Eddie Yarbrough, defensive end
Yarbrough ranks 11th among active defensive linemen with 0.80 tackles for loss per game. He has 224 tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks in his career — and a pair of All-Mountain West first-team awards. This season, he has 30 tackles with five for loss while dealing with the attention of every opponent.
“It’s gone about how I expected — a lot of double teams and triple teams, chips, but you’ve got to put on your hard hat,” he said. “I’d lie if I said I didn’t know what was out there (NFL), I just have to focus on what’s in front of my nose, take it one day at a time.”
Yarbrough always lines up on the left side, so he’ll go head to head with junior right tackle Mario Yakoo on Saturday.
“He has a good spin move,” Boise State offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz said. “He’s very active, probably the heart and soul of their defense.”
And what makes a good spin move?
“It’s just the quickness of it,” Drinkwitz said. “He gains ground on his turn.”
Cameron Coffman, quarterback
He transferred from Indiana and sat out last season so he’d have this opportunity to start as a senior. His sister played volleyball at Wyoming, and his dad (Paul Coffman) and brother (Chase Coffman) have played tight end in the NFL. Coffman leads the Mountain West in pass efficiency, passing yards and touchdown passes.
“It’s been a lot of fun getting the opportunity to play again,” he said. “It’s definitely different from what I was doing at Indiana, completely different. I was up for the challenge. When you’re in the spread, it’s basically to make it as little thinking as possible, everything was pretty easy, you looked to the sidelines for checks. But in a pro system like this, it puts a little more on the QB’s shoulders. It’s good for me to learn more about football.”
Brian Hill, tailback
He has carried the momentum from his strong finish as a freshman into his sophomore year. He ranks sixth in the nation and first in the Mountain West with 140.7 rushing yards per game. He averages 6.3 yards per carry, a significant increase over last season (5.5).
“He’s a big, strong back that’s hard for other defenses to tackle,” Coffman said. “It tends to take two or three guys to bring him down.”
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398; Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat