Boise State WR Matt Miller hopes to add another dimension to his game; Billy Winn could start for Browns

By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman

Boise State sophomore wide receiver Matt Miller feels faster. Apparently, he looks it, too.

“He’s gotten a lot faster,” fellow receiver Kirby Moore said. “That’s one thing that he really made an emphasis of, becoming more of a deep threat. And I’m sure we’ll see that through the season. … I’m sure he thought he could have had some bigger plays last year that slipped by and so I think he just wants to capitalize on those.”

Miller’s response: Thanks for noticing.

“I like to think I got a little faster,” he said. “That was one of my main goals this offseason. Hearing Kirby say that makes me feel pretty dang good.”

Miller tied for the team lead with 62 catches last season but averaged 11 yards per catch, 5 yards fewer than Tyler Shoemaker.

With Shoemaker gone, the Broncos need more explosive plays out of Miller.

“I don’t think it hurt me, but it kind of left me one-dimensional at times, not really running those deep routes as much as I wanted to,” Miller said of his 2011 speed. “I think this year I can be more two-dimensional.”

Miller’s new gear will get quite the test in Friday’s opener at Michigan State. He frequently will face cornerback Johnny Adams, a projected NFL first-round draft pick.

“He’s a smart player, a very physical player — he is the real deal,” Miller said. “He’s going to be a great challenge for all the wideouts because he is a great player.”


Michigan State owns the nation’s fourth-longest home winning streak at 14 games — seven wins in each of the past two seasons. That’s the first pair of undefeated home seasons for the school since 1955-56.

The Sporting News ranked Spartan Stadium third on its “Five Toughest Places to Play Right Now” list this year.

“The atmosphere is crazy,” senior right tackle Fou Fonoti said. “It truly feels like family. You feel the love and the support. We feed off the enthusiasm.”


Michigan State linebacker Max Bullough on the game approaching: “It probably won’t hit me till I’m standing in the hotel right before the game. With the students coming back and the buzz starting up, it’s exciting around here.”


Miller on this game: “We’re going to have to be the most prepared we’ve ever been Friday night.”



This will be the 12th night game in the 89-year history of Spartan Stadium. The Spartans are 7-4, including recent last-play wins on a fake field goal (Notre Dame, 2010) and a Hail Mary (Wisconsin, 2011). … Boise State receives $1.2 million for playing this game. … Boise State coach Chris Petersen is 8-1 vs. BCS-conference teams, including six straight wins.


Former Boise State defensive tackle Billy Winn could start for the Browns. Story here.


For Thursday’s paper, I’m writing about fans who are attending the Lions’ game Thursday night to watch Kellen Moore and the Boise State game Friday night.

Moore expects to play more than half of Thursday’s game and likes the idea of a blue-and-orange cheering section at Ford Field.

“That would be fun,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity for everyone to cash in and get a little two-for-one deal in Michigan.”

I’ll be at the Lions’ game Thursday night and will blog and tweet about Moore’s performance. The NFL makes its final cuts Friday.


Don’t forget our live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Read our coverage on your iPhone or Android phone.

1346253186 Boise State WR Matt Miller hopes to add another dimension to his game; Billy Winn could start for Browns Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Michigan State players stay in a HOTEL ??

Why on earth would the Michigan State players stay in a HOTEL the night before a HOME game? That's just asinine and a ridiculous waste of money. Must be nice to be in a B.C.S. conference so you can be so wasteful and ridiculous.

A lot of teams that

lack disipline use this tatic to keep everyone focused.

That's not true...

...typical uneducated Donk fan.... Most schools (disciplined or not) with the money stay at a local hotel the night before games. It's common. It started in the NFL many, many years ago and has filtered down into college. Basically teams do the same routine they do on the road.

Uneducated? Avoiding trouble is exactly the reason.

Another jerky goofball spouting off. There are only a handful of teams that allow their players to sleep at home for home games and that is because their players have proven they can be trusted. Yeah it's just common knowledge that people sleep better in hotels than they do in their own I said...what a goofball! You seriously think it's a benefit to sleep in a hotel?? Well with the common sense you've displayed I can imagine your possibly setting on a bail of hay right now, so actually I apologize.

Not lack of discipline

It's all about routine. Everybody at the hotel at a certain time, team meal, guest speaker, final team and position meetings and lights out by 10:00 (or whatever). Repeat before every game home or away. Most college and pro teams follow a similar blueprint.

BSU may not stay in a hotel for financial reasons, but I'm sure they have a set routine they follow as well.

It is totally about a lack of discipline.

Thats why staying in a hotel began in the pro's to make sure the players didn't come to the game the next day drunk and worked its way down to college teams. If you don't trust your players to get a good nights sleep you have to give them a curfew.

Φ Max McGee

doesn't approve of being sequestered with a curfew.

I believe Hawkins put them in a hotel.

I seem to remember when Coach Pete took over, he said the players grumbled about having to stay in a hotel so he made a deal with them; if they did what they were supposed to, and got to bed on time, then they could stay home. If any one of them broke the agreement, they'd all have to go back to staying at a hotel.

I somewhat recall what you're talking about

well stated IDADUCK

even in the 50's my mentor Frank Kush kept us at the RoseInn just to make sure we were not out playing house with the sorority girls..not really ...he wanted us to pray for 24 hours before a game...he taught his teams to pray and pray hard that you do not lose because if you did come monday you are going to wish you were playing ball for the U of A instead of Arizona State Universtiy...dam we prayed a lot and hard too


Here's the story I wrote about this very topic in 2008...

November 7, 2008
Section: Sports

Broncos sleep in their own beds for home games
BSU is the only team in the WAC that does not stay in a hotel the night before home games.

Tight end Richie Brockel goes for a drive in the Foothills.Safety Ellis Powers plays video games with teammates.
Linebacker Derrell Acrey plays the piano.
Boise State is the only football team in the WAC that does not stay in a hotel the night before home games.
Instead, the Broncos are free to prepare for games in their own way - a symbol of trust that the players cherish and know not to abuse.
The Broncos have earned that trust by winning 62 of their past 64 home games going into Saturday's clash with Utah State at Bronco Stadium (12:07 p.m., KTVB).
"That's the big thing, knowing that the coaches trust you," said Acrey, a sophomore. "It's that player-coach relationship that's strong at Boise State. It's also comfortable for us."
Most college football programs seclude their teams the night before games so they can control the environment and limit distractions.
San Jose State coach Dick Tomey has done it both ways in his career. He does take the Spartans to a hotel.
"In San Jose, being a big city, I think you need to stay in a hotel," Tomey said. "Probably if you've got a great team, it doesn't matter, and if you're in a community that lends itself to there being some place for you to stay without too much disruption, you can probably do that."
Players going home the night before home games is part of the culture at Boise State. Only coach Skip Hall, who led the Broncos from 1987 to 1992, insisted on using a local hotel, athletic director Gene Bleymaier said.
Coach Chris Petersen, who came from Oregon, was surprised at first to learn that the Broncos didn't stay in a hotel. His only concern now is that dorms or apartment complexes might be too loud for the players to get a good night's sleep.
"After a year or two, you think, 'Why would we stay in a hotel?' " he said. "É As long as we feel like it's not a problem, we love them to stay at home. We think we're the only Division I team in America that does not go to a hotel the night before the game. And I think that's a plus, and I just hope the situation can continue that way."
The players report to the football complex at 6 p.m. the night before games. They have dinner and meetings, then leave about 8:30 p.m. Petersen encourages them to visit with their families but wants them asleep by 11. He doesn't check up on them.
"We're giving them a lot of trust," Petersen said. "É That's an important one for us. We feel like we're different and these guys are special to be able to allow them to stay at home."
Brockel, a junior, uses his evening to go for a drive up 8th Street and write in his journal. He started that tradition when he was so nervous the night before his first college game that he had to get out and do something.
Acrey goes home and plays the piano, an instrument he began toying with a couple years ago.
Those relaxation routines might not be possible if the Broncos didn't go home on game nights.
"I really like that," Brockel said. "É It gives you the opportunity to get good rest in your own bed and be in your own environment. I think that's really helped our home-field advantage."

Thanks for that Chadd


U of I Stays at Holiday Inn Express in Lewiston

.....the night before home games in the Kibbie Dome.

if true

and i'm not saying it's not, they'll need all the help they can get from it. heard their qb failed a drug test and won't start the opener.

Φ Third time around for this guy.

"Junior Dominique Blackman was named the starting QB near the end of fall camp, but the Argonaut, UI’s student newspaper, reported Tuesday that Blackman won’t start for undisclosed reasons."

Not good.


Isn't the Holiday Inn Express supposed to make you super smart? Like the commercials:

"How long have you been practicing brain surgery?"
"Oh, I'm not a doctor. But, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express."

Too bad it didn't carry over into football skills, or the UoI would be invited to the MWC, too.

Good enough to post twice

Toledo does it

It's not just big dollar BCS programs that do it. Last year the Toledo team was staying in our hotel the night before the game.

staying in hotels for home games....

you can justify just about any expense like this one or the 9th Circuit judges having their convention on Maui. No problem just raise tuition every year, books and fees. Waste is waste period. Let's not forget about the schools whinning at the state legislatures for more money every year. Like the Feds, schools don't have an income problem they have a spending problem.

It will be interesting

To see how Miller fares against Adams. Sounds like Adams is the real deal. Miller is a tough kid with velvet hands. Hopefully Southwick can get the ball to Miller on time, or it may be a long day for Joe. Somebody give me some encouragement.... because I keep seeing Zabranski throwing all those interceptions in his first BIG start against Georgia. Go Joe you can do it!!!


I have to comment on this one. I watched that Georgia game with friends at an Eagle home when Z stumbled after having a great sophmore year. It was hard to swallow because there was some UGA fans in attendance. JS is unproven but I don't like to compare that game. The one game I will compare it to was when Tharp took over after Z left and lost to UW. The back up gets the nod for the next year and although a very good fought game the Broncos didn't walk away with a W. JS is just unproven and the only time I have seen JS play is when Moore has pretty much won. So will JS get the W. I sure hope so. I've learned in the past that betting against the Bronco's is hazardous to my pocket book. Go Broncos. Prove em wrong again.

it has to do with discipline, finances and routine.

I believe Coach Hawk or his predecessor had the players staying in hotels for home games. Coach Pete backed off on that with the caveat being that they had to earn the right NOT to be put in a hotel to maintain discipline. Our players know where the line is and, to a very large degree, they stay clean 'cause they know what happens when you cross over it.

Back on subject guys and gals

The article is about Matt Miller, who gives a crap where the teams stay!!! Hopefully they stay at the Holiday Inn Express!!!

subject matter

For what it's worth, nobody would be making comments about MSU being in a hotel had it not been for the fact that they read about it in the article.