Chris Petersen is a heck of a coach. Under Petersen, the Broncos almost never lost in the WAC, and they’ve become legitimate national title contenders.
And Petersen will be banking on his coaching skill in mid-October, when he gives his players a crash course in how to defend Air Force’s triple option offense. Based on what Petersen said at Mountain West media days, the first time the Broncos’ scout team mimics Air Force’s offense during practice in October could be the first time his defense sees the triple option.
TCU’s Gary Patterson is very proud of the fact that he dedicates at least a few portions of practice throughout the year to defending Air Force and its offense. So I wondered if Petersen, whose Boise State team is new to the Mountain West, had prepared at all for Air Force.
“None,” Petersen said.
Well … isn’t that going to make it a pretty tough challenge when you see the Falcons for the first time on Oct. 22?
“Yeah, I think it’s going to be really hard,” Petersen said. “Extremely hard.”
Petersen explained the reasons. He spends spring working on his own schemes, not preparing for specific opponents. And Boise has seven new league rivals to prepare for, so singling out one would be tough. And he said Boise’s defense is versatile and used to seeing many different looks (although, admittedly, no option looks). That all makes sense.
Still, there’s a reason TCU prepares for the triple option so much. Oklahoma went in cold last season and gave up 351 rushing yards to Air Force, was nearly upset by the Falcons, and vowed to never watch film of the game.
Air Force will be a massive underdog at Boise State, which is one of the elite teams in the country. But unless Petersen works some triple option preparation into his training camp plans – he said it’s possible they sneak some in – the Broncos will have six days to teach their players from scratch how to defend Air Force’s difficult offense. That inexperience could be a huge equalizer for the Falcons. Petersen understands that.
“Air Force is one of the teams where you’re just like, ‘Great, they’re in this league?’” Petersen said.