The best soundbytes from Boise State this week.
By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman
MCCASKILL READY TO CONTRIBUTE
Redshirt freshman Sam McCaskill was in contention for the starting job at stud end until he injured a hamstring in the Broncos’ first fall scrimmage. He missed two weeks of practice and only received mop-up duty in the opener at Washington.
He is listed as the primary backup at stud, behind senior Kharyee Marshall and ahead of true freshmen Gabe Perez and Kamalei Correa.
“This will be a fun year for Sam,” coach Chris Petersen said. “He’s an awesome kid and he knows one speed and one speed only. We’re anxious for him to get in there.”
McCaskill should get more playing time Saturday against UT Martin.
“That was a big setback,” he said of his injury. “I’ve never had to really deal with too much injury. It was small, but it held me out a substantial amount of practice time. It took a little bit to get my feet back under me but I feel like I’m pretty well recovered now. … I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, but it was tough to deal with. It was very frustrating.”
McCaskill learned his full-speed approach to football as a high school player in Eugene, Ore. He often attended Oregon Ducks games with friends. His favorite player to watch: Ducks linebacker Casey Matthews.
“I got to watch a lot of really good players in college play in person,” he said. “I adopted that and tried to play as hard as I could all the time.”
The stud position is unusually young this year. Of the five true freshmen who played in the opener, two are studs.
“Everyone is just learning off of each other and pushing each other to work harder,” McCaskill said. “… I feel like I’ve grown quite a bit as a player, just my intelligence for the game has grown. I still have a long way to go, but I’m taking some steps in the right direction.”
HARMAN BOUNCES BACK
Trevor Harman lost his kickoff job late last season and was in jeopardy of losing his punting job this season, as a senior.
But if the opener at Washington is any indication, he’ll be punting all season. Harman averaged 47.3 yards (gross and net) on three punts — a 40-yarder (fair catch), a 46-yarder (fair catch) and a 56-yarder (downed at the 6-yard line).
Harman averaged 41.2 yards per punt last season. The Broncos ranked 108th in net punting at 34.1 yards.
“I’ve been working extremely hard,” Harman said. “It’s a good feeling when it pays off for sure.”
Harman is competing for the punting job with redshirt freshman Sean Wale, who punted 30 and 26 yards in the opener. One of those punts was affected by a protection issue.
Both are expected to punt this week, too.
NOTES & QUOTES
— Special teams coach Scott Huff on kicker Dan Goodale making two field goals after his low kick was blocked on his first try: “That hopefully will be worth its weight in gold down the road to have that happen and then come back.”
— Huff said senior safety Ebo Makinde stood out on special teams. “He was probably the fastest guy on the field,” Huff said.
Monday blog: News, notes and video from Monday’s press conference
Tuesday story: Chris Petersen breaks down what went wrong in opener
Tuesday blog: Boise State falls out of the Top 25
Tuesday blog: Mountain West Football Report
Wednesday story: UT Martin will play two quarterbacks, including a Favre; our scouting report is down the right side of the page
Wednesday blog: How to watch the game on ESPN3
Wednesday blog: About 8,000 tickets remain for game
Thursday story: Why Boise State changed its offense
Thursday blog: Read a replay of our live chat; running backs impress
Friday story: Boise State changes its practice schedule; why this year’s depth issues started in 2011; how the players and words are chosen for the Bronco Stadium banners
Friday story: Sports bars scramble to get ESPN3
Friday blog: Name the score contest and Murphy prediction
UT Martin at Boise State
When: 1:04 p.m. Saturday
Where: Bronco Stadium (36,387, FieldTurf)
Video: ESPN3 (Jim Barbar, Kevin O’Connell). ESPN3 is a Web service that requires Internet access through a participating provider, college campus or military base.
Radio: KBOI (670AM), KKGL (96.9 FM); Bob Behler, Pete Cavender
Records: Boise State is 0-1; UT Martin is 1-0
Rankings: Boise State is receiving votes in the FBS polls; UT Martin is receiving votes in the FCS polls
Series: First meeting
Color scheme: Tri-color