Ryan Finley Poised to Lead Boise State to Another Major Bowl in 2015

By Tyler Brett
ryan finley
Ron Chenoy – USA TODAY Sports

The Boise State Broncos enjoyed great success in 2014, finishing their 12-2 season with a victory over the Arizona Wildcats in the Fiesta Bowl as college football’s top Group of Five program. This season, the Broncos will be looking to replicate that success by turning the offense over to redshirt sophomore Ryan Finley who appears poised to take command of this Boise State offense and lead the team to a special season in 2015.

Head coach Bryan Harsin made the news official on Sunday when he formally announced that Finley had won the quarterback race to replace 2014 starter Grant Hedrick. Finley ultimately came out ahead of redshirt sophomore Tommy Stuart, true freshman Brett Rypien, and redshirt freshman Alex Ogle thanks to his game experience playing behind Hedrick last season which he followed up with strong performances during spring practice. He appeared in five games last season, completing 12-of-27 passes for 161 yards, two touchdowns and an interception with his stats coming almost exclusively from a 28-14 loss to the Air Force Falcons last season when he replaced a struggling Hedrick.

Finley takes over a Boise State offense that did not miss a beat during their coaching change last season and will be well-equipped to keep their positive momentum going in 2015. The team returns 17 total starters, including nine on offense, which puts the young signal caller in a great place to grow and develop surrounded by veterans who know what they need to do to make the Broncos’ offense click. That will help Finley find his footing under center without the pressure of carrying the entire offense on his shoulders early on.

The questions that come with Finley are about his leadership, however, after the young man ran into some trouble after his impressive work during the spring when he was arrested in April on misdemeanor charges of a minor consumption or in possession of alcoholic beverage and resisting or obstructing police officers. Harsin kept a close eye on Finley following this incident and seems happy with the way he has responded, declining to punish his new quarterback and start him in the season opener against the Washington Huskies and former Boise State head coach Chris Petersen.

Boise State has all the pieces to put together another great season that ends with them in a major bowl game next January. At the center of all of it is new starting quarterback Ryan Finley as the trigger-man for the Broncos’ seasoned offensive attack. Will he be the right man to lead them back to the top of the Group of Five programs this season?

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