Max Wittek, quarterback
The Broncos have spoken highly of Wittek’s arm strength, which allows him to test defenses vertically.
He played in 2012 and 2013 at USC and sat out last year as a transfer to Hawaii. This is his only season of eligibility at the school.
“He’s a smart, strong-armed kid,” Hawaii offensive coordinator Don Bailey said. “I think he fits in really well with what we do. He’s getting more comfortable with the system each week.”
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Wittek has completed 49.2 percent of his passes this season. But he averages 12.6 yards per completion and has five touchdown passes on 58 completions.
“If we’re not going to pressure him and just let him stand back there and hose it down the field, that’s going to be a problem,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “That’s my biggest concern is the vertical passing game.”
Quinton Pedroza and Marcus Kemp, wide receivers
Pedroza is Wittek’s top target, with 15 catches. Kemp is the touchdown threat, with 19.6 yards per catch.
“Quinton’s a good-sized guy, the sort of guy who is going to go up and get the ball when it’s near him,” Bailey said. “Marcus, he has that big-play ability, but we just need him to find some consistency.”
Marrell Jackson, safety
Jackson leads the Rainbow Warriors with 34 tackles this season, including 11 vs. Ohio State and 13 vs. Wisconsin.
The senior started seven games as a freshman, eight as a sophomore and one as a junior.
“He’s been really active back there, becoming the leader,” Hawaii defensive coordinator Tom Mason said. “He’s a really good tackler, and he’s put himself in a position to make plays each week.”