By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
Here is the ninth and final installment in my position-by-position preview of the Boise State football team. At the bottom, I’ve posted links to the blog and newspaper preview for other positions.
16 Joe Southwick, 6-1, 187, R-Jr.
9 Grant Hedrick, 6-0, 192, R-So.
14 Jimmy Laughrea, 6-1, 200, R-Fr.
8 Nick Patti, 5-10, 187, Fr.
Storyline: The Broncos still have not announced a starter, but coaches made it pretty clear in the final fall scrimmage that Southwick is their guy. He also far outperformed the other three quarterbacks that day. Coach Chris Petersen's press conference to preview the Michigan State game is Sunday.
Key to success: Playing smart. This team is good enough to win a lot of games with solid quarterback play, but might not be good enough to overcome poor play. Southwick needs to avoid turnovers and sacks so the Broncos can stick to a balanced offensive approach.
Reason for concern: Anyone who watched the scrimmage walked away concerned about the Broncos’ depth. Hedrick looks like the backup, but he threw back-to-back interceptions in his brief time with the first team.
Star player: Southwick should be entertaining. He’s a good scrambler, which leads to some fun plays, and he definitely plays with more outward emotion than Kellen Moore.
Breakout performer: Southwick. He was 23-of-30 for 198 yards and a touchdown with an interception last season.
Newcomer to watch: Laughrea and Patti have a lot of talent but are still figuring out how to play in the Broncos’ offense. One of them could push Hedrick for the backup job as the season progresses, although I’d expect Patti to redshirt and run the scout team.
— This will be the first time since 2001 that Boise State opens the season with a new quarterback against a BCS-conference team. Ryan Dinwiddie and the Broncos lost at South Carolina that year.
— Moore was the quarterback for six of Boise State’s 10 wins against BCS teams. He also was the QB for seven of the program’s 10 wins against ranked opponents.
— Coach Chris Petersen: “It was no different for Kellen when he came in here. We’ve had these quarterbacks playing well and we told Kellen, ‘Hey, this is the standard we’re looking for and these are the things we expect out of you,’ and he did a great job. He did a good job as a freshman and continued to inch each year, to get better. And that’s what we expect out of these guys.”
Projected depth chart:
Quarterback: Southwick, Hedrick/Laughrea
(no returning starters)
In Sunday’s paper: Replacing an iconic quarterback can be troublesome. Just look around college football at programs like Florida and Texas, which haven’t been the same without Tebow and McCoy.