By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman
Boise State senior quarterback Joe Southwick will play — and likely will start — on Saturday night at Bronco Stadium against New Mexico, coach Chris Petersen said Monday.
Junior backup Grant Hedrick, who has played most of the past five games while Southwick recovered from a broken right ankle, also will play.
Southwick’s playing time will depend on how he looks. He was an “emergency, emergency” option last week at San Diego State, Petersen said.
“I expect for him to play, and that’s all I know,” Petersen said. “We’ll kind of see. … This week in practice will tell us a lot. We don’t want to put a guy out there … who can’t defend himself.”
Wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes, the team’s leading receiver, is questionable, Petersen said. Williams-Rhodes injured a leg late in the San Diego State game.
Wide receiver Taylor Pope broke his collarbone a week earlier against Wyoming and it out for the season.
Petersen said he has not talked to junior defensive end Demarcus Lawrence about the NFL yet but will help him research the decision. In general, Petersen thinks first-round picks should leave early.
Petersen said Lawrence could stand to get bigger — he weighs about 240 pounds — during his senior year.
More from Petersen:
— On the 34-31 overtime loss Saturday at San Diego State: “First, really pleased with how hard the kids played. You put that tape on, you tip your hat to our kids. They played their tails off. It was a physical game. They gave us everything they had. That’s all you can ask for. The defense played really well — a little soft in pass coverage. They played really, really well against the run. Sometimes to get something you’ve got to give something up.”
— On the offense: “It took Grant a while to settle in. It wasn’t all on him. The pick six was not on him. That was on the receiving falling down. Some of the protection was a little leaky. He made some good throws. … We make one more play, you name it, and you guys are all talking to me about how proud we are of our team. We all understand that’s the nature of the business. … (San Diego State) tends to blow some things up. When you get an opportunity … our receivers didn’t make a couple plays they’ve got to make. Grant missed a big throw. He missed two third-down throws that we definitely had guys open that he was going to the wrong way. That’s part of the growing process, certainly against an awkward defense. That’s disappointing — two and a half quarters before we get settled in.”
— On the laces being in, instead of out, on Dan Goodale’s missed 43-yard field-goal attempt: “They were, but we practice that. He kicks under the ball anyway, under the laces. Usually the problem there is a little further out he tries to compensate and pulls it just a little bit.”
— On throwing on some third downs deep in Boise State territory, including the pick six: “If we try to run for it, you saw what was happening. We’ve got to play to win. We’re not going to play to tie. Grant threw a good ball. The receiver (Aaron Burks) falls down. What do you do?”
— On the punt return for a TD by San Diego State: “The punt wasn’t very good and then we had our punt team was not in their lanes and we had four missed tackles. Four guys that had a shot at him.”
— On Goodale making the kick in overtime: “I had complete faith that he would come back and make it. I feel bad that (the game-winner) was that far out, that you’ve got to put him in that situation again that far out.” Goodale missed a 39-yarder at the end of the TCU loss in 2011.
— Petersen said most of the players didn’t understand that the Broncos could lose the Mountain Division because they had beaten Utah State. “I showed them this morning that it’s not like that,” Petersen said. “… That shows you how much we’re week to week.” Petersen said he isn’t bothered by the idea that the Broncos could go 5-0 in the division and lose it in part because they drew road games at Fresno State and San Diego State, the two best teams in the West Division, and Utah State didn’t play either. “There’s no perfect system,” he said. “Yeah, certain guys get the luck of the draw. … We’ve just got to go play and win.”
— On the loss: “I was talking to our coaches (in the locker room today). I said, ‘I guarantee you no one can feel more sorry for themselves than I do right now. I’ll put myself up against anyone. … It’s just hard. We do this morning, noon and night. You invest so much.”
— Petersen said he hasn’t talked to junior defensive end Demarcus Lawrence about the NFL but will help him research that decision. In general, Petersen is in favor of players leaving early if they’re going to be first-round picks.
Boise State’s 16 seniors who will be honored Saturday: QB Joe Southwick, WR Geraldo Boldewijn, WR Aaron Burks, WR Kirby Moore, TE Gabe Linehan, OL Jake Broyles, OL Spencer Gerke, OL Charles Leno Jr., OL Matt Paradis, OL Chris Tozer, DE Kharyee Marshall, DT Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, LB Jonathan Brown, LB Dustin Kamper, S Ebo Makinde, P Trevor Harman.
Our live chat will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.