Boise State football team’s WRs step up in blowout of Southern Miss

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

Boise State wide receivers Geraldo Boldewijn and Shane Williams-Rhodes made two of the best offensive plays of the season for the Broncos on Saturday night against Southern Miss.

The receivers have been criticized a bit this season for not winning “50/50 balls” — the deep passes where the receiver and defender compete for the ball — and they had not made many spectacular catches.

That changed in the 60-7 win.

Late in the first half, Boldewijn made a leaping, 52-yard catch down the middle to set up a touchdown.

“That was awesome. I was so excited,” senior quarterback Joe Southwick said. “I was smiling ear to ear. I was really excited for him.”

Boldewijn, at 6-foot-4 senior who is one of the most physically gifted players on the team, only had two previous catches this season for 30 yards or more — a 57-yarder against Fresno State and a 42-yarder earlier against Southern Miss. On both of those plays, the Broncos fooled the defense and he was wide open.

“It was big,” Boldewijn said of his catch. “It gives the coaches a little more confidence in us receivers.”

The touchdown Boldewijn set up gave the Broncos a 30-7 lead at halftime. That momentum carried into the third quarter.

“Changed the game,” coach Chris Petersen said. “We get a big, tall receiver like that and the ball’s up for grabs, he should be able to get it. It was really nice to see him make strides tonight.”

Williams-Rhodes’ big catch was on the offensive play immediately before Boldewijn’s. Southwick scrambled to his right and threw to the front corner of the end zone. Williams-Rhodes, who is 5-6, appeared to get both hands under the ball as he dove and made the catch. It was reviewed by the replay booth and the touchdown was upheld.

“That was really a spectacular catch,” Petersen said. “I didn’t know if he caught it. He’s probably the only guy on the team who could have caught that thing. It was low and away. And that’s the guy you want when it’s low and away.”

Other quotes:

— Southwick said junior wide receiver Matt Miller fell down on his route on his touchdown catch. Southwick scrambled to his right and hit Miller after he stood up. “Matt was going to be wide open,” Southwick said. “I’m just glad I didn’t throw it (the first time) because I was really ready to pull that trigger.”

— Southwick on tailback Jay Ajayi, who rushed for 83 yards despite beginning the game in the No. 2 role because of his recent fumbles: “It was same old Jay during the game, running as hard as anybody, really bringing it to the defender. He ran hard. I know his emphasis was ball security.”

— Petersen on bouncing back from the 41-40 loss to Fresno State: “We’re proud of the guys. They worked hard. It’s not easy to come off a hard loss like that. They went right back to work. It took a minute to get going on offense, but once we did the guys got into a good rhythm.”

— Petersen remembered using a version of the Fumblerooski play that Williams-Rhodes scored on twice during the Ryan Dinwiddie years, from 2001 to 2003. It worked once, though not for a TD, and the execution was botched the second time, he said.

— Petersen said defensive end Demarcus Lawrence’s two blocked field goals were the result of several weeks of impressive work by the field-goal-block team in practice: “Our field-goal-block team did a nice job. Demarcus is very good at that. There’s a couple other guys in there pushing hard. We really haven’t gotten anything done up to this point and they’ve been working hard on that so it’s really nice to see that come alive tonight.”

— Sophomore defensive tackle Armand Nance on Lawrence: “He really fires up the team, the whole team … when he makes plays like that. I know he pushes me to make plays like he does.”

— Sophomore safety Darian Thompson on the inexperienced defenders: “They’re starting to get it and starting to get the mentality that they do have it, so that really helps.”

A few notes:

— The Broncos are up to 18th in the nation in scoring, at 42.2 points per game. They have scored 40-plus in four straight games for the first time in three years.

— This is the first time that Boise State has scored 60 points twice in a season since 2004.

— Saturday ended a streak of 10 straight games in which the Broncos allowed at least 14 points, the longest in the Petersen era. Boise State made some tweaks to its defense, often using five defensive backs and two linebackers. “I think our coaches made some good adjustments over the week and we need to because we’re going to see this style,” Petersen said.

Shane Swanson, 12, of Minnesota spent his Make-A-Wish wish with the Boise State football team this weekend. He led the Broncos onto the field Saturday night — escorted by offensive lineman Charles Leno Jr. and holding hands with safety Taylor Loffler. (Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman)

Shane Swanson, 12, of Minnesota spent his Make-A-Wish wish with the Boise State football team this weekend. He led the Broncos onto the field Saturday night — escorted by offensive lineman Charles Leno Jr. and holding hands with safety Taylor Loffler. (Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman)

Here’s our coverage:

Game story
Murphy column
Sidebar on Demarcus Lawrence
Notebook
Drive chart
Photo gallery
Press conference videos

•••

Fresno State, Washington climb in polls

Fresno State moved up two spots to No. 21 and Washington moved up two spots to No. 18 on Sunday in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll.

Fresno State also advanced two spots to No. 23 in AP and Washington jumped one spot to No. 15 in AP.

Fresno State likely benefited from no one seeing its meltdown Saturday night at Hawaii. The Bulldogs led 42-3 in the third quarter. Hawaii rallied with five straight touchdowns and had two throws at the end zone at the end of the game, losing 42-37.

•••

AP TOP 25

The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sept. 28, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and previous ranking:

Record Pts Pv
1. Alabama (55) 4-0 1,495 1
2. Oregon (5) 4-0 1,422 2
3. Clemson 4-0 1,354 3
4. Ohio St. 5-0 1,305 4
5. Stanford 4-0 1,280 5
6. Georgia 3-1 1,171 9
7. Louisville 4-0 1,091 7
8. Florida St. 4-0 1,069 8
9. Texas A&M 4-1 1,012 10
10. LSU 4-1 979 6
11. Oklahoma 4-0 838 14
12. UCLA 3-0 834 13
13. South Carolina 3-1 812 12
14. Miami 4-0 753 15
15. Washington 4-0 665 16
16. Northwestern 4-0 550 17
17. Baylor 3-0 536 19
18. Florida 3-1 481 20
19. Michigan 4-0 471 18
20. Texas Tech 4-0 264 24
21. Oklahoma St. 3-1 230 11
22. Arizona St. 3-1 192 NR
23. Fresno St. 4-0 187 25
24. Mississippi 3-1 132 21
25. Maryland 4-0 119 NR
Others receiving votes: N. Illinois 104, Virginia Tech 49, Wisconsin 46, Nebraska 20, Missouri 14, Notre Dame 12, UCF 6, Michigan St. 5, Rutgers 2.

•••

USA TODAY COACHES’ POLL

The USA Today Top 25 football coaches poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sept. 28, total points based on 25 points for first place through one point for 25th, and previous ranking:

Record Pts Pvs
1. Alabama (59) 4-0 1546 1
2. Oregon (2) 4-0 1479 2
3. Ohio State 5-0 1397 3
4. Clemson (1) 4-0 1352 4
5. Stanford 4-0 1325 5
6. Georgia 3-1 1148 10
7. Louisville 4-0 1147 7
8. Florida State 4-0 1129 8
9. Texas A&M 4-1 1072 9
10. Oklahoma 4-0 964 12
11. LSU 4-1 931 6
12. South Carolina 3-1 860 13
13. UCLA 3-0 812 14
14. Miami 4-0 727 15
15. Northwestern 4-0 620 16
16. Baylor 3-0 573 18
17. Michigan 4-0 546 17
18. Washington 4-0 545 20
19. Florida 3-1 515 19
20. Oklahoma State 3-1 330 11
21. Fresno State 4-0 270 23
22. Texas Tech 4-0 231 25
23. Northern Illinois 4-0 131 NR
24. Arizona State 3-1 118 NR
25. Nebraska 3-1 71 NR
Others receiving votes: Mississippi 69, Virginia Tech 54, Wisconsin 47, Maryland 45, Notre Dame 29, Missouri 21, UCF 15, Michigan State 10, Rutgers 9, Oregon State 7, Arizona 1, Cincinnati 1, East Carolina 1, Iowa 1, Utah 1.

•••

MY AP BALLOT

1 Alabama
2 Clemson
3 Georgia
4 Stanford
5 Oregon
6 Ohio State
7 LSU
8 Florida State
9 Texas A&M
10 Miami
11 Oklahoma
12 Washington
13 South Carolina
14 UCLA
15 Louisville
16 Arizona State
17 Florida
18 Michigan
19 Northwestern
20 Baylor
21 Texas Tech
22 Wisconsin
23 Virginia Tech
24 Maryland
25 Fresno State

Dropped out: Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Notre Dame
Also considered: Northern Illinois, Missouri


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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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