By Chadd Cripe
One of the Boise State football team’s top game-changers returned last week. Junior defensive end Mike T. Williams has put a difficult August behind him and appears ready to make a big impact on defense.
Williams’ stepfather died suddenly in August and Williams missed most of fall camp because of a knee injury — his second knee injury of the summer.
He sat out the season opener against Weber State but had a sack and a pass breakup last week at Washington.
He says his stepfather’s death will serve as motivation for him this season. His stepfather and mother were regulars at Boise State home games.
“My stepdad, he would always encourage me to do better out there,” Williams said. “He would always tell me he wants the quarterback’s back to get dirty, to make the quarterback always look where I am. That’s the thing I think of when I’m out there.”
Williams has become a complete defensive lineman, but he always will be known for his playmaking as a pass rusher. He has 7.5 sacks and six pass breakups in his career, and he set up a Boise State touchdown with a forced fumble in the Fiesta Bowl.
Williams also is an emotional leader on the defense.
“It’s nice to have him back,” junior linebacker Kyle Gingg said. “He’s one of those guys who helps get the energy level going for us on defense.”
Read more about Williams in Thursday’s edition of the Idaho Statesman.
Here’s some of what Ian Johnson had to say today:
On the loss to Washington: “It’s been a good week for us. It’s kind of humbled a lot of guys. We’ve all got back out there and we’re working with more intensity than we ever had, more attention to details. Even though it hurts in our win-loss column, it definitely did help the team out a lot.”
On last year’s game at Wyoming: “Basically they said, ‘We’re going to stop the run.’ And we said, ‘We’re going to run the ball.’ And it came down to a dogfight, and we won by seven.”
On abandoning the run at Washington: “Being a team that prides ourselves on being able to run the rock as much as we do, it did hurt to see us have to stray from it and start passing the ball more.”