By Chadd Cripe
For the first time all year, Boise State expects to have a three-tailback rotation for Friday's game at Louisiana Tech.
However, junior Jeremy Avery and sophomore Doug Martin will get the bulk of the carries as long as they are able. Martin is returning from a pulled hip flexor that limited him in the past two games.
Freshman Matt Kaiserman, who was highly productive in his first two college games while Martin was ailing, will be used for select plays.
The rotation could change based on performance, but coaches don't want to spread the carries too thin. Avery, the starter, always gets the first couple of series.
"All three of those guys are going to get their carries in the game," running backs coach Keith Bhonapha said. "We'll see how it gets rolling."
Avery leads the team with 636 rushing yards and is tops among the trio with a 5.7-yard average. He also leads the running backs with 15 catches for 126 yards.
Martin, who moved to tailback in the fourth game of the season after D.J. Harper (284 yards) was injured, has rushed for 363 yards and five touchdowns. He averages 5.3 yards per carry.
Kaiserman, who missed the first six games with a concussion, has rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown. He averages 5.1 yards per carry.
Harper averaged 6.5 yards per carry before he was injured.
That's four tailbacks who have each posted a 100-yard game and who all have averaged more than 5 yards per carry.
The tailbacks continue to have the right attitude about sharing time, Bhonapha said.
"I tell them, 'Don't concentrate on the plays you're not in, concentrate on the plays you are in,' " he said.
Martin expects to get his usual workload Friday. Coaches had hoped he would be in that role last week, too, and he wasn't able to go.
"Injuries, they always are frustrating," Martin said. "It takes time for these things to heal."
Junior safety Jason Robinson, who started games as a freshman, has become a productive role player for the Broncos. He's a big part of the special-teams units and he rotates into the game at nickel.
In the past two weeks, he has caught a pass on a fake punt against Hawaii and forced a key fumble against San Jose State.
"He's not a headline guy, so to speak, in the media," Petersen said, "but he is a headline guy in this locker room and on our team - energy wise, leadership wise, with the example he sets. ... When he gets his chances, he produces. That's what it's all about."