Boise State football Spring Game recap

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com
© 2014 Idaho Statesman

Here are some quotes from the Boise State football team’s Spring Game. Below are some notes from the scrimmage (full story in Sunday’s newspaper) and attached are several videos. At the bottom of this file, you can read through our live coverage from the scrimmage.

— Coach Bryan Harsin’s impressions: “We sputtered a little bit on offense. The second half, some guys like Jay came out there and played and ran the ball really hard. We were more effective running the football. And defensively, against the run was good and we gave up a couple of long passes in there, which is exactly what we’re trying not to do. As you go back and forth, plenty of things to work on, plenty of things to build on and a lot of positives as well.”

— Harsin: “What you always want offensively is consistency, which is the hardest thing you’re going to find in scrimmage situations when you’re putting guys in different scenarios.”

— Harsin on running Statue: “There are still a lot of little wrinkles and different things that we want to be able to do and have some fun with it. Again, we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves with what we’re trying to accomplish because we still have the base and the consistency with the base to keep working toward, but that won’t end. We’ll keep having fun.”

— Harsin on QB Grant Hedrick: “I thought he did well for being for the most part in a new system. I think his preparation habits are good. … Like everybody else, Grant is going to have to work the details. There are so many different wrinkles and details that guys can use to their advantage and that just takes a lot of work to get that done. But Grant’s a guy who works. To me, he’s proven he’s a worker and proven that he’ll do the work to get it done and he’s also proven he has the tools to do it.”

— Harsin on the run game: “Still a little bit short. We’re still trying to get just the consistency, which we need to improve. We didn’t have a whole lot of different schemes that we put in. We’ve got different ways to run them, but we stayed fairly vanilla with that just so we’re getting reps over and over and over and that hopefully pays dividends down the road. But as we get into game planning we’re going to be more multiple. The creativity will come into play from there. We’re just not there yet.”

— Harsin on tailback Devan Demas: “Speed. That’s exactly what we got from the headsets from (offensive coordinator Mike Sanford) up there, he goes, ‘That guy’s fast.’ He brings a different dimension than those other guys. … Hopefully he has some confidence coming out of this, feels good about it — that’s going to springboard him into summer.”

— Harsin on the defensive line: “Our D-line has been more consistent just against the run than we have been up front on the O-line.”

— Wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes: “I kind of feel like what I’m doing is a little different but I still get the ball just as much so I’m OK with that.”

— Tailback Jay Ajayi on the offensive line: “They really improved as spring ball went along and just became more physical.”

— Ajayi on the offense: “I’m excited about this offense. … We really haven’t even showed a lot of what we have in store yet.”

— Sanford: “We came out strong on the first drive and used some creativity. The Blue group got down there and scored right way and I think there was a little bit of a mentality on the sideline like, ‘Oh, we’re good.’ We can’t have that mentality. We have to keep the pedal to the metal. … Obviously Shane Williams-Rhodes had quite a day. That dude can play and you see that more playing live football than you do in just a normal spring practice situation.”

— Sanford on tight end Jake Roh: “I really like Jake Roh, just his versatility. … We’ve got to involve the tight end position because once they all get here, once they’re all healthy, once the incoming freshmen arrive, that group is going to be one to be reckoned with.”

— Sanford on Statue: “We were trying to get the Liberty to be the second play. … It was fun to see it work. We were tempted to have (defensive coordinator Marcel Yates) blitz the entire opposite side so we could run that thing to the house and this place would have erupted. I bet 8,000 more fans would have shown up and hit that 20 (thousand).”

•••

— A pre-scrimmage note: The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game vs. Ole Miss will kick off at 5:30 p.m. MT Thursday, Aug. 28, in Atlanta. It will air on ESPN. The second Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, featuring Alabama and West Virginia, is at 3:30 p.m. (ABC). Boise State will receive $1.1 million for playing in the game, which originally was an Ole Miss home game.

— Boise State did a pictorial tribute to Randy Trautman on the video board before the scrimmage. The players watched from midfield.

— Cornerback Bryan Douglas returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown against a scout kickoff unit.

— The first-team offense also scored on a four-play, 65-yard touchdown drive on its first possession against the second-team defense. Shane Williams-Rhodes took a shovel pass 59 yards to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by tailback Jay Ajayi.

— The Broncos ran a version of Statue in the first quarter. Tailback Jay Ajayi gained 11 yards on second-and-11.

— The Boise State team (first team) led 14-0 after the first quarter.

— Ryan Finley took the first two drives with the second-team offense. Tommy Stuart took the third, but Finley returned for the fourth.

— Ajayi and Jack Fields played the first half with the first team at tailback. Derrick Thomas and Devan Demas played with the second team.

— It was still 14-0 at halftime.

— Redshirt freshman nickel Dionza Blue intercepted Hedrick in the third quarter in coverage against tight end Jake Roh.

— Boise State took a 21-0 lead in the third quarter. Defensive tackle Armand Nance recovered a fumble by Thomas at the Broncos’ 35-yard line. Ajayi gained 22 yards and Williams-Rhodes scored from 13 yards on an end around.

— The attendance was 13,822 — well short of the goal of 20,000 but still an impressive crowd. The record is 17,123. Last year, only 9,146 showed up on a day with lousy weather.

— Finley led a long drive in the third quarter that stalled at the 8-yard line.

— In the fourth quarter, linebacker Darren Lee intercepted quarterback Tommy Stuart. The first-team offense nearly capitalized but Ajayi fumbled out of the end zone at the goal line for a touchback.

— The second team got on the board two plays after the Ajayi fumble. Finley threw a swing pass to sophomore tailback Devan Demas, who zipped 82 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. That made it 21-7, the final score.

— Offensive starters: Hedrick, Williams-Rhodes, Matt Miller, Dallas Burroughs, Ajayi, Roh, Archie Lewis, Mario Yakoo, Marcus Henry, Travis Averill, Stephen Baggett.

— Defensive starters: Tyler Horn, Justin Taimatuia, Beau Martin, Gabe Perez, Blake Renaud, Chris Santini, Corey Bell, Darian Thompson, Jeremy Ioane, Donte Deayon, Jonathan Moxey.

— Did not play: Taylor Loffler, Cameron Hartsfield, Connor Peters, Andrew Tercek, Tanner Shipley, Holden Huff, Tanner Vallejo, Tyler Gray, Tyler Saxton, Chanceller James, Ben Weaver, Rees Odhiambo.

Scrimmage stats

Passing: Hedrick 15-23-1 144 yards, Finley 10-12-0 128 TD, Stuart 6-9-1 29, Miller 0-1-0 0.

Rushing: Ajayi 10-70 TD, Demas 6-20, Thomas 5-4, Hedrick 4-4, Finley 4-(-18), Fields 3-4, Stuart 3-1, Williams-Rhodes 2-34 TD, Johnson 1-2, Wolpin 1-(-1).

Receiving: Williams-Rhodes 9-81, Sperbeck 6-35, Dean 3-25, Thomas 3-0, Demas 2-86 TD, Roh 2-41, Burroughs 2-19, Ware 1-7, Reed 1-4, Hardee 1-3, Fields 1-0.

Tackle leaders: Renaud 6, Lukehart 5, Martarano 5, Page 5, Martin 4, Perez 4.

Interceptions: Blue, Lee

Sacks: Renaud 2, Bell 1.5, Lee 1, Martin .5

Other: Maston, forced fumble; Nance, fumble recovery


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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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