By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
After the quarterbacks, the players likely to draw the most fan attention at the Spring Game on Saturday are the kickers.
And so far this spring, they haven’t impressed.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do there,” coach Chris Petersen said Wednesday.
Sophomore Dan Goodale and redshirt freshman Jake Van Ginkel have handled most of the field goal chores in spring ball. Senior Michael Frisina, who shared the starting job with Goodale last year, has been limited by injury.
The coaches have become more involved in coaching the kickers this spring.
“We’re working as hard as we ever have with them,” Petersen said. “I don’t know if we’re overcoaching them, overanalyzing them, or not. We’re just not as consistent as we need to be.”
The Broncos were 6-of-9 on field goals and 71-of-79 on PATs last season.
Petersen said the quarterbacks will be “100 percent” live in the Spring Game. They wear red no-contact jerseys in practice but also were live in the closed scrimmage and a brief scrimmage at the end of last Saturday’s practice. No pecking order for the quarterbacks has been established, Petersen said.
Sixth-year senior tailback D.J. Harper won’t participate in the scrimmage, Petersen said. Coaches have been cautious with him all spring because he’s the only established tailback the team has.
The format will be offense vs. defense with a scoring system, like last year. The winning side gets teriyaki bowls and showers; the losing team goes home hungry and sweaty.
“You don’t want to go home stinking,” junior offensive tackle Charles Leno Jr. said.
Petersen on spring ball: “I don’t think it’s great or off the charts. To put 15 practices with unbelievable energy and focus and all the things that these guys are going through and the early mornings and getting used to that, I think we’ve made progress and learned some things maybe about the mornings that we may adjust in the fall.”
Petersen on reloading vs. rebuilding: “We’re not slowing down one second. Our expectations aren’t changing one bit. We have different guys and it’s maybe going to be more of a struggle at times but that’s the beauty of this thing, but we really expect to win. We really expect to play well. We really don’t expect a big drop-off. We just don’t. We don’t expect those things. That’s how we coach them. That’s how we think. When you really set standards like that, it’s amazing how kids meet and exceed what you’re expecting.”
Petersen on the Broncos’ large class of NFL prospects: “It’s amazing. It really is. I keep thinking how did we do that and how do we do it again. The first thing I think about is we got very lucky. So many guys panned out. They were the kids that we thought they were and developed into the players — even better than — we thought they were.”
Petersen doesn’t emphasize the NFL success in recruiting but says he’s proud of how many Broncos are showing up there. He says the key is for players to focus on being the best college players they can be, rather than on their long-term goal.
“Those guys all did it the right way,” he said. “They were all about winning championships here. They did that, and now they get the next step.”
If you’re running in the Beat Coach Pete race, expect Petersen to run the 5k in about 30 minutes. The run benefits the Boise State student scholarship fund.
“The final preparations have just been put on it about 2 hours ago,” he said. “It will be somewhere in the 30 range. There have been a few people really wanting a piece of me. They know where to find me on Saturday morning. I’m excited and I can’t wait. … It’s really what we’re about here is helping other people that aren’t really tied into us, but we’re all tied together, and we know that.”
Petersen was asked about how he fosters integrity, in light of what’s happened at Arkansas: “We talk to our team morning, noon and night about how to conduct ourselves and how to do things and it is always a work in progress. It’s always a rigorous progress. Those are always hard, brutal, honest conversations. When we’re talking to our team, we’re talking to ourselves. I’m talking to myself. We all live in a glass house. We just need to understand the responsibility we have, having the privilege to be here at Boise State.”
Here is the audio of Petersen’s press conference.