By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman
BEAU MARTIN MAKES A PUSH
Boise State junior defensive end Beau Martin has been one of the Broncos’ most effective defenders the past two weeks. He leads the team with two sacks and is second with two pass breakups.
“He’s really stepped up for us and is doing a good job,” defensive line coach Andy Avalos said. “He’s very relentless and meticulous in his preparation.”
Martin walked on at Boise State in 2011 after one standout season at Colorado State-Pueblo, a Division II school. He sat out a year under transfer rules and started one game last year — the season opener at Michigan State.
He has found consistent playing time this year as the backup to star end Demarcus Lawrence. At times last week against Fresno State, Martin and Lawrence played together.
“For me, when I think about what it takes, it’s just practice,” Martin said. “I’ve had my ups and downs as a player and I really believe it just comes down to practice. Approach it like a game, with that kind of intensity. When you do that, it makes the game a little easier.”
The move to a higher level was a challenge, he said.
“But that’s exactly what I wanted,” he said. “… I still have this year and next year to continue to try to improve. Being consistent is really the most important thing to these coaches. That’s something that took me a little bit to understand.”
Martin, like junior college transfers, had to adjust to better competition and a bigger, more intense program. But many Broncos have been able to make that jump.
“Those are the kind of guys who seem to have done well,” coach Chris Petersen said. “We haven’t had a lot of luck with transfers Division I to Division I. We haven’t taken a lot and the guys we have haven’t really done much for us. … He’s done everything right since he’s been here.”
DEFENSIVE BACKS REMAIN CONFIDENT
Boise State defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake and junior cornerback Bryan Douglas say their group hasn’t lost confidence despite a rough start. The Broncos rank 100th in passing yards allowed (273.3 per game), 86th in pass-efficiency defense (139.64) and 118th in third-down defense (54.5 percent conversions).
The Broncos are using three newcomers and two new starters at cornerback. They have played a junior and two sophomores at safety.
“It’s going to be an enjoyable process to watch these guys grow throughout the season,” Lake said. “…We have to do a better job of continuing to play good, tight man coverage, good zone coverage and get better at tackling. But this is what this process is all about, getting better.”
Fresno State made some adjustments to the defense Boise State used to stifle the Bulldogs last year, Lake said. And now it’s the Broncos who need to adjust, to a new style of offense that is giving them fits.
“They’re giving the quick play action and getting the underneath defense to come up and then they’re throwing it over their heads really, really quick,” he said. “We have to make sure we stay ahead of the times and change the way we play those certain routes.”
The long pass the Broncos allowed on a fake screen last week was the same play on which cornerback Donte Deayon intercepted Washington’s Keith Price on the first drive of the season, Lake said. Deayon bit on the fake and gave up a big play against Fresno State.
The defensive backs also missed three difficult catches that would have been interceptions, Lake said.
“They’re extremely confident,” he said of his players. “They’ve made plays. There is no down. I don’t have to keep them up. It’s a good football mentality. Mentally weak people who feel down like that will waste away and they probably wouldn’t make it to big-time college football.”
Said Douglas: “Experience is a big factor. We’ve got a young defense right now. We’re getting better every week and we’re progressing.”
NEWS & NOTES
— Petersen on how he handles the extra time with a late kickoff: “What do I do? Worry.”
— The Broncos expect some surprises Saturday from Southern Miss (8:15 p.m., ESPNU). “Three games in with a new staff and (coming off) a bye — there’s a little mystery,” offensive line coach Chris Strausser said. “They’ve always had really, really athletic players in the D-line and those guys gave us trouble last year. We thought those two interior guys were extremely good players and they’re both back. They’re a good challenge for (the offensive line).”
— Defensive line coach Andy Avalos says the young linemen are gaining confidence — and coaches are gaining confidence in them — each week. “On the line, whether it’s against the run or the pass, it’s about defeating blocks,” he said. “That’s what we work on day in and day out, and we’re getting a little better each and every week.”
— Linebacker Corey Bell on spread offenses: “I’d rather play against a team that ran a little more. Then we get to keep all our linebackers in there. It’s a fun and kind of new football. I’m more of the traditional type of football guy.”
— Douglas on spread offenses: “We’d like to thank Chip Kelly.”
— Bell has been playing some weak-side linebacker when the Broncos replace his strong-side linebacker with a defensive back. “I kind of enjoy that a little bit,” he said. “It’s kind of a quick read, run-pass read, and then into your drop. I like both positions. I wish I was a little bit bigger if I was going to play (weak side).”
— Linebackers coach Bob Gregory on the defense: “That’s not how we play. We’ve got to do, first of all, a better job as coaches making sure all of our fundamentals are right and getting guys in the right position and let those guys play.”
— Junior defensive tackle Tyler Horn on the mood this week: “It’s good. Everyone is eager to get out there and play. I think everyone is going to be pretty pumped up for it.”
Monday blog: Southwick is “fine”
Tuesday story: Broncos lead nation in plays per game
Tuesday blog: 100 plays no surprise for Broncos
Tuesday blog: Mountain West Football Report
Wednesday story: Southern Miss QB is a Cal transfer with one year to play
Wednesday story: Scouting the Golden Eagles
Wednesday blog: Hedrick capitalizes on opportunity
Thursday story: Charles Leno Jr. continues left tackle legacy
Thursday blog: Matt Miller, Dallas Burroughs … and a replay of our live chat
Friday story: Weekly notebook, including how Grant Hedrick prepared for his big opportunity last week
Name the Score Contest
SOUTHERN MISS COVERAGE
You can follow writer Jason Munz (@munzly) on Twitter.
Southern Miss at Boise State
When: 8:15 p.m. Saturday
Where: Bronco Stadium (36,387, FieldTurf)
TV: ESPNU (Joe Davis, David Diaz-Infante); channel 301 on Cable One, 208 on DirecTV and 141 on Dish Network
Radio: KBOI (670AM), KKGL (96.9 FM); Bob Behler, Pete Cavender
Records: Boise State is 2-2 overall, 1-1 Mountain West; Southern Miss is 0-3, 0-0 Conference USA
Series: Boise State leads 3-0 (BSU 40-14, 2012 in Hattiesburg)