By Chadd Cripe
Boise State’s quarterback race enters the critical first scrimmage of fall camp unchanged from the offseason.
Junior Bush Hamdan and senior Taylor Tharp are the co-No. 1s, while sophomore Nick Lomax is No. 3, redshirt freshman Mike Coughlin is No. 4 and freshman Kellen Moore is No. 5.
Offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin hopes to narrow the race to two or three quarterbacks after Saturday’s scrimmage, which will begin between 3:30 and 4 p.m. at Bronco Stadium. The public is invited to attend.
Hamdan, Tharp and Lomax will get quality time with the first-team offense in the scrimmage, Harsin said. The first-teamers, second-teamers and third-teamers will take about 30 snaps each. The three quarterbacks also will play with the second team. Harsin wants to keep their opportunities as balanced as possible.
Coughlin will get some action with the first team, too, but probably not until the end of the scrimmage.
Hamdan and Tharp have received about equal practice time so far during camp. Lomax, who has taken a significant step forward since spring ball, is close behind.
Harsin would like to start giving the favorite for the job more practice time beginning Monday. The team does not practice Sunday.
Tharp said today that he has felt the pressure of competing for the starting job all camp, but he’s trying to stay relaxed.
“The first scrimmage is the biggest opportunity for the first couple weeks of camp to come out and try to separate yourself,” Tharp said.
Said Hamdan: “It’s time to go show the development you’ve made and kind of run the show.”
Hamdan’s throwing hand was wrapped in ice when he met with the media Friday afternoon, but he is expected to play in the scrimmage, Harsin and coach Chris Petersen said.