Boise State coach Chris Petersen meets with the media on Aug. 6, 2013.
By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman
Here are some notes from coach Chris Petersen’s first press conference of fall camp:
— Defensive tackle Tutulupeatau Mataele, a junior college transfer, is out indefinitely while dealing with an academic issue. Mataele was a spring standout and projected starter on the preseason depth chart. “He’s got an academic issue he’s working through and I don’t know a timetable on it,” Petersen said. The Broncos are thin at defensive tackle with senior returning starter Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe and a bunch of young guys. “No matter how this thing turns out, we’ll have some guys ready to go,” Petersen said.
— Sophomore Robert Ash has returned to defensive tackle. He was a highly regarded recruit who moved to the offensive line in the spring. Petersen said he thinks he still might be a better offensive lineman, but depth issues forced Ash’s return to defense.
— New recruit Thomas Sperbeck’s move from safety to wide receiver was not a reaction to losing recruit Kendal Keys. That decision was made before Keys decided not to join the team. “All along I kind of thought in my heart that maybe his best position was wide receiver,” Petersen said. “He was one of those guys we wanted here and we were going to figure out where he fit best and what our numbers were and so when we looked at both sides, we were like, ‘Hey, numbers-wise he could fit in either way, let’s see what he can do at wide receiver.’ ”
— The nine players added to the roster Monday are all walk-ons.
— The Broncos added walk-on quarterback Richard Hoppe to take strain off the arms of the other four quarterbacks. “A couple of our guys’ arms aren’t exactly where they need to be and there’s going to be a lot of balls being thrown,” Petersen said. “We know how this fall camp goes and we wanted another arm. Richard is a guy who was coming to Boise State, a great kid, a great student, so we’ll get him going and see what happens. … It’s a balance. Sometimes you say four’s the ideal number and other times when you’re in camp five’s the ideal number.”
— On the first two days: “Real good tempo, real good pace. A lot of guys in the evening time (newcomers) cramping up, so that’s probably a good sign, you know, that they’re going so hard. I always say, hey, the first couple days is really easy to have great energy and go real hard. We get into next week, we keep that intensity up, we’ll be on the right track.”
— Petersen briefly talked through some loud banging from work on the video board above where he met the media. “Those are good sounds,” he said. “That means things are going up here in Bronco land, so we’ll just deal with it.”
— On WRs Geraldo Boldewijn and Aaron Burks: “They’re what you want them to look like. Now the next step is we’ve got to get them to play like we want them to look like. But they’re getting there. And those guys did a nice job last year of taking a step. It’s a process. It just doesn’t happen overnight. I think the stage is set for those guys to take the next step and if they do … it’ll take this pass game to the next level.”
— On CB Bryan Douglas: “It’s nice to have Bryan back out there. His knee is right where it should be. But you go from eight months of not playing any type of explosive football to throwing you out there … we’ve got to be smart and bring him along. We don’t need to win the game today or tomorrow. We’ve got to get into the season and get that thing just right. But we’re counting on him being a big factor for us.”
— On continuity: “The important thing for us is that we continually coach with an edge, with great urgency. When you’ve been at a place for a while and you have a little bit of continuity or a lot of continuity on your staff, there can be a tendency among coaches to say, ‘We’ve got this.’ Sometimes you go some places where they’ve got a new staff and new urgency and I really hope we would be like that always, but that’s easier said than done.”
Kicker Michael Frisina was one of the feel-good stories of the 2012 season for the Boise State football team.
Dan Goodale hopes to write a similar tale this season.
The junior kicker from Timberline High is best known for missing a 39-yard field goal that would have beaten TCU in 2011 at Bronco Stadium. That was the Broncos’ only loss of the season.
Nearly two years later, he’s competing for the starting job again — dueling with sophomore transfer Tyler Rausa.
Frisina, who also struggled in 2011 while sharing the kicking duties with Goodale, was 5-for-5 on field goals in the Broncos’ last two games of 2012, providing the scoring margin in wins against Nevada and Washington.
“It was a perfect example,” Goodale said of Frisina. “He had some adversity when he came in. He ended his career on a great note. I obviously had a little up and down at the beginning of my career. Hopefully I can follow through like he did and just follow his steps.”
Goodale, a walk-on, was 3-for-5 on field goals and 50-for-56 on PATs in 2011. He lost the field-goal job after the TCU game and never got it back.
His experience after the TCU game was in contrast to Kyle Brotzman’s after a shorter miss in a similar situation in 2010 at Nevada. One key difference: Brotzman, who was hammered by fans nationwide, was a senior on his way to becoming the NCAA record-holder for career points by a kicker; Goodale was an unknown.
“It was rough, first going into it,” Goodale said, “but I got a lot more support than I did negative stuff.”
He has not tried a field goal in a game since that miss. His only game experience last year came as a kickoff specialist late in the season.
But he says TCU won’t be on his mind if he gets another chance this year.
“I’m just going to focus on the present and the kick that I’m in and how I’ve been kicking that season,” he said, “because I feel like I’m a completely different kicker now than I was back then.”
He felt better going into camp this year than he ever has, he said. He and Rausa worked together much of the summer.
“Both guys seem pretty confident,” special teams coach Scott Huff said, “and I think that’s a good thing. That’s the thing that kind of struck me … and hopefully that will hold true.”
The goal for the Broncos is to find a kicker with a reliable range, like Frisina last year. He was 15-of-20 on field goals with the majority of his kicks inside 35 yards.
Goodale has spent most of his time on 40 yards and in but has the leg to kick longer field goals, too.
“That’s where we’re going to focus,” he said. “If I’m money from there, that’s going to be good for the team.”
He faces a pressure-packed August just to get that chance. Rausa, a scholarship recruit, kicked at Riverside Community College last year.
“It’s going to be a good battle and it’s going to make the team better in the long run,” Goodale said. “I’m more focusing on myself than what he’s doing. I’m focusing on getting my work in and getting better myself. It’s kind of competing against myself more, even though I know I’m in competition with him.”
The Broncos veterans practiced in helmets Tuesday. The defensive line performed well in team situations, including sacks by Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe (he had two Monday) and Demarcus Lawrence. Linebacker Corey Bell ducked underneath wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes for a nice interception. And wide receiver Aaron Burks (see video below) was sharp.
The defense has to run if it doesn’t collect three turnovers in a practice.
“You see us running the gassers after practice, last year it was them,” junior linebacker Blake Renaud said. ” … (QB Joe Southwick) has grown so much. The whole team sees it, we’re just so happy that he’s out there just killing it right now.”
In the newcomers practice, redshirt freshman safety Chanceller James (diving) and true freshman cornerback Cameron Hartsfield (leaping) grabbed interceptions.
BroncoSports.com is running a 25 Days of Fall Camp series. Included is a contest where fans need to name the 25 players featured in the graphic — one wearing each number from 1 to 25. Check it out here.
Below are a couple more practice videos and player interviews. The Shane Williams-Rhodes video Monday was a big hit. He has another impressive catch in here.
WR Shane Williams-Rhodes vs. CB Cleshawn Page
RB Aaron Baltazar in drills
WR Aaron Burks makes a nice catch
CB Mercy Maston vs. WR Taylor Pope in Monday’s newcomers practice
Kirby Moore meets the media
Darian Thompson meets the media
Blake Renaud meets the media