team running the table with this schedule, but with the majority of the better teams being played at home, and how tough it is to beat the Broncos on the blue turf, don't be surprised if they turn this season into a magical one.
The wait is almost over. For almost nine long months, there has been a bitter taste in the mouth of Bronco fans. 7-5 was unacceptable, and this year is a redemption tour to prove that the magic has not left the Boise State program, and even though the names have changed over the years, the winning tradition continues. This team is experienced, they are hungry, and they are looking to regain their title as the best in the Mountain West, and one of, if not the best non-power 5 football programs in America. Buckle up for the ride, because college football is back, and so are the Boise State Broncos.