By Chadd Cripe
© 2010 Idaho Statesman
Boise State freshman quarterback Joe Southwick engineered a terrific comeback for the offense in the Spring Game on Saturday afternoon at Bronco Stadium, but the rally came up one play short.
The defense posted a 30-28 win when it stopped a tiebreaking two-point-conversion attempt.
Southwick and the offense had erased an 18-6 halftime deficit with a field goal, two touchdowns, two two-point conversions and a 41-yard field goal by freshman Trevor Harman on the final play of regulation.
Southwick led all of those scoring drives. He hit freshman wide receiver Aaron Burks for a 46-yard gain and a 48-yard touchdown.
“It was an awesome job of coming back and making some big plays late in the game — and that’s huge as a quarterback,” said starting quarterback Kellen Moore, who threw two interceptions.
Junior defensive end Jarrell Root led the defense with 3.5 sacks (which were worth two points each). Nickel Winston Venable and cornerback Ebo Makinde intercepted Moore (four points each). The defense also pounced on a fumble when Southwick dropped the ball while scrambling in the first half.
The game was tied 28-28 after Harman’s field goal with 7 seconds left. Coach Chris Petersen ordered a two-point play to decide which side got teriyaki bowls. Cornerback Antwon Murray broke up Southwick’s pass for Burks in the end zone to give the defense the win.
Boise State estimated the crowd at 12,000, a school record.
Key stats: Southwick 10-of-15, 191 yds.; Mike Coughlin 5-of-12, 54 yds.; Moore 9-of-19, 128 yds.; Burks 5 rec., 113 yds.; Mitch Burroughs 3 car., 46 yds., TD.
Boise State safety Jeron Johnson is on the watch list for the Lott Trophy, a defensive award that is based on play, classwork and citizenship.