By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Here are some additional notes from Boise State's 17-13 loss to Michigan State on Friday night. At the bottom, I have links to our stories that were in the newspaper today.
The Broncos threw three consecutive deep balls down the right sideline on their last possession of the game. Junior Aaron Burks drew pass interference on the first, senior Chris Potter was unable to get back to an underthrown pass on the second and the third fell just out of the reach of diving senior Mitch Burroughs.
“We had the matchups we wanted,” Petersen said. “The ball’s got to be thrown maybe a little tighter and the receivers have got to come up and make the play. Somebody’s got to make something happen.”
The last two incompletions led to the fourth-and-2 play that ended the Broncos’ chances. Still, junior quarterback Joe Southwick said the lower-percentage passes were worth the risk.
“We’ve got to be explosive,” said Southwick, who connected with sophomore Matt Miller for a 40-yard gain earlier in the game. “We can’t just try to get our way down there by making 5-yard gains all the time. We’re going to have to take shots.”
True freshman tailback Jack Fields only received one carry in his first college game. He gained 2 yards.
Petersen was pleased with the way senior starter D.J. Harper played, but wants to see more of Fields.
“We need to get him the ball,” Petersen said.
Sophomore cornerback Bryan Douglas, the No. 3 cornerback, and redshirt freshman Darian Thompson, the No. 3 safety, played extensively in the opener.
Douglas started in place of senior Jerrell Gavins, who has been limited at times as he recovers from last year’s knee injury. They split time during the game.
Douglas made five tackles and forced a fumble. Gavins made eight tackles.
Thompson made six tackles and recovered a fumble.
“(Thompson) had a great spring, he had an excellent offseason program workout and he continued that into the fall,” defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake said. “He deserved a chance tonight.”
Boise State’s experienced offensive line was unable to handle Michigan State’s talent-rich defensive front in the run game. The Broncos rushed 24 times for 37 yards but didn’t allow a sack.
The Broncos were quick to credit the Spartans — senior guard Joe Kellogg said it’s probably the best front seven he’s faced in 23 starts — but expected more from a line that included two seniors and three juniors.
“We could have executed better, but they just kind of outplayed us tonight,” Kellogg said. “… When half your offense isn’t clicking, you’re going to have issues.”