By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
The Boise State football team only returns one player who started every game last season — junior right tackle Charles Leno Jr.
Leno, who hadn’t started a game until last year’s season opener, also ranks tied for third on the team in career starts with 13. Left guard Joe Kellogg and cornerback Jamar Taylor are tied for first with 22. Tight end Gabe Linehan has 13.
Leno is trying to get better this year through attacking his fundamentals. He was sloppy at times last year, he said.
“We’re all about being technicians out there on the O-line, so that’s what I want to do,” he said.
The Broncos put on shoulder pads for Monday’s practice, part of the NCAA acclimatization process. Like the first two days, they split into a veterans practice in the morning and a newcomers practice in the afternoon.
In the morning, the defense met its three-turnover goal for the first time during camp. Linebacker Tommy Smith made a nice pick on a pass that deflected off the body of the receiver in front of him. The first-team offense marched 65 yards for a touchdown on its first game-like drive of camp. Sophomore wide receiver Matt Miller made the touchdown grab.
In the afternoon, true freshman Donte Deayon, who was tabbed Mr. Interception in high school, grabbed an interception and nearly had a second one during 1-on-1 drills.
Senior defensive lineman Darren Koontz was named coach Chris Petersen's camper of the day. I’ll have more on Koontz in Tuesday’s newspaper.
“Darren had a really nice day,” Petersen told Broncosports.com. “He was playing physical and much faster, and he was nice and disruptive today.”
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio met with the media Monday and the Spartans’ season opener against Boise State was a key topic.
“All I do is just keep looking at 73-6, which is Coach Petersen’s record,” he said. “You don’t have to go much beyond that.”
Dantonio and his staff have counted 178 different offensive formations while studying the Broncos.
“I was just watching Boise this morning,” he said. “… They’re a little bit of an unknown at certain positions because they’ve lost some guys. But they’re an extremely well coached team. … We’ve grown a lot of respect for them just from the time since we’ve been watching them.”
ESPN announced its college football announcer crews for the season Monday.
The Friday crew (Michigan State game) includes Carter Blackburn for play by play, Rod Gilmore as analyst and Jemele Hill on the sidelines.
The Thursday crew (BYU game) includes Rece Davis for play by play, Jesse Palmer and David Pollack as analysts and Samantha Steele on the sidelines.