By Chadd Cripe
© 2011 Idaho Statesman
The WAC announced Monday that ESPN has decided to air the Boise State-Fresno State football game as part of its contract with the league. The game is governed by the WAC TV contract because it's at a WAC stadium.
The game will be played at 7 p.m. MDT Friday, Oct. 7. ESPN has not determined which channel will air the game.
This will be the 11th straight year that the Boise State-Fresno State game has aired on an ESPN channel.
ESPN also will show Boise State's game at Georgia and could pick up the game at Toledo.
Beginning this week, I’ll be doing breakdowns of the Boise State football team by position. The Broncos begin their third week of spring ball today and take next week off for spring break.
Returning starters (1 of 1): Senior Doug Martin rushed for 1,260 yards and gained 338 yards receiving while scoring 14 touchdowns last year. He was named to the All-WAC first team. Martin has looked terrific in a limited role this spring as he focuses on fundamentals and coaches try to keep him fresh for fall. “I would expect Doug to be more productive (this year) than he’s been,” offensive coordinator Brent Pease said.
Key losses: The versatile and explosive Jeremy Avery (11 rushing TDs last year) and solid backup Matt Kaiserman are gone. Kaiserman’s career ended early because of concussions.
Projected starter: Martin.
Other key returners: D.J. Harper is on his way back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament for the second straight spring. He has rushed 62 times for 444 yards (7.2 yards per carry) and five touchdowns the past two seasons before getting injured. “D.J.’s a special player, I think,” Martin said. “He can compete at the level that we’re playing in pretty well.”
Also in the mix: Junior walk-on Drew Wright (Vallivue High), who has shown promise for more than a year, likely will be part of the rotation in the fall. I’ll have a story on Wright in Tuesday’s paper. “He’s a smart guy, a hard worker,” Martin said. “… He’s a finisher, a hard runner.”
Also on the roster: Converted cornerback Raphiel Lambert and walk-on Carlo Audagnotti — both juniors — are taking a big chunk of the snaps this spring. Because of attrition, Boise State doesn’t have a tailback in the redshirt sophomore or redshirt freshman classes.
Not practicing: Harper.
Joining in August: Jay Ajayi of Plano, Texas, was one of the Broncos’ top recruits signed in February and he’s expected to play this year. “If he does the things I think he should do, I don’t see why he wouldn’t play,” running backs coach Keith Bhonapha said. “He’s definitely body-wise and speed-wise ready to go now.”
Boise State has won six conference championships in the first 12 sports of the 2010-11 school year.
The gymnastics team won the WAC on Saturday — joining the football (WAC), men’s cross country (WAC), men’s indoor track (WAC), swimming and diving (WAC) and wrestling (Pac-10) teams.
The titles gave Boise State a 4.75-point lead over Utah State going into the spring season in the race for the WAC Commissioner’s Cup, which the Broncos won last year.
Boise State has 64.5 points. Utah State has 59.75 and New Mexico State is a distant third with 42.25.