Brett Rypien, quarterback
He experienced his first freshman moment of the season last week at Utah State with five first-half turnovers — three interceptions and two lost fumbles. He played better in the second half, but he still has six turnovers since his last touchdown pass.
A home game against a less-complex defense that ranks 112th in efficiency allowed (148.95 rating) could be the right recipe for a quick turnaround.
“He’s a competitor,” offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz said. “We played pretty poorly that first half, but the second half he fought and made some really good decisions and kept playing. That was good to see.”
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Tyler Horton, cornerback
The true freshman is the likely starter in place of senior Donte Deayon (knee), who is out about a month. Junior college transfer Raymond Ford also could play.
“They’re going to compete and they’re going to fight for the ball,” senior safety Darian Thompson said. “They’re going to do a good job for us.”
The Broncos have some other options at cornerback. Nickel Mercy Maston, backup safety Cameron Hartsfield and Thompson are former cornerbacks.
“I have no doubts when (Horton) gets his opportunity, he’ll go out there and make the most of it,” defensive backs coach Julius Brown said. “Ray Ford is another guy who is coming on. Those JUCO guys, they have to get their feet wet a little bit, and then you see them ascend. We’ve got a couple other things we can do back there, but I’m excited to see new faces get opportunities.”
Jeremy McNichols, tailback
McNichols led the nation in touchdowns with 14 before he missed last week’s game because of a helmet-to-helmet hit the previous week.
He entered this week in a three-way tie for second, two scores behind Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman.
Boise State backups Kelsey Young and Devan Demas combined for 77 yards, three touchdowns and a lost fumble on 28 touches against Utah State (2.75 yards per touch).
“(McNichols) is a really good player, and we really missed him,” Drinkwitz said, “but there’s no excuses. ... We’re sure glad that he’s going to be back.”
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398; Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat