Boise State football offensive coordinator Robert Prince calling plays easier, faster


Boise State offensive coordinator Robert Prince

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com
© 2013 Idaho Statesman

PRINCE SAYS COMFORT LEVEL HAS IMPROVED IN SECOND YEAR AS COORDINATOR

Boise State offensive coordinator Robert Prince admittedly struggled at times early last season to call plays fast enough — and the right play — in his first year as the Broncos’ play-caller.

He likes the situation much better this year. He’s in his second year — and so are starting quarterback Joe Southwick and quarterbacks coach Jonathan Smith.

“I think (play-calling) has come faster this year,” Prince said, “one because we’re more comfortable with each other, understanding what plays can be successful where last year, especially early, we were still finding out what each other can do and so certain play calls weren’t working. I was kind of getting stuck and saying ‘Aw, man, what do I need to call here to have a successful play?’ and was probably more conservative, especially early on. This year, with Joe having that year under his belt, if we call a bad play, he does a good job audibling out. As a staff we feel more comfortable.”

Other quotes from Prince:

— On why he’s confident in the offense: “It’s probably Joe, having him be that guy who’s a second-year starter. Hopefully he left all his mistakes back in 2012.”

— On going from practice to games: “In practice, you can have do-overs. In the games, you can’t have do-overs. First-and-10 becomes second-and-15 — and we can’t have that.”

— On the offense in camp: “So far, we’re undefeated and feeling pretty good. But we haven’t scored any points, either.”

PETERSEN CHUCKLES AT WASHINGTON’S PRESEASON RANKINGS

Boise State coach Chris Petersen never has been shy about his distaste for polls, particularly the preseason variety.

This year, he was surprised to find the Washington Huskies buried among others receiving votes (34th in AP, 43rd in USA Today). The Huskies went 7-6 last year, but they beat Stanford and Oregon State and return 20 starters from a young team.

“We always chuckle at the preseason rankings and one of the reasons I chuckle at them and laugh at them is I know what Washington has,” he said. “I think that’s completely underrated some of the rankings they’ve had. This is a team with all these starters back and their record didn’t exactly indicate how good they were.”

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NOTES & QUOTES

Boise State defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski

— Boise State defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said he didn’t hang out with friend and Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox this offseason. They worked together from 2006 to 2009, when Wilcox was Boise State’s coordinator. They went fishing together in Montana last year. “I did not (hang out with him),” Kwiatkowski said. “Typically would. This year, didn’t do it, nope.” Maybe they can call a truce in 2014, but the Broncos and Huskies are scheduled to play in Boise in 2015. Wilcox told me in December that he probably wouldn’t talk football with Kwiatkowski until this year’s game — “and then after that, we’ll do it again,” he said.

— Kwiatkowski on game prep: “You get into game week, it’s all about getting the game plan, understanding what you need to do, how you need to play, practicing it. On Saturday, it’s time to cut it loose, execute, play fast and have fun.”

— Kwiatkowski on defending Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (6-foot-6, 276 pounds) and wide receiver Kasen Williams (6-2, 212). “They’re good at bodying guys up, creating separation with their bodies. Guys are going to have to compete. We’ve got some competitors. They’re going to be right there — you can’t double everybody, so guys are going to have to make plays.”

— Among the guys you can expect to see frequently on special teams this year for Boise State: safety Dillon Lukehart (the 2012 Special Teams Player of the Year), safety Taylor Loffler, tailback Jack Fields, linebacker Chris Santini, linebacker Darren Lee, safety Ebo Makinde and cornerback Mercy Maston. Loffler, Santini, Lee and Maston are expected to make their Boise State debuts Saturday. Coaches also will mix in starters like linebackers Blake Renaud and Corey Bell as they have in the past.

— The Mountain West faces five Pac-12 opponents this week: Boise State at Washington, Utah State at Utah, USC at Hawaii, Nevada at UCLA and Colorado State vs. Colorado — a big opportunity for coaches to show what they pushed at media days in Las Vegas, that the conference is on the rise.

“We’re saying we think this conference is talented,” Petersen said. “We’ve just got to go out and win some games to back that up.”

Boise State is 6-1 vs. the Pac-12 under Petersen. That includes five straight wins since a loss at Washington in 2007.

— Wilcox told the Seattle media that Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick was a difference-maker in the bowl game. “Just throwing the ball accurately and making good decisions and making plays with his feet,” Wilcox said. “If you had something covered, he made plays with his feet. He really hurt us.” Wilcox said the Broncos tried four trick plays in the game and hit two of them. The video, via The Seattle Times, is below.


Justin Wilcox

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WEDNESDAY LINKS

— I’m a big fan of the Forde-Yard Dash. Here is the season debut.

— Johnny Manziel will only miss a half this season. News here.

I posted these later in the day Tuesday, so in case you missed them:

— AP’s Ralph Russo projects Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl.

— Former star wide receiver Herman Moore interviews Kellen Moore for DetroitLions.com.

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OUR COVERAGE

Monday story: Husky Stadium
Monday blog: New and notes from Petersen’s press conference
Tuesday story: Dan Goodale regains starting job
Tuesday blog: Mountain West Football Report
Tuesday blog: Huskies adjust to up-tempo
Wednesday story: Washington tailback Bishop Sankey dominated in bowl game (sidebar: Scouting Washington)

Live chat: 10 a.m. Friday at IdahoStatesman.com.

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HUSKIES COVERAGE

— The Seattle Times coverage is here. Follow beat writer Adam Jude at @A_Jude.

— The Tacoma News Tribune coverage is here. Follow beat writer Todd Dybas at @Todd_Dybas.

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Boise State safety Darian Thompson

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GAME NOTES

Boise State game notes

Boise State depth chart

Boise State 2012 stats

Washington game notes

Washington depth chart

Mountain West weekly release

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GAME FACTS

Boise State at Washington

When: 8:05 p.m. MDT Saturday

Where: Husky Stadium (70,000, FieldTurf), Seattle

TV: Fox Sports 1 (219 on DirecTV, 150 on Dish Network and 26/493HD on Cable One); Gus Johnson, Charles Davis, Kristina Pink

Radio: KBOI (670AM), KKGL (96.9 FM); Bob Behler, Pete Cavender

Records: Season opener; Boise State was 11-2 last year, Washington was 7-6

Rankings: Boise State is No. 19 in the AP and USA Today Coaches’ polls; Washington is receiving votes in both

Series: Tied 1-1 (last meeting: Boise State 28-26, 2012 MAACO Bowl)

Fan colors: Boise States asks fans to wear orange

In Seattle, the Huskies radio broadcast will air on KJR (950 AM).

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Chris Petersen addresses the media


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Chadd Cripe has spent the past 12 years as the Boise State football beat writer. You can follow him on Twitter @IDS_BroncoBeat.

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