By Chadd Cripe
© 2011 Idaho Statesman
True freshman Jake Van Ginkel will join the kicking competition for the Boise State football team this week, but special teams coach Jeff Choate said it’s important for the Broncos not to overreact after redshirt freshman Dan Goodale and junior Michael Frisina each missed a PAT last week at Toledo.
The kickers have been solid in practice, especially from short range.
“I really don’t see that as being a long-term issue,” Choate said. “We’re definitely concerned about it right now. We’re going to put a lot of focus and energy into it. … Especially on the extra points, there was no empirical evidence to suggest that was going to be a problem.”
Coaches say the snaps from Chris Roberson and the holds by Joe Southwick could be cleaner, but PATs should be made regardless of those factors.
They will consider some other options at holder — punter Brad Elkin, nickel Hunter White and wide receiver Matt Miller — to see if the kickers are more comfortable with someone else.
“We definitely need to get those guys in a comfort zone,” Choate said.
I’ll have more on the kicking situation in Tuesday’s newspaper.
Roster updates, according to coach Chris Petersen:
— Sophomore Spencer Gerke is listed as the starter at left guard but Joe Kellogg is expected to play. Kellogg missed last week’s game with an injury.
— Fullback Dan Paul remains week to week with a groin injury and backup Chandler Koch is getting closer to a return, but the coaches are looking at other options. Defensive players Mike Atkinson, Tyrone Crawford and Tommy Smith have appeared on offense at times this year.
— Petersen didn’t have an update on the status of Geraldo Boldewijn and Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe.
— Senior Cedric Febis is back in the starter’s role this week. He didn’t start last week because he was working with the second team while his eligibility was reviewed.
— Running back Jay Ajayi is working with the offense in practice, rather than the scout team, but the coaches haven’t decided to play him yet. If the running backs in front of him stay healthy, the Broncos don’t need to use him this year.
— Nickel Corey Bell and defensive back Lee Hightower, who previously were on the bubble, are expected to redshirt barring injury.
Boise State’s internal players of the week were quarterback Kellen Moore (offense), linebacker Aaron Tevis (defense), safety Hazen Moss (special teams), defensive end Tyrone Crawford (linemen), linebacker Blake Renaud (Hammer), quarterback Jimmy Laughrea (scout offense), Bell (scout defense) and linebacker Mitchell McCarthy (scout special teams).
Moore also was honored by the Mountain West and Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award.
Tulsa quarterback G.J. Kinne is questionable this week. He sustained a knee injury in the game early Sunday morning against Oklahoma State.
“He has made it clear, as I have, that this is his senior year and he’s going to play as soon as he’s available,” coach Bill Blankenship said.
The Golden Hurricane (1-2) are preparing with the idea that freshman Kalen Henderson will start.
“We’ve got to move forward that way,” Blankenship said. “If our quarterback can play and he doesn’t practice a down, he’ll play.”
Henderson was 6-of-20 for 104 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions against Oklahoma State.
“He started out shaky,” Blankenship said. “He had a tough first two or three series. But he led us to 27 points and threw a couple touchdown passes.”
The Hurricane’s most dynamic player, wide receiver and kick returner Damaris Johnson, is suspended indefinitely while he faces a felony embezzlement charge. He won’t play at all this year, Blankenship said.
Other highlights from Petersen:
On Tulsa: “I like their offense. They’re creative. They can run the ball. They spread you out. They can do it all. Always near and dear to our hearts is somebody who can really run the ball.”
On sloppy tackling: “That’s a little bit the nature of those spread offenses. We have to play harder. We have to play with better energy. That’s going to help our tackling. We can’t put it on one guy’s shoulder to tackle these really good athletes in space and expect that to happen all the time. … The defense, they did a decent job for the most part. As coaches, we care about the score but once the game is over we don’t care about the score. We look at the tape and say, ‘Are we playing as well as we can? I think there was a clear consensus that we can play better.”
Here is the audio of his press conference.
A New York Times study says Boise State has the 57th-largest fan base in college football. Not sure how strong the study is — it somehow figures Georgia Tech has more fans than Georgia — but it’s interesting.
Check out Murph’s Turf for a look at how the Mountain West is approaching conference realignment.