Coach Chris Petersen
By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman
The Boise State football team is preparing for Air Force’s awkward option offense on a short week.
The Broncos practiced Sunday instead of taking their usual day off. Their game-plan practices are Monday-Wednesday, a day earlier than usual.
The game is at 6 p.m. Friday at Bronco Stadium (ESPN).
“The kids will adjust,” coach Chris Petersen said. “It’s maybe harder on the coaches. … The problem with Air Force is they do a lot. Everybody thinks of the triple option. … They have a lot of offense. That’s what makes it so hard to prepare for.”
Petersen echoed news accounts of last week’s 52-20 win by Utah State at Air Force. The Falcons dropped a bunch of passes, including several that could have been touchdowns.
“They were not tough catches they dropped,” Petersen said. “They won’t drop them again. … That score was completely deceiving.”
Here is audio of Petersen. I’m having technical issues with the video and will post ASAP.
Other notes from Petersen:
— Junior backup middle linebacker Travis Saxton (torn ACL) will miss the rest of the season.
— True freshman linebacker Tanner Vallejo was “on standby” when Saxton got hurt and that’s why his redshirt was pulled during the game. Vallejo and true freshman Darren Lee are listed as the co-backup middle linebackers this week. Vallejo was on the scout team last week so it might take him a bit to get involved on defense but he is expected to be an immediate factor on special teams.
— On playing Air Force: “It’s a complete team game. Our offense has to be efficient. They can’t mess around.”
— On missed tackles: “If you create space, you’re going to miss tackles. So we’ve got to get more guys to the point of attack. One guy is not going to make the tackle in space. If you see one guy out there missing a tackle, it’s probably not just his fault.”
— True freshman wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck, a high school quarterback, is running the scout-team offense.
— On what he learned from playing Air Force in 2011: “That I was really hoping that we wouldn’t be in the same league as them. … It’s not fun to go against them.”
— Two years ago, Petersen asked fans to cheer the Air Force players during pregame introductions. “I think that every game,” he said Monday. “I think when the team comes into the stadium you give them a good applause and then you make sure they can’t hear a darn thing (during the game).”
— Petersen liked what he saw from the backup quarterbacks. Junior Grant Hedrick scored on a 50-yard run and redshirt freshman Nick Patti hit wide receiver Dallas Burroughs in the helmet on a deep ball. That ball should have been caught. “It was awesome to see both those guys in there,” Petersen said. “You can see Grant, he’s an explosive player. It was really good to see Nick in there. He missed that one pass — it wasn’t on him.”
— Petersen on booing from fans when team took knees at the end of the first and second halves: “We’re always going to do the right thing. And there was no question (in those situations), in my opinion.”
“The ‘stache is back,” senior quarterback Joe Southwick said at Monday’s press conference,” so look out.”
Southwick, whose mustache coincided with his hot play in the final four games last season, went scruffy for the opener against Washington. He returned to the mustache for the UT Martin game and tossed five touchdown passes.
“It’s back and I think the mojo was working,” Southwick said. “I threw a couple touchdown passes, we scored a lot of points, so it’s sticking around.”
A Boise State student group, The Corral, will be handing out blue mustaches at the student tailgate and student entrance Friday.
— Southwick on the Air Force defense: “They have a lot of discipline, which comes naturally with being in the Air Force and being a military academy. They’re not going to give us a lot of freebies.”
— Southwick on the offensive changes: “We haven’t really thinned out anything. We still have everything there. It’s just simplified in the way that we teach it, which helps a lot for the young guys especially. I think it’s going to get young guys in the future, they’re going to be able to learn the offense a lot faster than when we had a lot of terminology. … My first two years here, it was kind of like a whirlwind. You’re trying to learn as much as you can, but it’s hard.”
— Safety Darian Thompson, on playing on ESPN: “I think that brings a little amp to our game having everybody watching.”
— Thompson said he’s still thinking about the targeting rule when he tackles: “It’s a huge factor. That’s something we really had to change. … That’s something I still have to think about because it’s brand new to me.”
— Thompson, on the hit linebacker Dustin Kamper took on his interception return: “That might have been the funniest part of the game. He got the interception. We were all excited and cheering. … Next thing you know, he got leveled.”
Boise State sold 22,416 season tickets this year, down about 1,700 from last year and the lowest total since 2009. There are 28,650 tickets out for Friday’s game.
Here’s how Boise State has fared in ticket sales since 1998:
YEAR Tickets Attendance W-L
1998 11,384 23,641 6-5
1999 11,537 22,979 10-3*
2000 12,924 26,493 10-2*
2001 12,183 23,831 8-4
2002 12,678 27,533 12-1*
2003 14,199 28,098 13-1*
2004 17,537 30,499 11-1*
2005 19,467 30,048 9-4*
2006 19,494 30,453 13-0*
2007 20,904 30,338 10-3
2008 22,380 32,275 12-1*
2009 21,767 32,782 14-0*
2010 22,994 33,268 12-1*
2011 24,020 34,018 12-1
2012 24,109 35,404 11-2*
2013 22,416 TBD TBD
*won conference championship
Drew Roberts, who covers the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL, tweeted that former Boise State defensive tackle Mike Atkinson has reinjured his knee and will need another surgery. Atkinson tore an ACL in October.
QB Joe Southwick
S Darian Thompson
Boise State-UT Martin highlights