Boise State Football 2022 Season Prediction Preview Awards Bowl Game

Sophomore head coach Andy Avalos is looking to make his mark as the face of Boise State football.

After finishing third in his division just a year ago, Andy Avalos and his Boise State football team are expected to be battling for a conference championship in territory that should be a deep mountain in the west.

This will be the second year Avalos has been leading his alma mater’s program, having left Oregon to take over Bryan Harsin after stepping down to become the next head coach at Auburn. Despite playing in the same Mountain Division as the Air Force and the State of Utah, Boise State was selected to win the division and face Fresno State in the conference title fight. Boise has high expectations.

This takes you up to 35th place FanSided’s Preseason Top 50 Rankingthe Boise State Broncos!

Boise State Football Season 2021 in Recap

Avalos returned to Boise after spending the 2019 and 2020 seasons as Mario Cristobal’s defensive coordinator in Oregon. Although he had other college football jobs, the homecoming was too good an opportunity for him to pass up at this point in his career. However, the Broncos endured their worst season since 1998 when Boise State went just 7-5 last fall.

It was a mixed bag for the Broncos in the first half of the season. You’ve lost one, won one by Halloween. While notching up impressive road wins at Utah State and BYU, the Broncos lost at home to Nevada and the Air Force. Although a road loss was possible at UCF and a home loss to Oklahoma State was likely, Boise State was only 4-4 after beating Colorado State.

After the win at Fort Collins, Boise State had three more straight wins at Fresno State, over Wyoming and New Mexico. While they would lose at the end of the regular season at San Diego State, the Avalos Broncos’ second half of the year was definitely better than the first. Unfortunately, the Arizona Bowl vs. Central Michigan has been canceled due to a COVID outbreak…

Boise State Offensive Preview for the 2022 Season

  • Returners (7): Hank Bachmeier (QB), George Holani (RB), Stefan Cobbs (WR), John Ojukwu (LT), Will Farrar (LG), Ben Dooley (RG), Riley Smith (TE)
  • newbie: Cade Beresford (RT)
  • striker: Hank Bachmeier (QB)

A big reason why Boise State is expected to be significantly better year-over-year is how much talent returns to the ball on the offensive side. They have about seven recurring starters, plus a few other guys who have plenty of gaming experience. From Hank Bachmeier at quarterback to Riley Smith at tight end, Boise State shouldn’t have trouble picking up points.

From Washington State comes Cade Beresford, the Redshirts’ senior transfer. He and his younger brother on defense Jack Beresford opted to leave Pullman to play for Boise State. Cade Beresford started at right-back for the Cougars in eight of nine games a season ago. He’s expected to pick up proper tackle in an experienced offensive line for the Broncos this year.

No player will be more influential across the board for the Broncos this season than their senior quarterback. Bachmeier needs better protection from his abandoned offensive line 27 sacks a season ago. There may be other excellent quarterbacks at Mountain West, most notably Fresno State’s Jake Haener, but as long as Bachmeier stands tall, his team has a chance.

Preview of the Boise State Defense for the 2022 Season

  • Returners (8): Jackson Cravens (NT), Scott Matlock (DT), Demitri Washington (EDGE), Ezekiel Noa (MLB), Caleb Biggers (CB), JL Skinner (S), Tyreque Jones (NB), Kaonohi Kaniho (CB)
  • Newcomers (2): Cortez Hogans (DE), Deven Wright (EDGE)
  • striker: Scott Matlock (DT)

It’s not just the Broncos’ offense that’s bringing back a slew of starters this season. The Boise State defense returns around eight, including Scott Matlock in the trenches and JL Skinner in the defensive backfield. Although the linebacking corps may be a bit inexperienced compared to the other position groups, consider that Avalos was a former Boise State linebacker…

As for the newcomers, two transfers will play the defensive end for this year’s Broncos team. Cortez Hogans makes his way to Boise via Snow College. Before that he played in Northern Illinois. Deven Wright, backing him and potentially vying for a starting spot, comes off the ledge. He played his junior college ball in Mississippi, so he’s ready for that big leap.

A few players really stand out on the Broncos’ defense, but let’s give Matlock a slight edge over Skinner as the most influential player in this unit. Being able to dictate conditions in the trenches will go a long way in helping Boise State evolve from a 7-5 team to a squad capable of winning the Mountain West and in to be able to contend for a Group of Five championship if they’re lucky.

Boise State Football Players Awards clock for the 2022 season

A handful of Boise State football players appear on award watch lists, including these four guys.

Stefan Cobbs, Hornung

Stefan Cobbs is expected to do big things in the middle of Boise State’s offense. With a proven connection to Bachmeier, don’t be shocked if Cobbs runs for the Hornung at the end of the year.

Scott Matlock, Bednarik, Outland

Matlock can be found on both the Bednarik and Outland watchlists. It might be difficult for a Group of Five player to win one of the prestigious awards in any given season, but Boise State is different.

JL Skinner, Thorpe, Nagurski

Skinner is in a similar position to Matlock when it comes to preseason awards season. Not only has he competed for the Thorpe as the nation’s top defender, but he also fights for the Nagurski.

George Holani, Doak Walker, Maxwell

If Boise State leads in many games, George Holani would have an easier time winning major college football honors like the Doak Walker or the Maxwell. This is going to be difficult.

Boise State Football Biggest Game On Schedule For 2022

‘Cause as good as Boise State can be this year, The Broncos have anything but an easy schedule. They draw BYU at home and start the year traveling in Oregon State in the non-conference. The Broncos also have to go back-to-back this year in San Diego State and Fresno State against what are arguably the two best teams in the West. Of course, it doesn’t matter if they lose games in the division.

With a bye after the Fresno State game, it’s imperative that Boise State beat what could possibly be the best Air Force team in years at Colorado Springs. Although the Broncos got 14 of 28 first-place votes to win the Mountain Division, the Falcons were hot on their heels with 10 first-place votes. Utah State is a big game at the end of the regular season for the Broncos, but the Air Force is the one.

As long as the Broncos beat the Air Force and Utah State, they can win the mountain even if they part ways with San Diego State and Fresno State before bye week before the Air Force game.

Boise State Football Best Case Scenario

In terms of a best-case scenario for the Broncos, they have the schedule to win the Group of Five and make the New Year’s Six. While they don’t have the path or track record a Cincinnati has to bring down the college football playoff party, if they manage their season perfectly, they’ll be rewarded with an NY6 bowl. But even at best, that’s asking too much.

Boise State could theoretically win all of its Mountain West games, but comparing that to non-conference wins against BYU and Oregon State isn’t realistic. Though they could beat the Beavers at Reser and hand the Cougars a loss at home, Boise State still has to play the four other best teams in Mountain West (San Diego State, Fresno State, Air Force, Utah State) on its schedule.

At best, this team can go 11-1 and win the Mountain West, though 10-2 (7-1) is a little more realistic.

Boise State Football’s Worst-Case Scenario

No, the Broncos aren’t going 7-5 again. That was an anomaly for one of the best programs in the country in the last quarter century. But don’t kid yourself. This 2022 playlist is daunting for Boise State. Because the Broncos played so well and returned so many starters under Avalos in the second half of the season, this team should be pushing for 10 wins.

Hypothetically, if it hit the fan on the blue pitch, what would that look like? Well, it starts with Boise State dropping either the Oregon State game or the BYU game in the nonconference, but probably not both. From there, they lose three out of four to what are reputedly the best teams the Mountain West can ever hope to offer, San Diego State, Fresno State, Air Force and Utah State.

Boise State has too much pride to be worse than one 8-4 (5-3) teambut this schedule is brutal!

Boise State Football Season Prediction 2022

Ultimately, Boise State won’t be a team with a ton of variance this season. The Broncos are who they are, and they’re going to be better than they were a season ago. Most years this team could be good enough to win the Group of Five and work towards an unbeaten season. However, Avalos is still largely untried as a head coach, and Mountain West looks dominant overall.

Boise State starts the year off with an exciting first win over a determined Oregon State team in Corvallis. They reach 4-0 with victories in New Mexico, over UT-Martin and at UTEP. From there, it’s off to the city with the state of San Diego on Friday night. While the Broncos prove victorious over the Aztecs, they fall for Haener and Fresno for the first time in a signature game.

Pondering the heartbreaking home loss to the Bulldogs, Avalos will have his boys ready after the bye and ruthlessly trample the best Air Force team in years. That momentum will result in a breezy seventh win of the year over Colorado State in Fort Collins. Afterwards, hubris takes over as the Broncos fall to BYU in a revenge game.

Boise State Conference beats Nevada and Wyoming 7-2 on the road. With a Mountain Division title, Utah state date matters. It might be a revenge game for the Aggies, but the Broncos pulled it off. The Mountain Division champions unfortunately have to head out to face either San Diego State or Fresno State in their place for a rematch.

Boise State will walk around in a moment 10-2 (7-1)but they don’t win the rematch in the title fight.

Boise State Football 2022 Bowl Game Prediction

Nothing would make us happier than to see Boise State take on Wazzu in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl. It’s going to be Pac-12 vs. Mountain West shenanigans that the whole Southern California world doesn’t care about. The amount of nightly TV show bits emanating from this bowl game broadcast will be published in the Wazoo. I’ll show myself to the door afterwards, folks…

Next: No. 34: Florida Alligators

Other articles in this series:

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John Verrall

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