Boise State defense, WR Geraldo Hiwat shine in football's Spring Game

By Chadd Cripe
© 2011 Idaho Statesman

The Boise State football team’s defense dominated the Spring Game on Saturday evening at Bronco Stadium, winning 21-13.

Here are some quick thoughts:

— The Broncos’ defensive line, dominant most of last season, controlled the scrimmage. The defense scored its points on six three-and-outs, five sacks, one interception and two red-zone stops. A sixth sack was not accounted for in the scoring.

— Sophomore wide receiver Geraldo Hiwat was the offensive star. He had five catches for 97 yards, including a 49-yarder that set up a field goal and catches of 22 and 18 yards that led to another field goal.

— The quarterback play was not impressive. Sophomore Joe Southwick was 7-of-17 for 120 yards with an interception, leading the offense to its two field goals. Freshman Grant Hedrick was 7-of-13 for 52 yards and ran for a 10-yard touchdown on the final play of the scrimmage. Senior Kellen Moore was 5-of-14 for 50 yards, often missing completions by inches.

— The two most impressive plays might have been Doug Martin’s leap over cornerback Jamar Taylor in the open field and Trevor Harman’s ridiculous punt that landed 75 yards from the line of scrimmage. The Broncos spent most of the spring indoors and Harman kicked punts from sideline to sideline that hit at the roofline. The problem, coach Chris Petersen pointed out, is he has two extremes — extremely long and woefully short — with little in between.

— Senior defensive tackle Billy Winn was injured in the closing seconds of the scrimmage. Petersen said he doesn’t think the injury is serious.

— The attendance was 14,445, a school record.

— Players who didn't participate: WR Troy Ware, TE Kyle Sosnowski, TE Chandler Koch, TB D.J. Harper, C Thomas Byrd, WR Mitch Burroughs, OL Cory Yriarte, DE Nick Alexander, S Travis Stanaway, S Cedric Febis, LB Byron Hout, CB Ebo Makinde, N Billy Derome, N Jonathan Brown, DL Darren Koontz, DE Kharyee Marshall and DT Chase Baker. WR Matt Miller was in uniform but I don't think he played. He hadn't done any contact drills all spring.

Here are some quotes:

Chris Petersen:

“It’s always good when one side doesn’t perform well, that they come back. It’s probably good and impressive that our defense finishes on a high note. When you’re going against yourself, I think your defense overall should probably have the upper hand.”

“If (Hiwat) can keep taking strides like he has last season, and this spring ball, he’ll be a nice weapon for us.”

“(Southwick) is going to be a really good player. The main thing he needs to work on is just those ill-advised throws. He needs to get himself in these situations — not only against our defense, but to put the people in the stands, it changes the chemistry, the energy. I can’t thank Bronco Nation enough for coming out. It really helps the guys, it helps the team, prepare for what’s in store.”

“Two things that really show (on defense) are three-and-outs — people don’t talk a ton about those and I think defensive coaches do — and the other big one that people appreciate but I don’t know if they know significant they are is sacks. And so we put some point values on those things and it really showed up today.”

QB Kellen Moore:

“It wasn’t that great on our side. When you play 15 practices against the same defense, you’re going to have good days and bad days and I think overall it went pretty well.”

DE Shea McClellin:

“We wanted to come out here and dominate. We wanted that mindset. Offense, they killed us last time.”

QB Joe Southwick:

“I’m still very pleased with the overall progression of spring. The next step for me when we hit fall camp is just eliminating those turnovers … because we’ve got to be a high-efficient offense through the quarterback. That’s on me.”

CB Jamar Taylor on Doug Martin’s leap:

“That’s Doug Martin. I don’t know what more you want from me. He’s a great running back. I kind of looked at him. He looked at me. I was like, ‘You’re not about to run me over.’ I tried to take the little leg shot and that’s Doug Martin. I came back the next play and got a sack.”

WR Geraldo Hiwat:

"The second half of my spring was definitely better than the first half of spring, but I'm just trying to stay more consistent."

The defense is legit

4 months is too long to wait. Hiwat made some freaky plays and looks like hes going to be a stud. Not so sure about the QB play. Makes the race now for 2nd weird and for starter in 2012 shaky.

Not worried about QB play

kellen is a stud and whoever follows him will have learned alot. Plus we have a freshman coming into the mix in the fall, and BSU has had a great taste of starting a QB for 4 years. Who knows....

DEFENSE WAS AWESOME!!! And to me that was the question mark. I was impressed with the speed.

From what I've heard

The defense almost always won scrimmages all year last year, and look at how the offense performed during the season. Boise State isn't all offensive fireworks anymore... it's nice to have both balance and firepower but the former is far better to have.

tater 2...

I get what you're saying. But if Kellen gets hurt, this Bronco team is going to have a tough time winning 10 games. None of these two backups have the ability or the experience of Taylor Tharp, and we all remember how 2007 went. A trained monkey at QB could of gone 10-3 that year. We lost the 3 games we needed to win that year. UW Fresno and Hawaii.

Granted, we are all spoiled by Kellens decision making and moxy. But half the time the throws were no where near the receivers tonite. We have tremedous athletes all over the field at every position. But backup QB scares me

JLandon - kill the cows before Pete milks 'em

Yes, we lost to Hawaii that year (2007):

But, I don't think the blame was solely on Tharp.

Colt Brennan was hot as he!! and the Bronco defensive secondary was like a sieve.

2007 was the year of the Sucky Secondary and it carried over into 2008 a little bit too, if you remember.

The Broncos took the lead in the third but the Blorange D ran out of gazz and couldn't hang with the Rainbow Warriors (hands on hips and bending over between plays to get more air).

Once again, conditioning bit the Broncos in the azz at the end of a season.

Maybe Coach Pete has some sort of plan for an ongoing endurance conditioning progam for October and November, this year - maybe having the players running 5 miles every moring with 40 pound packs on their backs before breakfast and not drinking so da#n much fattening, aerobically slowing, and slow to digest milk.


The UW game was on Tharp

I sat front and center as he couldnt make a throw in the Red Zone to our team all afternoon. At Fresno, we scored 7 the first minute of the game and nothing there after. The whole rest of the game. And that came on a long Jeff Carpenter run. I would put that squarely on the chest of Tharp. The Hawaii game you're right on. Our young secondary couldnt keep up with Davon Bess and co. and that was brutal. But our offense sputtered in the final minutes when we could of tied it and then Colt Brennan ended it.

If the Broncos have to go without Kellen for a period of time, it worries me. You can say most teams have a scary backup situation. Most of them are not in the Top 25. Of course its all speculation, as Kellen doesnt get hurt often if at all. I was just hoping to see a better performance fron #14 and #15 last night. Its only April and they were going against a Top 10 defense so maybe a pass is expected. I like taters2 comment about preparation among the QBs. It might mean theres nothing to really worry about.

PS You are right about the condioning aspect. The Broncos seem to start out the season extremly well conditioned and fade down the stretch. I would say its a lack of depth but the teams they are losing to shouldnt seem to have better depth (Hawaii and UNR).


Every back up QB is scary on most teams. That is why they are the backup. Kellen is a genius that is true, but this team, under his leadership and example in the preperation category is going to be fine even if Kellen goes down first series against georgia (God forbid) If BSU plays 4 quarters every game next year they will win by double digits every game, if Kellen goes down maybe 2 games are close.

Domed Stadium

Kellen should consult with Colt about what it is like to play GA in a domed stadium on green turf.

GA should consult with

Oregon or Va tech about what it is like to play BSU first game out.

Fresno State in '07 was a 'W,' as usual, not a 'L.'

Boise State's third loss in '07 (besides Washington and Hawaii) was in the Hawaii Bowl to East Carolina. Fresno State lost to Boise State 34-21 in '07.

You are right

It was 2005 we lost to the Bulldogs in Fresno. It was Chris Johnson and ECU that gave us our 3rd loss. Apologies to Mr. Tharp.

Offense wins games, but, Defense wins Championships

Its's a fact, Jack!!

Kind of, anyways:



Hope Coach Pete is right on Billy Winn's ankle, that guy really adds an extra dimension to the D-line.

Overall, the defense definitely dominated, but I came away feeling that both Southwick and Hedricks showed that they can play, and both showed strong arms. Also, Hedrick's 10-yard scramble at the end of the game was impressive--it will definitely be a different era when Kellen leaves. Kellen didn't seem to be in sync the short time that he was in there, but the defensive pressure had something to do with that. Geraldo Hiwat looked imposing out there with his size and speed, and made some good grabs. Can't wait for the fall to see even more improvement, and what the incoming recruits can add to the mix.

Charlie - I hope so too - we need Winn healthy for 3 Sep 11.

Maybe it is time for the Big Hogmollies on both sides of the line to stop wearing those little ballerina slippers and get back to wearing clompy leather high top laceup football boots with lots of ankle support and built in metal bracing and support.

So many foot and ankle injuries on the Broncos these past several years, it seems like. Starting about 2008. Did they get a different shoe supplier then? Maybe White's Boots out of Spokane with their Steel Toed Logger Boots needs to get the contract for Interior Linesman Footwear.

Is it the current minimalistic ultralight footwear with little toe and arch protection, and ankle support, or drinking too much milk and calcium, making bones more brittle, that is causing the problem?


is it just, "Shi. Happens".

I dunno, cuz when I played we all wore the big 'clompers' and didn't have many foot or ankle injuries (mostly knee and upper body injuries - ribs and shoulders - but feet and ankle seemed rare). Maybe just a coincidence. I dunno.

Just seems like BSU has its highest incidence of inuries being feet and ankle problems, at least as is reported in the media, as I understand it.

I would love to learn of statistics from other teams, concerning their numbers of foot and ankle injuries as a persentage of their overall injuries.

Anybody got any stats on this type of stuff, or can lend an educated medical/physical therapy oriented guess at it?

Is BSU the exception or the rule in this area?


PS - Even the 'skill' players wore 'clompers':


Teriyaki bowls and a group shower. Duh, winning.


how can this be? still on the team?;contentBody


I am not a BBall followers so first I heard about it. I found this, so far:

Also, found out Steffan Johnson was on Vandal Ball team for 08-09 and 09-10 seasons.

Gotta split for Twin for the day, but will continue looking into this later today or evening - so I can give you more of an intelligent and researched answer.

If he was charged with any crime(s) stemming from the incident, of course he should not have been recruited by Verlin. But so far I don't see he or the others involved were ever charged with any crime(s).

It looks like it might be a civil suit so far? Again, I dunno. Looked at it for about 4 minutes so far and gotta look deeper before I can answer you further.

Civil tort Date Rape cases are so very ugly. Most firms won't touch 'em except for straight hourly - cash upfront. Sometimes it is several years after the incident (right before statute of limitations expire) that 'buyer's remorse' factors in and the 'victim' then wants to pursue some type of personal injury 'civil remedy' and go for some bucks, as the perps have increased their earning power from the time the incident ocurred.

Also, civil suits have a lower standard of proof than criminal cases. Criminal cases use 'beyond a reasonable doubt' and civil suits use 'a preponderance of the evidence' standard. Also, different standards of evidence; meaning if she was 'known and found' to be a sl@ut by her peers and associates - that testimony would be used against her. Real tricky waters for a Plaintiff to bring forth a civil personal injury suit. Opens doors that maybe should stay closed.

Will get back to you on this one. Looks interesting to dig into. Gotta go.


B81 - I am back and will finish

It seems Verlin may not have been given a true picture, at the outset. Apparently, University of Pacific did not press criminal charges nor did the alleged 'victim', as she refused to press criminal charges (really weakening reasonable suspicion that any crime had ocurred).

Also, Verlin may have been led to believe that Johnson was not officially, kicked off the team - just not included for future membership on the team.

It's hard to believe that Verlin did not know the true story, as his twin brother was a coach on the University of Bacific BBall team, at the time, and would have been privy to all the 'inside scoop'. But, a convenient plausible defense for Verlin either way:

Also, Steffan Johnson had indicated he was going to sue University of Pacific, so the University had motivation to distance themselves from Johnson and discharge him from the school, thereby potentially 'weakening' his case against the University:

It appears the 'guilty' person in all of this mess is Idaho's Verlin who recruited Steffan Johnson, knowing full well of the serious perception of liabilities attached to Johnson (regardless if he was criminally innocent or guilty, or not):

1. University of Pacific is a private school and can discharge students/athletes from their institution 'at will' for any reason. Something should have sent a red flag up for Verlin when the University discharged a multi-year player and Big Star at the University of Pacific.

2. Steffan Johnson was reported to be formulating a lawsuit against the University of Pacific. Something should have sent a red flag up for Verlin when he found out about that (hard to believe his brother didn't tell him), knowing that if Johnson had intent to sue Pacific, he would not blink an eye at suing Idaho - thus making him more than unikely 'uncoachable' and 'unmanageable' at Idaho.

I am curious if Verlin even read his boss Rob Spear in on Johnson's 'problems' before Verlin signed Johnson. I am guessing 'no'.

Had I been an advisor to Verlin at the time; my recommendation would have been to 'pass' on Johnson and let Johnson be an albatross around some other school's neck. This situation does not speak highly of Verlin's ethics and poor judgement by putting Idaho at potential litigious risk from a player who had already threatened to do it to University of Pacific (regardless of whether or not Johnson participated in the 'date rape' incident, or not).

Verlin appears to be 'The Snake In The Grass' on this one.


Ps - In all fairness, the 60 Minutes interview quoted her father, Barry as saying, "Unbelievable to sit there and say 'Oh, wow, okay, well, we can use a guy like that.' 'Oh, he has a sexual assault and has been found guilty?' How in the he!l do you end up at another university within three months?". The truth is Johnson was never charged with a sexual assault, and never found guilty. To allow this piece of untruth to exist in the 60 Minutes interview and go unchallenged by Katie Couric, begs the question of veracity and honesty as to other parts/facets of the 60 Minutes interview and Katie Couric's professionalism, itself.

without a doubt

given that the kid came from his own brother, he knew every detail. if the a.d. didn't know every detail, he(spear)should be terminated. if he did know every detail, both should be terminated. in other words, both should be terminated.


Now you know what little I know about it. Had never heard about it until you got down in the mud and manure and 'rassled that Vandal Pig and found your prize.

Thanx for sharing your mud and chit covered dog bone.

Can't wait until your next treasure announcement.

Do you shower next or just let it dry and peel off?


after going to boise state

i gained a new level of gentrification. i fished it out with a high tech pole getting nary a trace on myself in the process. the high tech pole is aka facebook. posted by a vandal no less.

Totally agree, V***

The interview is incomplete and hangs on what is left unsaid. Suspect professionalsim, exactly.
Thanks for doing the follow-up. Your effort is appreciated.