Boise State defensive end Jarrell Root admits there's a little mystery and intrigue as far as Saturday night's opener against Georgia is concerned.
Part of that "unknown" is being prepared for a Bulldog offense that is expected to feature some players the Broncos are not particularly familiar with.
That includes trying to figure out what freshman running back Isaiah Crowell will bring to the table in the nationally televised contest at Georgia Dome.
Unlike the veterans on the Bulldog squad, there's only a little bit of high school tape that the Broncos have been able to use to get an idea of Crowell, who is expected to basically split the carries with junior Richard Samuel.
So, how has Boise State's defense prepared? Root touched on his topic during a video interview with Boise State reporters on Broncosports.com.
"I think you just get used to playing against our style of running backs," Root said. "We've got a bunch of amazing running backs with different styles as well. D.J. (Harper) is fast, Doug (Martin) is shifty and doesn't get tackled - ever. I think that's always the best-case scenario to have a great running back to work with in practice."
Looking across the Bulldog offensive line, the 6-foot-3, 263-pound root is impressed with what he sees.
"It's just a whole lot of man. There are a lot of tall dudes who have played for some time who have some good skills," Root said. "They've got good footwork, good skills and when you're on the line, it's all about the hands and they've got pretty good hands."
That ability could well dictate how the Bronco defense attacks Bulldog quarterback Aaron Murray, who will obviously play a huge role in whatever success the Georgia offense is able to have.
"I think it makes you specify what you're going to do," Root said. "If you're going against No. 7 1 (Cordy Glenn) or No. 79 (Justin Anderson), you're going to have to have a plan that is specific to them."
Murray's versatility is another aspect Root says the Bronco defense has been busy trying to prepare for during preseason camp.
Last year, Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor created all kind of havoc, throwing for 186 yards and two touchdowns while rushing 16 times for and additional 73 yards.
Although Murray is obviously athletic, he isn't known to be quite the runner as the Hokie QB. Still, Root said last year's experience has made the Broncos wary.
"We're preparing for him the same way as the running backs," Root said. "We've got these little freshmen we've had in there (for scrimmages) and they're all quick; they make me feel slow and old but they're all able to use their arm and use their feet as well. Looking at him (Murray), that's what we're going to see."
Root believes he and the rest of the Bronco defense will be prepared.
"Anytime you get beat around the edge and the edge is your responsibility, you take a little more focus to it," he said. "Now, we've become a little more wary and we know where they're at at all times instead of just going off our assignments. I think that's made us better about it, understanding the personnel and understanding this kid (Murray) has the arm but he will take off if he sees the space."
Root said the Broncos are anxious to play in "SEC Territory," noting the conference has won the past five national crowns.
"We're looking to prove that we're supposed to be there, that we're a top team in the nation. I don't know if it's looking to prove it, just more that we're looking to play another team that is at our level and we're trying to beat them."
Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at [email protected]