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Broncos targeting return to BCS


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POSTED: Monday, August 24, 2009

High expectations have become ... well ... expected when it comes to the Boise State football program.

The Broncos have established a smoothly operating system since joining the WAC in 2001, claiming at least a share of the title six of the last seven years while going 23-1 in WAC games since Chris Petersen took over for Dan Hawkins.

Boise State again enters the season as the heavy favorite to continue domination of the conference. But the Broncos also have aspirations beyond adding another WAC title to the trophy case.

; The Broncos open the season 16th in the preseason coaches poll, putting them in position to make a run at a BCS bowl berth. Those hopes could hinge on a season-opening game against Oregon.

Strengths

The Broncos feature one of the most productive offenses in the country, averaging 41.2 points per game since 2000. They'll again be led by quarterback Kellen Moore, who proved remarkably efficient as a freshman in throwing for 3,486 yards and 25 touchdowns.

Running back Ian Johnson is gone, but the Broncos return proven producers in Jeremy Avery and D.J. Harper.

Cornerback Kyle Wilson, the preseason WAC Defensive Player of the Year, leads a unit that ranked among the stingiest pass defenses in the nation. Defensive end Ryan Winterswyk led the Broncos with 11.5 tackles for loss last year.

Weaknesses

Not a whole lot to choose from here. After being denied a BCS berth last season, the preseason emphasis placed on the home opener against Oregon could test the Broncos' focus, win or lose.