Brett Rypien, quarterback
The true freshman, and fan favorite since he committed to the Broncos, makes his first home start after a nearly perfect debut off the bench two weeks ago against Idaho State and a fantastic first start last week at Virginia.
Rypien has completed a team-best 72.7 percent of his passes with a team-high three touchdowns. His rating of 180.56 would rank eighth in the nation if he had played enough to qualify.
“The kid just has a real knack for the game,” junior wide receiver Chaz Anderson said. “He went into the game confident, played very confidently and all in all he just played really well. He has something special. ... His excitement and his leadership is something you don’t see often, especially when you’re coming in with such high expectations — and for him to answer, I can’t wait to get back on the field.”
Ben Weaver, linebacker
Weaver led the Broncos with 89 tackles in 2013. Fellow linebacker Tanner Vallejo took that perch with 100 tackles in 2014.
Now Weaver, who spent much of last season trying to regain his mobility after an ankle injury (and still made 62 tackles), is back on top. He has 24 tackles, five more than anyone else on the team. Vallejo has 18.
“It’s maybe a little friendly competition,” Weaver said, “but it’s all about the team and us going out and winning games. It’s fun when you go out there and see one of your teammates make plays.”
Kam Miles, safety
Miles is expected to make his first start in place of injured safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner, who broke an ankle bone last week at Virginia.
Miles replaced Sumner-Gardner during the game and made two significant plays — a forced fumble and a fourth-down pass breakup in the end zone.
The two safeties played at the same high school (West Mesquite in Texas) and once expected to play for Texas A&M. Miles redshirted there in 2013 before transferring to Butler Community College and Boise State. Sumner-Gardner committed to Texas A&M before deciding to follow defensive coordinator Marcel Yates to Boise State.
Miles was rated as high as the No. 10 safety in his recruiting class.
“It’s his opportunity to step up,” coach Bryan Harsin said.