Boise State football game at BYU moved to a Friday (ESPN); defense seeks redemption in Spring Game

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

This year’s Boise State-BYU football game has been moved up one day — to Friday, Oct. 25 — and will air on ESPN. The game begins at 6 p.m. in Provo, Utah.

This is the second year of a 12-year series between the schools. ESPN now owns the home TV rights for both. Boise State won 7-6 last year in Boise.

The BYU game is not part of Boise State’s contract with the Mountain West and ESPN, so the school still could play up to three non-Saturday home games and will not receive a national-TV bonus for this one.

The Mountain West expects to release its 2013 football schedule within a week. The process was delayed by the decisions by Boise State and San Diego State to stay in the league and the addition of ESPN as a TV partner.

Here’s what we know about the schedule:

2013
at Washington (Aug. 31)
vs. Tennessee Martin (Sept. 7)
vs. Southern Miss (Sept. 28)
at BYU (Oct. 25, 6 p.m., ESPN)
MW home: Air Force, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming
MW road: Colorado State, Fresno State, San Diego State, Utah State

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The Boise State football team’s offense and defense will compete for dinner and showers again Saturday in the Spring Game.

And in a new wrinkle, it’s not the offense that has something to prove.

The offense, coach Chris Petersen said, was the clear winner in the first scrimmage three weeks ago. That was closed to the media and public.

“The offense had the best of the defense for the most part,” Petersen said. “It was unlike a first scrimmage you see around here. Usually the defense puts the clamps on them.”

That could mean the Spring Game is low-scoring. It’s even more unusual for one side of the ball to dominate in consecutive scrimmages.

“That’s usually what kind of happens,” Petersen said, “when one side gets challenged, the other guys come out there pretty good.”

The Spring Game will include four 8-minute quarters. The offense scores on touchdowns (six points), field goals (three) and PATs (one). The defense scores on TDs (six), turnovers (three), fourth-down stops (three), sacks (two) and red-zone stops (one).

The winning side gets teriyaki bowls for dinner and use of the team showers. The losing side gets neither.

“As a defense we want to come make a statement and play tough, blue collar … hitting people and playing aggressive,” sophomore safety Dillon Lukehart said. “Definitely we’re motivated to stop the offense a little bit.”

Petersen always is in a difficult spot at the Spring Game. He’ll be rooting for execution.

“You definitely don’t want to see one side dominate, but you’d like to see both sides execute and then you want to see individuals step up and make plays,” he said.

The Spring Game begins at 5 p.m. at Bronco Stadium. Admission is $9. KBOI will broadcast live beginning at 3 p.m. and KKGL beginning at 4 p.m.

Gates open at 4 p.m. Parking in the west stadium lot is reserved. It’s free in other lots, including the east stadium lot, beginning at 3 p.m.

Here is audio of Petersen’s press conference.

•••

The quarterbacks all will be wearing no-contact, red jerseys in the Spring Game, Petersen said.

•••

Petersen on quarterback Joe Southwick:

“For Joe, we’ll have to see how he plays. I think he’s playing at a high level in practice, but it’s practice — there’s no do-overs when we play. But he’s been around here a long time and he gets the concept of practice, that it may not be perfect, but it has to be at a really, really high level for that to carry over on game day. And I think there’s been progress made there. … One of the things we’re trying to make some progress with is just the poise in the pocket — operating with guys around you and falling at your feet. And I think he’s made some progress there.”

•••

Players do get excited about the Spring Game:

Lukehart: “I’m nervous right now talking about it, a good nervous, excited, the butterflies going. I’m kind of antsy and ready to go play.”

Senior wide receiver Kirby Moore: “It’s exciting to obviously have a crowd. It’s a lot more energy than practice sometimes. Having a crowd there, it makes things a lot livelier.”

•••

Petersen, on the battle between junior Dan Goodale and sophomore transfer Tyler Rausa for the kicker job: “We do not (have a leader). It’s your typical kicker battle — one day we think we’ve got a leader and the next day the other guy’s the leader. The important thing is to find one guy who can get it done for us when it really matters, when the pressure’s on.”

•••

PRACTICE NO. 12

Type: Full pads

Player spotlight: Three redshirt freshmen have stepped up on the offensive line. They’re not first-teamers, but they’re impressing coaches and teammates and provided some needed depth. The group: tackle Steven Baggett, guard Travis Averill and guard Mario Yakoo. The left side of the offensive line is pretty much locked down with seniors — tackle Charles Leno Jr., guard Spencer Gerke and center Matt Paradis. But the freshmen could make a push in the fall on the right side, where sophomores Marcus Henry (guard) and Rees Odhiambo (tackle) are the front-runners.

Play of the day: During a short-yardage period, sophomore safety Darian Thompson blitzed and quickly sacked quarterback Joe Southwick before he could even think about throwing the ball.

Notes: The offense dominated the short-yardage and goal-line periods. In short yardage, the offense shouted, “That’s another Bronco first down” after every conversion. “The running backs were all really physical on the goal line today,” Moore said. “I think they scored every time. That’s exciting to see.” … Safety Taylor Loffler knocked tight end Connor Peters’ helmet off with a big hit. … Tailback Jack Fields ran over cornerback Cleshawn Page at the goal line. … Southwick led the first-team offense on a nice drive that ended with a 40-yard field goal by Goodale.

Next practice: Thursday

•••

Saturday is a busy one at Boise State. The schedule (more info on “Bronco Fest” here):

— Beat Coach Pete Scholarship Run/Walk, 9:30 a.m. (a runner’s bib gets you into the Spring Game for free)

— Car show, 9:30 a.m.-2:15 p.m.

— Craft fair, 9:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.

— Optimist Youth Football Signups, 12:30-4:30 p.m.

— Social media scavenger hunt, all day

Said Petersen: “It’s a good day. A lot of activity. It goes very fast. It seems like we get a lot of work done, starting with the run in the morning and then a lot of activities on campus. We have recruits on campus. And then we get a chance to do the Spring Game. The best thing about the Spring Game is just having people in this stadium. It definitely changes things for the players. They haven’t had that all spring, so to get some different energy in the stadium — performance anxiety goes way up, changes everything.”


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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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