Cornerback Mercy Maston pushes for playing time with Boise State football team

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

MASTON EMERGING, LUKEHART’S WAITING SPOT AND OTHER NOTES FROM JIMMY LAKE

You can watch the full Lake interview above. But here are the highlights:

— On the underneath completions by BYU: “They did a really excellent job of getting that quarterback easy throws, easy completions. On a lot of defenses, you want them to make that throw. You want them to make that play, but then you’ve got to tackle it. And our problem is we didn’t tackle as a whole defensive unit.”

— On the targeting penalty on safety Dillon Lukehart: “It’s something we coach daily. We have a big picture in our defensive backs room of the strike zone and all the rules the NCAA made this year. (In the past), that’s a big-time play. He dislodged the football.” Lukehart moved his head to the side and didn’t launch, Lake noted. “But what he didn’t do is he didn’t go lower. His shoulder pad hit the face mask of the receiver and, unfortunately, I’m sure to the casual football fan who likes toughness, they probably like that hit, but in today’s football rules you can’t do that. We’ll all learn from it as a group. We did extra drills this week to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

— On where Lukehart will be during the first half: “We had to ask around what we do. We were going to have him up in the press box, but we called and that’s not legal. He’s going to sit in the locker room. He’ll be sitting in the corner with his pads on waiting for the second half.”

— On No. 3 cornerback Mercy Maston, a junior college transfer: “Mercy Maston has come on a ton in the last really month or so. He has played well. He hasn’t made mistakes. He’s a really physical corner out there. He’s tackled well. So you can count on seeing him even more so as we continue down the stretch here.”

— Lake said the Broncos played their best red-zone defense last week. The Cougars scored two touchdowns and two field goals in the red zone, with one TD coming from 20 yards out. He also liked the “sudden change” defense. After the Broncos’ three second-half turnovers, the Cougars’ only first down came on the targeting penalty.

AVERILL EAGER TO START

Less than a month ago, Boise State redshirt freshman Travis Averill was the backup center with little hope of playing significant snaps this season.

On Saturday, he likely will make his first career start — at right tackle.

Averill replaced fellow freshman Steven Baggett on the third series last week at BYU and finished the game. Now it’s Averill’s turn to fill in for injured starter Rees Odhiambo (week to week) and injured backup Jake Broyles (out for the year).

“It was kind of nerve-racking (last week) but I settled down after a play or two,” he said. “I go against great guys in practice just like them.”

Averill, a tackle in high school, played left tackle on the scout team last year. That meant daily battles with defensive end Demarcus Lawrence.

“He got me a lot,” Averill said. “This year, I’m getting better. … It helps a lot because he is one great player. It’s good to go against him.”

The move from inside to tackle was a challenge, Averill said, and he’s likely to move back to center in the spring. But he’s getting comfortable now.

“Guys are coming off way faster,” he said. “And it’s about just having the right footwork, too. Once I stay at a position for a while, I get real comfortable.”

Said coach Chris Petersen: “He’s not necessarily a tackle. He’s pretty sharp and he battles hard. He’s a physical player.”

NOTES & QUOTES

— Colorado State QB Garrett Grayson is feeling better after somehow spraining an ankle while walking on Waikiki Beach last week, the Fort Collins Coloradoan reports.

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OUR COVERAGE

Monday blog: Notes and video from Boise State’s weekly press conference
Tuesday story: Fumbles causing problems for Broncos
Tuesday blog: Mountain West confirms Lukehart penalty
Tuesday blog: Mountain West Football Report
Wednesday story: Colorado State’s offense is on a roll
Wednesday story: Scouting Colorado State
Wednesday blog: Tall receivers don’t worry Broncos’ corners
Thursday story: Lawrence, Colorado State’s Barrett lead MW in sacks
LIVE CHAT: Read the replay below

•••

GAME NOTES

Boise State depth chart
Boise State game notes
Boise State stats
Mountain West weekly notes
Colorado State game notes

•••

COLORADO STATE COVERAGE

The Fort Collins Coloradoan coverage can be found here.

You can follow beat writer @KellyLyell on Twitter.

•••

GAME FACTS

Boise State at Colorado State

When: 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: Hughes Stadium (32,500, FieldTurf), Fort Collins, Colo.

TV: CBS Sports Network (Andrew Catalon, Aaron Taylor, Lauren Gardner); channel 221 on DirecTV, 158 on Dish, 332 and 410 (HD) on Cable One.

Radio: KBOI (670AM), KKGL (96.9 FM); Bob Behler, Pete Cavender

Records: Boise State is 5-3 overall, 3-1 Mountain West; Colorado State is 4-4, 2-1

Series: Boise State leads 2-0 (last meeting: BSU 42-14, 2012, in Boise)


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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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