Tailback Jay Ajayi closes in on 1,000-yard mark for Boise State football team

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

AJAYI NEARS 1,000

Boise State sophomore tailback Jay Ajayi is 83 yards away from his first 1,000-yard season. He averages 5.8 yards per carry and is tied for the national lead with 12 rushing touchdowns.

Ajayi would be the fourth different Bronco to rush for 1,000 yards in the past five years, joining Jeremy Avery (2009), Doug Martin (2010-11) and D.J. Harper (2012).

“That’s a great number for him,” senior center Matt Paradis said. “I feel like it’s a great thing for our entire offensive unit. … It’s cool to watch him run by you and then just run someone over and make a juke. That Utah State run, when he spun around, that was cool to watch.”

The one negative for Ajayi: fumbles. He lost his third fumble of the season last week at BYU.

“He’s done a nice job,” coach Chris Petersen said. “Clean up the turnovers and it’s a really nice job.”

INCOMPLETE PERFORMANCES PLAGUE BRONCOS, RAMS

Neither Boise State nor Colorado State has been able to play complete games this season.

Boise State has been hampered by slow starts, particularly in its three losses. The Broncos have outscored opponents just 48-41 in the first quarter — their lowest-scoring quarter. They have scored 108 points in the second quarter.

Coach Chris Petersen emphasized the need for better starts this week in practice by sending the team into the locker room for a break after stretching.

“We have to make up our minds and do the dang job in the first half,” Paradis said.

The defense has been particularly different after halftime. In the past three games, the Broncos have allowed 51 points in the first half and 20 in the second half.

“I felt like everyone’s urgency went up when it should have been up from the get-go,” sophomore cornerback Donte Deayon said.

Colorado State, on the other hand, has won the first half 168-109 and lost the second half 136-99. They blew second-half leads in three of their four losses. “We’ve definitely stumbled,” coach Jim McElwain said.

NOTES & QUOTES

— Petersen on the backup tailbacks: “You’d like to see them create some things on their own. The thing about (wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes) is things don’t have to be blocked exactly right for him to get things done. Any skill guy who can make things right when they’re not exactly right is going to get the ball more.”

— Paradis on the red zone and fourth-down failures: “We’ve just got to execute. The plays the coaches are calling will work. We have to execute. We’re performing great in between the 20s. We’ve got to continue that in the red zone.” The Broncos are 7-of-15 on fourth down. “It feels like you’ve got a big knot in your gut because of that,” he said. “They’ve basically put that on us (to get it).”

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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
Thursday blog: Travis Averill eager to start; chat replay
Name the Score contest: x
Friday story: The Mountain West’s murky bowl picture

•••

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.

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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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