Boise State's young defensive ends eager to contribute

By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman

The Boise State football team expects to use five defensive ends in the season opener Friday night at Michigan State.

Their combined stats at Boise State: 18 games played, 17 tackles, 1.5 sacks.

That makes the group one of the Broncos’ biggest unknowns going into the season — and one of the biggest keys to the team’s success.

The ends replace NFL first-round pick Shea McClellin, third-round pick Tyrone Crawford and free agent signee Jarrell Root.

“We’ve got a lot of talent, I’d say,” said sophomore Tyler Horn, who made seven tackles and 1.5 sacks in eight games as a true freshman. “We all bring something a little different to the table, but overall I think we’re pretty talented and we’re pretty hungry to get out there and play and just prove people wrong about our young D-line.”

Horn and sophomore transfer Demarcus Lawrence are expected to rotate at the traditional end spot. Sophomore transfer Beau Martin, redshirt freshman Sam Ukwuachu and junior Kharyee Marshall (10 tackles in 10 games in his career) are expected to play the stud spot, the end who plays a combination of defensive line and outside linebacker.

Lawrence, Martin and Ukwuachu will make their major college football debuts.

“I know they’re going to be excited,” defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said. “You get them to where they know their stuff and they can just go play fast and play hard. And if they get lined up and know what they’re doing, if they’re playing fast, we’ve got a chance at anything, whether you’re new or experienced. But until they go out and do it, you don’t know.”

Kwiatkowski, though, is confident the ends will produce.

“Those guys practice hard, they’re passionate about it, they’re going to be ready to go,” he said. “Everybody needs that opportunity. They’re going to go out and play great.”

Horn expects the same — partly, he says, because of the way the linemen are coached. Kwiatkowski and new defensive line coach Andy Avalos have shaped the group.

“I couldn’t ask for a better coaching staff,” Horn said. “They do a great job and they’re honest all the time. They’re extremely hard on us, but I feel pretty excited about this D-line.”

The key, Horn said: “Be disciplined. Do our job. And just compete.”

He tells the less experienced linemen that he was nervous last year.

“But once I got in there it was just like practice, it was like any game I ever played in,” he said. “Once you’re in there, you just want to keep playing.”

The ends will face an offensive line that returns four starters, including both tackles. Senior right tackle Fou Fonoti (6-foot-4, 296 pounds) didn’t allow a sack last year in 659 regular-season snaps. Junior left tackle Dan France (6-6, 315 pounds) is a former defensive tackle.

“They’re big — they’re really big — and they’re aggressive,” Horn said. “We just want to match that physical style of play.”

Said Boise State coach Chris Petersen: “That’s going to be an interesting matchup because you’ve got some salty old veterans at Michigan State against some new kids on the block.”


We’ll have our live chat at 11 a.m. today. You can find a link to it at


Petersen has gotten to know Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio over the years.

“He’s one of those guys who is very meticulous in what he does and knows exactly what he wants,” Petersen said. “A really good person. Just a good guy to be around. He’s really a guy I’ve always rooted for until this week. I have a lot of respect for him, for what he’s done there. … You can tell their team is very fundamentally based. They believe in great defense and running the ball. A lot of those things that we believe in strongly as well. The styles might look slightly different, but I think at the root of everything we’re very similar.”


Here is the Detroit Free Press’ story on Boise State’s offense. Most interesting: the idea that the Broncos’ constant shifting results in defense’s playing slower than normal.

Read our coverage on your iPhone or Android phone.

MSU will be without

Their starting LG (Treadwell), he will be replaced by a RF (Allen) who was actually battling for the starting spot.

They also lost their backup LT.

Their depth at OL is pretty thin, any injury will hurt.

Oh, and their TE is 6-5 285, dude's a horse

TE Dion Sims

had a huge scrimmage, 10 catches for 171 yards. Either he's amazing or MSU can't defend very well against the tight end in a passing scheme. The Bronco's linebackers and db's need to keep the ball out of this guys hands.

The scrimmage numbers

I think the telling point of those numbers is "where were his wide-outs?"

He completed only 13 total pa$$es and 10 went to Sims, 1 to a RB, and only 2 to WR's. That was out of 27 total attempts......

The transfer WR from Tennessee that was suppose to give them that great WR barely made the 2 deep depth chart.

I really think this is where we win the game, their 3 starting WR's have 18, 14, and 14 career catches.........

I think we get 3 picks.............

Watch out for Ukwuachu. Kid

Watch out for Ukwuachu. Kid is going to be a beast. Big game tomorrow! GO BRONCOS!!!!!

I worry about his weight

Both starting MSU tackles has almost 100 pounds on him.

they might tire easily

I hope

Φ Or, might

run him over easily.

Kellen is rockin

the throws, he just needs someone catch the ball when it hits their hands.


Do you know what the lines were for bsu's last 3 season openers?


I do, but I'm not home (they are on my home box)

Φ On right now.

Kellen looks like he's doing quite well. Thru 3 Qs he's 10-21 for 133 yards, 0 TDs or INTs. Just picked up a FG, Lions lead 31-24 early in the 4th.

The WR's have

at least 4 easy drops.

Holy cow!

Moore on a naked boot leg for a TD!

Φ Put him in

at fullback!

89 yards to go on this next drive. See if he can do it again. Nope, protection broke down on 3rd.

Φ Kellen RUNS for a TD!

He's averaging a whopping 4.0 y-p-carry. 14-27 for 198 now. Last drive was typical surgeon Kellen (8 plays, 80 yards).


Do you know what the lines were for bsu's last 3 season openers?


I didnt mean to post that twice.

smaller DEs

when our small quick DEs zoom by the big slower guys there will be disruption and pics and sacks.... BSU 30 MSU 20....

Φ Vandals trail EWU

20-3 with under 13 minutes left in the 4th quarter.

EWU looks like an FBS team. Idaho does not.

that sound must be the

flushing of their season. maybe this(not likely)will motivate them to move to the big sky. this is certainly solid evidence that they are not in a position to delay the inevitable. they have work to do to be competitive in the big sky.

Φ Vandals lose 20-3

and weren't competitive. 10 first downs, 2 turnovers, 237 total yards ... against an FCS school that had lost 10 straight against FBS competition. Idaho is the bookends for both of those EWU wins.

Maybe their QB Blackman, suspended for this game, can make a difference. Can't count on that, too many other problems. Eastern Washington looked far better conditioned and way more prepared for this game. Time to be asking some pointed questions ... about housecleaning.

Punched in the mouth by a team out of Cheney, WA. That was nothing short of a disaster.


is the only way to phrase it. they are unable to compete in the big sky. really sad state of affairs.