While the RedHawks are talented at the skill positions, they are young up front on offense (three sophomore starters) and undersized along the line on defense (their heaviest lineman on the two-deep is 271-pounds).
Here are the Top 5 Miami (OH) players who Boise State must worry about on Saturday.
No. 4 - Zack Dysert, Quarterback
The RedHawks possess a potent aerial attack on offense and it all starts with Dysert. He gets rid of the ball quickly and with 36 career games under his belt (3rd most amongst active FBS quarterbacks) he knows what he is doing.
Dysert is averaging 45.5 pass attempts through two games this season and his 59 total completions rank fifth in the NCAA.
Still, the fifth-year senior can be baited into making poor decisions, as the next bit of info pretty much sums up his career:
Dysert will likely break Ben Roethlisberger’s school-record for career passing yards by the end of the season, but he is also just one errant throw away from tying the RedHawks all-time mark for most interceptions.
No. 8 - Nick Harwell, Wide Receiver
If limiting Dysert is the Broncos top priority, Harwell is a close second. The junior wideout is the biggest playmaker the RedHawks have.
Consistent (172 career catches) and explosive (32 career receptions of 20-or-more yards), he has more career catches of 40-or-more yards (11) and the entire Boise State roster (9).
Although Southern Illinois did a good job of limiting him last week, Harwell caught eight passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns in the RedHawks season-opener against Ohio State.
One more note, Harwell was on the receiving end of 32.8% of Zach Dysert’s completions last season.
No. 3 - Dayonne Nunley, Cornerback
Nunley was thrown into the fire his freshman season two years ago and quickly emerged as one of the top cornerbacks in the MAC.
In 2010, Nunley picked off six passes (one short of the single-season school record) and his nine total career interceptions rank 11th in school-history. (#7SportsInsider: The RedHawks all-time mark is 17, set current secondary coach Ron Carpenter.)
With all this in mind, if he matches up with Matt Miller it will be a difficult assignment. While Nunley is stout (weighs 180-pounds and can bench press 335), the junior (5-foot-8) is seven-inches shorter than Miller (6-foot-3).
No. 37 - Pat Hinkel, Outside Linebacker
After 26 starts at the safety position, Hinkel moved to will linebacker this offseason and it appears to be paying off.
In his first start at the position against Ohio State two weeks ago, his seven tackles tied a team-high. Then just last week against Southern Illinois, Hinkel picked off two passes - one of which was returned for a score - to go along with 11 stops and two pass breakups.
Hinkel will serve as an honorary captain for the RedHawks against Boise State.
No. 15 - Andy Cruise, Wide Receiver
As a four-year contributor on the Miami (OH) football team, Cruise appears to be ready for a breakout season. Against Southern Illinois last week, the senior caught a career-high 12 passes, and through two games he almost has half as many receptions (20) as he did all of last season (43).
While he is not much of a threat to beat you deep (just 6 catches of 25-or-more yards in his career), he is proving to be a nice second option for Dysert when teams take away Harwell.
— Jay Tust (Follow on Twitter: @KTVBSportsGuy)