Boise State football’s Petersen on Southwick: ‘Joe’s in a great groove right now’

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

Boise State football coach Chris Petersen held his press conference to preview spring football Tuesday. Practice began Monday. Below are some highlights from Petersen and here is the audio:

— On senior starting quarterback Joe Southwick: “Joe’s in a great groove right now. I think he’s as hungry as he’s been. I think he’s confident because he knows he got better as the season went on and he produced and did some very good things. I’m really excited to watch him, as much as anyone. … When you get a fifth-year senior at that position who has done some good things, the average fan may not see it, but as coaches we’ll know — if he can take that next little step, he’s going to be an extremely effective and efficient player and play at a very high level.”

— On the quarterbacks jockeying for the backup job: “You watch it day one, a couple guys are pressing, trying too hard. It doesn’t have to happen day one or even day 15. Just focus in one play at a time or one day at a time. You have time here. You’re not going to the Pro Bowl tomorrow.”

— On the Mountain West’s TV deal with ESPN, which hasn’t been formally announced but was reported by ESPN.com: “Love that. I think that’s great for the program, great for the kids.”

— On the cornerback competition: “It’s awesome to really watch those guys go at it because that is such a critical position.”

— On a position of confidence: “I don’t know if there’s one I’m most confident in. One I think we’re going to have some decent depth at is maybe running back — certainly in the summertime when we get Aaron Baltazar here as well. You need some depth there. It’ll be exciting. There will be a lot of competition.”

— On scheduling Florida State and Virginia: “It’s tough to get the ideal schedule. And you know, it’s probably not my preference. I know it’s very hard for us to put this schedule together. I know what we need to do to go where we want to go. We need to win all our games. Our job got a lot tougher with some of these teams we’re going to be playing.”

— On the importance of the strength and conditioning staff: “Tim Socha has done a great job with those guys. That, to me, is where the whole foundation starts, in the weight room. … The job that is done in our weight room is second to none. You look at (former cornerback) Jamar Taylor. Way back when, we weren’t sure when we were recruiting him if we thought he was fast enough.” Taylor was one of the fastest cornerbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine this year.

— On the quarterbacks all reaching 200 pounds: “As the season wears on, those guys, they don’t lift like a lot of the other guys. Sometimes they have a tendency to lose that weight. I think it’s good weight. It’s muscle weight. As much as we run around here, as long as it doesn’t slow them down, we like it.”

— On junior cornerback Bryan Douglas, who is recovering from a torn ACL: “Bryan has been doing a really good job. … He’s doing a really good job of helping the new guys that we have, whether it’s at punt returner or in the secondary. That’s hard to do. He wants to be out there so bad. Guys are competing for his position. … We’re real hopeful when we start in August he’s going to be ready to go or really close to it.”

•••

Boise State has agreed to a two-year, home-and-home football series with Troy of the Sun Belt Conference.

The teams will play Sept. 2, 2017, in Boise and Sept. 1, 2018, in Troy, Ala. Those games likely will be season openers.

The Trojans finished 5-7 last season but have a reputation for playing tough against big-name opponents. Last year, they lost by six and seven in two games against SEC teams. In 2011 (3-9), they lost by 10 at Arkansas. In 2010 (8-5), they lost by three to Oklahoma State. They were 9-4 in 2009, 8-5 in 2008, 8-4 in 2007 and 8-5 in 2006. Coach Larry Blakeney is in his 23rd season (169-98-1).

The first game in the series completes Boise State’s 2017 non-conference schedule with games at Washington State and BYU and at home against Virginia and Troy. The 2018 schedule still has two openings.

The Broncos also have two openings in 2014 (need a home and road game) and one each in 2015 (need a home game) and 2016 (need a road game). They could add a 13th game in 2016 because of the game at Hawaii.

The most logical way to fill the holes would be to sign a home-and-home for 2014-15 (road in 2014 and home in 2015) and a home-and-home for 2014 and 2016 (home in 2014 and road in 2016). The latter of those could have limited options, though, because BCS-conference teams don’t often play the road game first in a home-and-home series.

Here are Boise State’s updated non-conference schedules:

2013
at Washington (Aug. 31)
vs. Tennessee Martin (Sept. 7)
vs. Southern Miss (Sept. 28)
at BYU (Oct. 26)

2014
vs. Ole Miss in Atlanta (Thursday, Aug. 28)
vs. BYU (Oct. 25)

2015
at BYU (Sept. 12)
vs. Washington (Sept. 19)
at Virginia (Sept. 26)

2016
vs. Washington State (Sept. 10)
at Oregon State (Sept. 24)
vs. BYU (Oct. 15)

2017
vs. Troy (Sept. 2)
at Washington State (Sept. 9)
vs. Virginia (Sept. 23)
at BYU (Oct. 7)

2018
at Troy (Sept. 1)
vs. BYU (Oct. 20)

2019
at Florida State (Sept. 7)
at BYU (Oct. 12)

2020
vs. Florida State (Sept. 12)
vs. BYU (Oct. 17)

2021
at BYU (Oct. 9)

2022
vs. Michigan State (Sept. 17)
vs. BYU (Oct. 8)

2023
at Michigan State (Sept. 16)
at BYU (Oct. 14)

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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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