MATT MILLER, WIDE RECEIVER
Miller has brought a fullbacks tenacity to the wide receiver position and established himself as one of the top leaders on the team.
Miller leads the team with 25 catches for 268 yards and a touchdown. Many of his catches have been on medium-length throws and he has fought one or two defenders for an extra couple of yards, sometimes to get the first down.
Its mental toughness. If I get the ball here, Im going to get it done, quarterback Joe Southwick said. We can rely on him to do that, and hes shown that this year. Hes definitely a leader on this offense. Everyone looks up to him. Its kind of crazy hes only a sophomore.
Miller also is a physical blocker in the run game and the quarterback of the swinging-gate two-point plays the Broncos run occasionally after TDs.
SPENCER GERKE, OFFENSIVE GUARD
In each of the past two games, Gerke, a junior, has played left guard and right guard on consecutive snaps. Hes also the backup center. The Bishop Kelly High graduate has been on emergency duty the past two seasons. He started two games when left guard Joe Kellogg was injured last year and replaced him in the lineup this year against BYU and New Mexico.
He could be the right guard for this game, depending on the availability of Michael Ames. Ames and Jake Broyles were injured last week, which forced Gerke to move to right guard.
When you play center, you already know the whole scheme of things, Gerke said. (Im) just kind of prepared for anything. Its kind of scary when that guy in front of you goes down. Your heart jumps a little bit.
SAM UKWUACHU, DEFENSIVE END
Ukwuachus speed and height make him a menace to opposing quarterbacks.
The redshirt freshman forced a bad pass that turned into a pick six in the Michigan State game and in practice he has shown a knack for getting his hands on screen passes.
Last week, he recovered two fumbles. But hes still looking for his first sack.
Hell get a couple sooner or later, coach Chris Petersen said. You feel him out there. ... Hes slippery out there.
The Broncos have seven sacks this season. Half of them belong to sophomore end Demarcus Lawrence, who plays opposite Ukwuachu.
Every third down is like a money down for me, Ukwuachu said. Im thinking, Get up the field, get a sack, get some pressure. Beats me why I havent been able to get one.