Murphy: Boise State quarterback job is Southwick's to lose

By Brian Murphy

Boise State junior quarterback Joe Southwick emerged from Saturday's Spring Game as the favorite to be the starter when the Broncos open the 2012 season against Michigan State on Aug. 31.

Southwick, the backup to Kellen Moore last year, got the most snaps in the scrimmage and threw twice as many passes as any of the other three quarterbacks competing to replace Moore.

If the 6-foot-1, 191-pounder from Danville, Calif., continues to play like he did Saturday, I don't see how anyone can wrest the job from him.

Southwick led the No. 1 offense to a touchdown on the first drive of the scrimmage before a crowd of more than 17,000 at Bronco Stadium. He also led Boise State to a field goal.

Then, with dinner and showers on the line for the winners, Southwick guided the No. 2 offense to a game-winning touchdown with 54 seconds left. The offense won 22-19.

Southwick celebrated his 18-yard touchdown pass to receiver Chris Potter by raising up his arms, asking the fans to cheer and pumping his fists.

Southwick finished the game 14-of-19 for 145 yards and one touchdown. He had a 155.16 quarterback rating.

"He needs a situation like that probably more than the other guys because he's been around running the base stuff. That's a great opportunity to get a situation we don't see everyday," Boise State coach Chris Petersen said of Southwick's final drive.

Southwick and the other quarterback contenders — sophomore Grant Hedrick, redshirt freshman Jimmy Laughrea and true freshman Nick Patti — were off-limits to the media as they have been all spring.

"We've told them they're all capable of being the quarterback here. 'Don't worry about the guy next to you. Just worry about playing your best and it will work out how it's supposed to,' " Petersen said.

Patti — who certainly captured the imagination of Boise State fans who are eager to see another four-year starter like Moore — was the other impressive quarterback Saturday. The 5-foot-11 freshman from Orlando, Fla., threw a 35-yard touchdown to receiver Troy Ware. The pass was into a stiff wind.

"He might be the most impressive guy in the quarterback race right now just from being around such a short time and just throwing as much as we did, to be able to call a snap count, call the cadence, call the play and execute," Petersen said.

Patti finished 4-of-8 for 60 yards and one touchdown. His QB rating was 154.25.

In my opinion, Patti will only play if he wins the starting job. If not, it makes sense to redshirt Patti, who could certainly benefit from running the scout team and learning the Broncos' complex offense.

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Very good point regarding Patti - it makes a lot of sense to redshirt the freshman. Kellen Moore was such a unique talent; it's probably not too realistic to have frequent QBs that start four years.

I've always wondered

is it unheard of to have a player redshirt between his Freshman and Sophomore years? It seems like Patti is a bit crowd-shy, and maybe a year of cleaning up fourth quarters against New Mexico and Colorado State would be good experience for him, while Boise State is still playing their horrible MWC sked. Then maybe study for a year after he has his sea legs.


Patti looked really good for a true freshman, first time out in front of the home crowd. He was a little tentative and awkward his first set of snaps. After throwing that TD pass, he settled in and looked pretty sharp. He threw a couple balls that should have been caught and scrambled for gains a couple times when the play blew up; a real good sign of a playmaker. If he's our future, we have a lot to look forward to.


There's no way anyone is going to live up to what we fans had in Kellen. Good to see Southwick going for it but down deep I gotta real good feeling about Patti. Thing I really like about Pete though is his ability to see thru everything and come up with what is best for everyone concerned. Players, fans, school and all...and WIN. I'm on Petes side.

It's April Brian. Don't count your quarterbacks...

before the team is hatched?


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?


Me thinks Patti will be the next great Bronco QB on the national scene.

an observation for coaching patti

i noticed that nick patti in the shotgun would make a little body twitch right before the snap every time.... please tell him not to have that habit because opponents will pick up on it and have an advantage on our offense....
i am a former BSU player.... even in high school i would watch upcoming opponents film over and over again and watch for every tiny little thing they would do differently on certain plays that give away what they were doing.... it's amazing how much you can detect....
i can remember many opponents lining up and giving me strange looks as i called out to my fellow defense men what play they were about to run....

Good observation!


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

I don't think

that they redshirt the second best quarterback on the team--and that's second best right now. Patti showed poise, a live arm, and a burst on his scrambles. Lots of time to learn the playbook and gain confidence in the fall. Like "Oregonian" says, the team hasn't been hatched yet. Murphy does this every time there's a quarterback change, we just have to use that old cliche "remains to be seen".

That was Beetlejuice's favorite saying in the cartoon : )


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

Patti is okay with good arm---

but he's miles behind Southwick. Southwick showed last year in games he can pick up a blitz. He showed this game he steps up into the pocket when pressured passing and doesnt have happy feet.
Last winning drive was image Kellen. Guess he learned few things from Kellen.

Patti isn't miles

behind anybody per Coach Pete's comments about him. Southwick may know the playbook better, but he isn't patient enough and forces the ball into coverage. He did that last season in mop-up duty, and should have had one pick yesterday on a throw into heavy coverage that caused a few groans from the folks around me. Patti looked the most poised to me even though he didn't get equal time in the game (compared to Southwick) to establish a rhythm. Nonetheless, his sideline throw to Holden Huff while rolling out was the most impressive pass for the day with Southwick's throw to Potter, admittedly, a good second. Also, this Holden Huff guy is going to be a heck of a tight end.

If the o line is doing its job

and ya step up into the pocket ya less likely to get the ball knocked out from behind. Watch these Qb's next fall game and see if they step up into the pocket or stay planted and get caught from behind--or get happy feet.
Course the o line has to creat a pocket, but BSU does pretty good job at that.

Redshirt Patti

I think that is the way to go. He showed alot for a kid that has been here just over three months. If he redshirts, runs the scout team and really studies game film, the kid will have a great future here.

The one thing I noticed none of the contenders could do, was side step like KM could. Imagine how much better they all would be with their running skills and be able to side step rushers like Moore could.

But Where is the RB's?

So I am curious why we are not seeing the highly recruited guys like Fields, Ajayi and Lambert? We are going to need a huge running game. DJ can not run it all and Drew does not appear to have much forward power.

Looks like we need some youngens for depth

Fields and think another recruit not here yet. Ajay knee still in bandage, Lambert think I read is hurt and out for 2012? New kid from Hawaii and Drew did most the running.

Fields, Ajayi

Fields is still in high school in Texas and Ajayi is still rehabbing his knee injury. Also, IMO some of the posters on here need to ease up on the Patti expectations. Even Kellen, the winningest qb in college FB history, red shirted his freshman year.


I think we all are alittle afraid of dropping off at QB ( which would be natural) SO we are reading more into Patti than may be realistic at the time being. He will be a terrific player once he moulds in but for now he just needs to get aquinted with system. Redshirt him and next year he will be an animal!!