Devan Demas, tailback
The junior showed his big-play ability in a limited role in the season opener against Washington (four carries, 20 yards).
Coaches were impressed enough to publicly vow to give him more chances this week against BYU.
“Devan, to me, showed some really good ability when it came to game time of just making things happen,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said.
Demas, the team’s fastest player, has averaged 6.4 yards per carry in his college career. He only has 50 attempts.
Holden Huff, tight end
The senior made two catches for 28 yards against Washington, only the second time he’s had at least two catches and at least 25 yards in a game since his breakout freshman season.
Combined with sophomore Jake Roh, Huff gives the Broncos a pair of playmaking tight ends.
“He’s healthier — I think that’s the biggest difference,” said offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz, who was the tight ends coach last year. “He’s been playing for a long time here. Any time you have game experience and you’re healthy, you’re going to be effective.”
Huff enjoyed getting back involved in the pass game but said he needs to maintain his energy level throughout the game.
“The second half, I just felt slower,” he said. “I need to pick it up. That’s the easiest thing to change is the energy.”
BYU PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kamalei Correa, defensive end
Last year’s Mountain West sack champion earned rave reviews for his performance in the opener. He finished with six tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack.
“He was zoned in,” defensive coordinator Marcel Yates said. “Whenever that kid is zoned in, you know he’s going to have a good week.”
Bronson Kaufusi, defensive end
The senior is 6-foot-8, 280 pounds and one of the nation’s top pass rushers. Kaufusi is tied for third in the nation in career sacks with 16.5, including one last week against Nebraska.
He played linebacker last season but is in his third season as an end. His dad is the Cougars’ defensive line coach.
Kaufusi also played basketball as a freshman. His brother, Corbin, is on the Cougars’ hoops team.
“(Kaufusi) was a real factor against Nebraska,” Boise State offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz said. “They had a real tough time blocking him. He’s very active in the run game, he has a good, quick first step and quick hands in the pass game ... and he’s a large human being.”
Colby Pearson, wide receiver
Pearson played at Blackfoot High. He was the Cougars’ offensive bright spot last year in Boise with five catches for 109 yards and an 81-yard touchdown.
Pearson chose to walk on at BYU over Boise State.
“I have it circled on my schedule every year, being from Idaho,” Pearson told The Salt Lake Tribune.
“... It’s a huge game for me personally, for a lot of reasons.”
Adam Hine, running back
The senior contributed a key 20-yard run on BYU’s game-winning drive last week at Nebraska.
He only received four carries in the game, but his workload figures to increase with quarterback Taysom Hill out.
Hine also is a dynamic kick returner. He was one of seven players nationally to score rushing, receiving and return touchdowns last season.