By Chadd Cripe
The Boise State offense bounced back Friday after a couple of turnover-filled days. It was the team’s first practice of fall camp in full pads and first practice with the whole team together.
Coach Chris Petersen put an emphasis on a fast start by moving Red Ball, the hurry-up period, to the beginning of practice. Quarterback Bush Hamdan tossed a 50-yard touchdown strike to wideout Vinny Perretta.
Then, on the first play of the 11-on-11 session toward the end of practice, sophomore tailback Jeremy Avery squirted up the middle for a 45-yard touchdown run.
The practice also was the Broncos’ first on the new blue field, manufactured by FieldTurf. The team held a conditioning workout on the blue Sunday.
So far, the darker — and bright — blue field is a hit.
“I think it will be nice,” junior tight end Richie Brockel said. “There will be a lot less turf burns.”
The fibers on the field are softer and less numerous than the fibers in the old AstroPlay field.
Senior tight end Chris O’Neill got a different perspective on the field by serving as an intern with McAlvain Construction, which installed it.
“It’s a sweet field,” O’Neill said. “… It’s shiny. With time, that shine will come off. It will still be a real deep blue. It will really pop on TV.”
The field features a much larger logo at midfield and the usual “Boise State” and “Broncos” in the end zones.
FieldTurf was happy to get the contract after losing out to AstroPlay in 2002.
“That was a big disappointment for us not getting that project,” said Darren Gill, the director of marketing for Montreal-based FieldTurf Tarkett. “… We were sure they would come back to our product … so it’s a sweet victory for us.”
The field has an eight-year warranty and could last as long as 10 years, Gill said.
Offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said Friday nothing has changed in the quarterback race, which is a tight battle between senior Bush Hamdan and freshman Kellen Moore.
Harsin still is trying to cycle the quarterbacks through so each gets time with the first team and a chance to run each of the plays.
Moore met with the media Friday and said he is getting comfortable in the offense.
“I just always make it my goal to be the most prepared guy,” he said, “so I’m not second-guessing myself at all. That just builds confidence.”
You can hear Moore’s press conference in its entirety through the link in the eyepiece at idahostatesman.com.
The Broncos only practiced once Friday. They practice twice Saturday.