Boise State football will run no-huddle offense, plus other notes from Harsin

By Chadd Cripe
© 2014 Idaho Statesman

Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin held a pre-spring press conference Thursday. Below are the top notes and quotes from that press conference. Above is the full video. Later in this file, check out the surprise Harsin had for the team this morning at their last 5:45 a.m. run of the winter.

— The offense will be mostly no-huddle, mostly shotgun (some pistol and under-center elements will be included) with an emphasis on the run game and a dash of the multiplicity that Boise State is famous for. It will include elements from what Harsin ran at Arkansas State, what offensive coordinator Mike Sanford worked with at Stanford and what Boise State has run in recent years. “We’ll be no-huddle and we’ll have movement within it,” Harsin said. “We’ll still have personnel groups within it. There will be times of tempo and times for getting a little bit of funk in there. … The core still will be running the football on offense. That won’t change. To be a successful team, to be a championship team, you have to run the ball.”

— On QB Grant Hedrick: “Grant’s got really good mechanics. He’s got really good feet. I think Grant can run. I like the way he throws it — there is no arm strength issue. … You don’t prepare like the starter until you’re the starter. For Grant, he needs to prepare through spring with that type of mentality. I’m not saying he’s the starter going into spring, but just so we’re all on the same page, he’s been through it, he knows what it’s like to be the backup and prepare and what it’s like to be the starter and prepare. If you want to be the quarterback, you need to prepare like that during the spring and during the summer. That’s the thing I’ve talked to him about.”

— Harsin’s emphasis for spring: “discipline, toughness and conviction.” “I want to see the discipline to do what we need to do, the toughness that we want to create and the conviction for what we’re doing — believing in what we’re doing, believing in the system.”

— Junior tight end Holden Huff and sophomore linebacker Andrew Pint are suspended for the season opener against Ole Miss for violations of team rules.

— Players who won’t participate in 11-on-11 drills this spring because of injuries: offensive tackle Rees Odhiambo, linebacker Travis Saxton, safety Chanceller James, wide receiver Taylor Pope, linebacker Ben Weaver, cornerback Cameron Hartsfield, tight end Alec Dhaenens and offensive lineman Andrew Tercek. Odhiambo and Weaver are returning starters. Harsin said none of the injuries are expected to affect the season and most of the guys will be back for summer workouts.

— Redshirt freshman quarterback Ryan Finley, coming off shoulder surgery, will practice on a limited basis. He will be limited to a certain number of throws each day. He will do drills and throw routes with receivers but won’t throw in team segments until he’s able to throw without restriction. “He’s done a great job in our drills,” Harsin said. “I think he’s hungry to get out there. I know he wants to be in everything, but that just isn’t going to happen (yet).”

— The Broncos will have three scrimmages this spring. The dates are March 20 (closed), April 5 (open to the public, with emphasis on students and faculty) and April 12 (Spring Game). Harsin’s goal for the Spring Game: 20,000 fans. “We’re hoping we can get that. That’s a challenge there.”

— Harsin said the first three days of spring ball will include installation of the team’s “DNA” — the plays that will be the backbone of the offense, defense and special teams. “That’s really what we’re going to fall back on at all times,” he said.

— On the death of college football hall of famer Randy Trautman: “A guy that embodied what it means to be a Bronco, just from where he came from, being a walk-on, to being the only hall of fame player we have — there’s a tremendous story behind that. … We’re missing one of our Broncos. I wanted to make sure we all recognize that. As we go through spring, (the players) will hear about him, that’s for sure.”

— The coaches told the players Thursday at their last 5:45 a.m. workout of the winter that they’d be running decks, in the rain. At the top of the bleachers, they found a breakfast buffet waiting for them in the Stueckle Sky Center. “It’s a credit to the hard work they’ve put in. They’ve worked extremely hard.”

— On limited media access to spring practices: “Really that’s for focus. For our staff and our players, we need to focus on ourselves. We need to be in an environment where we can do that.” The football program will produce a series of short behind-the-scenes videos of spring ball. The first likely will appear next Tuesday.

— Harsin was asked about the NCAA tabling the 10-second rule to slow down uptempo offenses. To answer, he stared at his watch for 10 seconds. “It’s not a lot of fun, is it, to sit here for that long? I’m glad it didn’t pass, to say the least. I think the way somebody wants to run their offense, that’s their offense. … You can go fast if you want to but you’re not always doing that.” … The NCAA did finalize Thursday a rule change that will strip the 15-yard penalty when replay review overturns targeting ejections. Last year, the penalty stood even if the replay official determined targeting didn’t occur.

— The Broncos can wear pads for nine of their 15 spring practices, the last football penalty from the school’s major infractions case. The NCAA max is 12 padded practices. As a result, the Broncos likely will wear full pads for all nine contact practices, Harsin said. If he had three more contact practices, at least two of them would be in shells — helmets and shoulder pads. “What it is going to do is focus us and the players to do a better job in helmets competing against each other.”

— The coaching staff held a walk-through of practice Thursday. Harsin planned for 20 minutes. It lasted an hour and 15 minutes. “There was some 7-on-7 going on,” he said.

— On the schedule: “There’s a lot of variety in the schedule as far as different things that we’re going to have to face throughout the season.”

— Fall camp will begin Aug. 1.

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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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