By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
Junior Joe Southwick looked like the clear favorite for the Boise State football team’s starting quarterback job in Saturday night’s scrimmage at Bronco Stadium.
Southwick took all of the snaps with the first team in the first half. He didn’t appear in the second half until the team switched to red zone work late in the scrimmage.
Southwick was 16-of-24 for 141 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Sophomore Grant Hedrick took all of the snaps with the second team in the first half. He got a shot with the first team in the second half and threw back-to-back interceptions. He was 6-of-16 for 28 yards with three interceptions and a forced fumble overall.
Redshirt freshman Jimmy Laughrea was 1-for-4 with a 75-yard touchdown pass to true freshman tight end Hayden Plinke and an interception. He was knocked out of the scrimmage on his only play with the second team, which was the only time he wasn’t wearing a red no-contact jersey. He is expected to be OK.
True freshman Nick Patti was 1-for-10 for 40 yards with an interception. He replaced Laughrea with the second team after the injury but also spent most of his night with the third team.
Coach Chris Petersen said he still has not decided on a starting quarterback.
“When we make the decision, we’ll tell everybody,” he said. “You guys know as much as I do how (Southwick) did. You saw what I saw. There’s some good stuff, but we’ve got to go put the tape on and analyze everything.”
As for Southwick taking the bulk of the first-team snaps, Petersen said: “Joe earned some good reps.”
Other highlights from the night (full stats here):
— The seven turnovers were produced by safety Darian Thompson (two interceptions), safety Chanceller James (interception), cornerback Donte Deayon (interception) and defensive end Darien Barrett (interception) — all freshmen; junior nickel Jonathan Brown (interception) and sophomore nickel Corey Bell (fumble return for a touchdown). Thompson also led the team with seven tackles. “That's the focus of every practice, every day, every meeting, so it's good to come out here in front of the fans and actually get it done,” sophomore safety Lee Hightower said of the turnovers.
— The run game was strong, led by redshirt freshman Jay Ajayi with 78 yards and a touchdown and true freshman Jack Fields with 51 yards. “I think that we took leaps, big leaps (from the first scrimmage),” senior tailback D.J. Harper said. “… You could tell we definitely got better.”
— Senior wide receiver Mitch Burroughs made seven catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.
— The kickers had a great night. Senior Michael Frisina was 6-for-6 on field goals, ranging from 29 to 36 yards. Sophomore Dan Goodale was 6-for-7, with makes from 31 to 37 yards. They also made all their PATs. “I’m happy for those guys,” Petersen said. “I think those guys have worked as hard as anybody on this team. I think they’re making progress. I think we’re taking the right steps there.” Petersen said the team is focusing on kicks inside 40 yards for now and may expand that range as the kickers improve.
— Petersen said the team hasn’t sustained any significant injuries. Wide receiver Matt Miller and defensive tackle Mike Atkinson, both starters, were among the players who didn’t participate in the scrimmage.
— Charles Leno Jr., the returning starter at right tackle, played left tackle with junior Jake Broyles at right tackle. That could be the lineup if coaches determine that Broyles is a better fit than senior Faraji Wright, who plays left tackle.
— Petersen on turnovers: “Seven turnovers, is that what it was? That’s great for the defense. Defensively, we get seven turnovers, we probably won’t lose many games. Offensively, we have seven turnovers, we’re not going to win any games. So we’ll have to take care of the ball better.”
— Petersen on true freshman wide receiver/kick returner Shane Williams-Rhodes, who made several big plays: “There’s no question we’re going to have some freshmen play for us. He’s a guy obviously that we’re looking real hard at. He showed up tonight. He’s one of those guys that that quickness is impressive. But we’ll see how he fits in the whole package.” Williams-Rhodes had a 42-yard TD catch negated by a flip into the end zone. “It’s going to be a great lesson for him to learn,” Petersen said with a chuckle.
— Cornerback Bryan Douglas, a sophomore, has been given the No. 1 jersey. Petersen said earlier in camp that young guys had to prove they deserved that number. Douglas previously wore No. 46. “What he did special is he took care of his academics,” Petersen said. “He did a very nice job there. He worked hard this summer. And I told him if he did those two things, I’d get him a new number.”