By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
Boise State football coach Chris Petersen named a few players who have had nice springs so far at his press conference Wednesday:
— “I think all the quarterbacks are progressing, I really do. Starting with our new guy Nick Patti, I think he’s doing a very nice job. There is a lot of stuff being thrown at him and I think he’s hanging in there nicely. Go all the way up to Joe Southwick — it’s a lot easier to see Nick’s improvement than it is to see Joe’s, but I think he’s doing a nice job. And everyone in between there.”
— “(Defensive tackle) Mike Atkinson is doing a really nice job. He’s in as good a shape as I’ve seen him. (Defensive end) Demarcus Lawrence is showing up. (Defensive end) Sam Ukwuachu is showing up.”
— “(Safety) Jeremy (Ioane) is another guy who has done a nice job. We’ve definitely noticed him and he’s taken a step forward. There’s no question his game is improved.”
— “(Wide receiver Kirby Moore) — he’s another guy who has jumped out. I really think of him as kind of your prototype inside receiver. You can throw it kind of behind him, a little too high, and he can catch it. He’s doing those things this spring, even though we’re playing him outside as well.”
Petersen spoke to the media for the first time since the closed scrimmage before spring break. Southwick’s experience showed, he said. “Joe knows the most and just in terms of running the show and managing the game he was probably the best there,” he said. “Was he exactly where we need him to be? No. And he’d tell you that, too. Did Nick make some plays? Yeah, and so did Jimmy Laughrea and Grant Hedrick. And both those guys had plays they’d love to have back.”
I’m doing a story on the true freshmen who played last season for Sunday’s paper. Petersen told a story about linebacker Derrell Acrey, who was on the redshirt bubble his first year (2006). Petersen asked him to watch the first game from the sideline as if he were going to play. Afterward, he asked Acrey what he thought.
“I’m good. I think I’m ready,” Acrey told him.
Petersen gave him the same instructions for the second game, which was against Oregon State. Petersen asked again how he felt.
“I think it would probably be good if I redshirted,” Acrey told him.
And so he did.
Petersen on using his quarterbacks as runners:
“We need to play to our kids’ strengths. But one of the issues and problems with a spread offense is if you run a guy a lot you’re increasing the odds (of injury) — and the odds are always scary anyway at that position.”
Boise State will hold a junior day for high school prospects in conjunction with the Spring Game. Petersen expects about 15-20 attendees.
It’s part of a busy day for the coach — he also has his Beat Coach Pete fun run that day.
“There’s a lot of water under the bridge after that day,” he said.
Boise State practiced in Bronco Stadium on Tuesday with construction work going on between the south end zone and the Varsity Center. To get into the stadium, the team has to walk out of the building onto the hall of fame plaza, through a stadium gate and down to the 50-yard line.
Nobody minds, Petersen said, because of the expanded bleachers and new football complex that will result.
“Love it,” he said. “Totally inconvenienced, have to take the long way around. Love it. Everybody has a smile on their face doing it. … It’s awesome to see this construction going on. The new bleachers are going to be great. They will give the stadium a little different look. Obviously we’re jumping up and down about the new football complex that will be here shortly.”
The Broncos plan to use the intramural field on campus for some of their fall camp practices this year, Petersen said. They had practiced in recent years at Dona Larsen Park, which won’t have a grass field available anymore.