Boise State’s Offense

Here’s a look at the Boise State offense courtesy of

Money quote:
The Broncos haven’t faltered often the past four years, but when they do, it is usually to a major non-conference opponent (Louisville, Oregon State, Arkansas, etc.) where there’s simply too much of a talent differential to overcome with schemes and trickery.

This was obviously the main sticking point we had in picking Boise over Georgia on September 3. In other words, does Georgia have enough talent to overcome Boise’s superior scheme? Clearly, teams in the past have been able to do it. Shouldn’t Georgia?

There were three things that brought us into the Boise camp.

1. Boise slammed Oregon State last year. The Beavers are a decently talented team that played toe-to-toe with a talented team like LSU the week before. This game seemed to indicate that Boise had gotten over that hump a bit.

2. Boise, despite admittedly getting out-physicaled by Louisville, still nearly pulled out that game against the Cardinals. This told me that the Broncoes had a good amount of moxie and weren’t about to get intimidated by more physical teams. Despite not moving the ball well offensively, they still almost found a way to win.

3. Georgia is in its first game of the year with a new starting quarterback and some new players in key spots on defense. The game plan on offense will likely be conservative, so if Boise jumps out quick, the UGA plan could quickly go awry.

With an unusual blend of numerous offensive styles, Boise State emphasizes unconventional formations (everything from three tight ends to an empty backfield), specialization (in any given game, the Broncos will employ 35-45 different personnel groupings and play as many as eight different receivers or five different running backs) and trick plays. The offense can vary greatly in its run/pass ratio from year to year (Ryan Dinwiddie, the quarterback from 2001 to ’03, was a traditional drop-back passer, while current QB Jared Zabransky is a constant threat to run), and even week to week. “We call it a chameleon offense,” says Petersen. “We just kind of blend in and look one way one week, a different way the next.”

It’s this kind of stuff that makes it hard to prepare for Boise, especially in week one.

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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