Boise State football team’s defense rises after down scrimmage

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

It’s difficult to beat the Boise State football team’s defense twice in a row.

The Broncos did not force a turnover in Monday’s scrimmage, but they made a slew of big plays in practice late Tuesday afternoon.

The biggest: True freshman defensive end Kamalei Correa intercepted a pass by senior starting quarterback Joe Southwick and scampered into the end zone for a pick six. Correa and fellow true freshman Gabe Perez have a chance to crack the depth chart at stud end because of a lack of depth.

Earlier, the team ran a series of timed drives.

Sophomore safety Darian Thompson intercepted a deep ball by Southwick on the first drive. Sophomore tackle Armand Nance sacked backup quarterback Grant Hedrick to end the second drive. And junior college transfer cornerback Mercy Maston intercepted Hedrick to end the third drive.

“That’s what we ask for — forget about what happened, it’s in the past now, and come out and try to beat them,” junior linebacker Blake Renaud said of the defensive rebound.

On the fourth and final drive, Southwick found his rhythm. He hit senior wide receiver Aaron Burks on a deep ball and connected on two throws to junior wide receiver Matt Miller to set up a 26-yard field goal by junior kicker Dan Goodale.

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Petersen chose Goodale as his camper of the day at BroncoSports.com. The starter to begin the 2011 season is in position to win the job again in 2013. “He has worked his tail off since last season — throughout the spring and summer — and it is very noticeable right now,” Petersen said.

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Please stop by IdahoStatesman.com for a live chat with me at 1 p.m. Thursday.

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I have a story in tomorrow’s paper on Boise State’s season-ticket sales, which are in danger of falling for the first time in four years. Included are the previously unreleased prices for individual-game tickets. And this note: There is a new sound system included with the new video board — a $260,000 overhaul that follows many years of small tweaks.

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The local walk-on brigade could produce another breakout performance this fall.

Linebacker Travis Saxton, a redshirt junior from Eagle High, started on kickoff return and punt return last season and likely will enter this season as the backup middle linebacker.

“He’s really improving,” linebackers coach Bob Gregory said. “The guy has gotten so much better in terms of his footwork and speed.”

This has been a big offseason for Saxton because he is suddenly one of the team’s most experienced linebackers — it’s a young group — and he’s getting quality reps with the top defensive units.

“I’m learning a lot more and I’m just feeling like I’m a lot more comfortable with the defense and I’m making more plays out there,” he said. “I feel like I have grown a lot with experience. I’ve learned the plays and learned the speed a lot better.”

Saxton (6-foot-1, 214 pounds) chose Boise State after committing to Weber State, where he was going to walk on but was promised a scholarship later, he said. He grew up in Star and was convinced by his coaches at Eagle that he could play at this level.

“It was just bigger football (than Weber State),” he said. “I knew I wanted to go out and play football at a higher level.”

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Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, whose status for the opener already was a question mark because of a DUI arrest, broke his right pinkie and might not be able to play anyway.

Here is a story.

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Sports Illustrated has an in-depth look at what went wrong with Titus Young. It’s worth reading.

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ESPN named its Friday night TV crew Tuesday: Carter Blackburn, Danny Kanell and Allison Williams. Boise State has three games on ESPN’s Friday night package this year. Here are the rest of the assignments.


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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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