Boise State football coach Chris Petersen says team won't panic, offense 'will start clicking'

By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman

Boise State football coach Chris Petersen on Monday expressed confidence in his offensive leaders — first-year coordinator Robert Prince and first-year starting quarterback Joe Southwick — and resolve to fix the issues that have plagued that group this season.

The Broncos are coming off a 7-6 win over BYU on Thursday, the second time in three games that they haven’t scored an offensive touchdown.

“I know everybody wants us to fire guys and get new players and coaches and all that stuff,” Petersen said. “That’s not what this is about. It’s about getting better, about gaining confidence and supporting each other and sticking to the process. As we’re doing that, learning and tweaking and trying to do the best we can with where we’re at.

“But I’m very convinced that everybody wants to panic and everybody wants us to yell and scream at one side of the ball, and that’s the last thing that’s going to happen around here.”

Petersen said the biggest issue is a lack of execution and that it’s up to the coaches to correct the problems, but also to make sure the players don’t lose confidence.

“Human nature is to be down on them, and I get it,” Petersen said. “Everybody else can be down on them. But as coaches, we’ve got to coach them better. We’ve got to put that on our shoulders and love these guys up and get them to believe that it will come around, it will start clicking sooner or later as long as we keep being smart coaches in terms of, ‘Maybe that’s not the best thing for him.’ We’ve got good guys, we’ve got good players. It may just take some time.”

Players said after the BYU game that the offense was close to clicking. Petersen said what they need is to hit a key play or two — like the Broncos did against Miami (Ohio), when they trailed 9-8 late in the first half and reeled off four straight touchdowns.

“If we hit a field goal and if we score the touchdown on fourth-and-1, this conversation is different,” he said. “Then you get the momentum we’re talking about. It’s just different. That’s how it goes. Many times during games we’d be struggling a little bit in the past four years until we would get a play or two that somebody would make and then you’d feel like you could breathe a little easier. We just haven’t been there yet.”

Senior tight end Chandler Koch said he thinks the Broncos have strayed from their “bread-and-butter” plays in favor of trying to trick defenses.

“I just feel like we’ve been trying to get a little too cute,” he said.

Petersen disagreed.

“We were running bread-and-butter plays,” he said. “We just need to get better at them. It’s just details. It’s red-zone football. It’s goal-line football. Obviously those two things jump out.”

Petersen said there are always some bad plays in a game that are the play caller’s fault — a lesson he learned during his time as a coordinator. He said the Broncos are running primarily the same offense as they have for years with some tweaks to keep defenses off-balance.

“I’ve never gone a game where I didn’t say, ‘Oh, man, I wish I had that back,’ ” he said. “There’s probably seven plays that you go, ‘I don’t like that.’ The guys who called plays for Kellen (Moore), it was the same thing. We’d go, ‘That wasn’t very good. Good thing he made a play happen.’ ”

He took responsibility for the failed fourth-and-goal sneak. Petersen, not Prince, called that play.

“It’s not any one thing,” Petersen said. “It isn’t any one person. On the goal line, that was me on the sneak. We didn’t have that in the game plan. We shouldn’t have called that. Everybody goes, ‘If we can’t get an inch we don’t want it bad enough.’ That’s not true. Maybe they’re bigger and stronger and we should do something different. … If it was just me, we could fix me. If it was this guy here or this guy there, we could fix it. But offensive football is very delicate and some times it doesn’t look like that. We’ve just got to tighten things up — make more accurate throws and not get penalties and make a tougher catch, and then all of a sudden things will start to change a little bit.”

Petersen’s role in the play selection is the same as it was with Bryan Harsin and Brent Pease as coordinators, he said.

“Now and again I chime in — and sometimes I shouldn’t,” he said.
As for Southwick, Petersen hasn’t wavered on that decision.

“I really believe Joe can do it,” he said. “We wouldn’t put him in there if he we didn’t think that. We’d go with someone else. But we think he can do it. We’ve seen him do it. We’ve seen it in practice. It’s all about consistency.”

More notes from Petersen:

— Petersen began his press conference with two statements focused on the positives of the BYU game: “One, I appreciate the crowd and really thought it would be a factor early on in the week and it was, and it was awesome. … Second, how proud I am of really our team for getting this win. I know what everybody wants to talk about — one side of the football — I don’t want that to overshadow how special the other side was. It was unbelievable. I don’t think any of us, including myself, thought in a million years we’d win a game if we didn’t score an offensive point.”

— On the defense: “This game is just so much about confidence. That can just lead to tremendous productivity.”

— Petersen said at one point several defensive players ran onto the field not realizing it was only third down for the offense. “They were ready to roll,” he said. “It was kind of that spirit and that attitude. We had a tremendous night before (game) meeting, a team meeting, just in terms of persevering and just keep playing hard and keep fighting. It just really came to fruition there in that game. It was just amazing to watch them play that hard.”

— On whether he plays conservative when the defense plays like it did Thursday: “We’re trying to win. We’re trying to score points. We’re only up seven points. They can score at any point, and they do. … I laugh and chuckle, this fake punt. People say, ‘Why would they put their defense in that situation?’ Because we’re trying to win the game. We’re going to fake more things. We’re not going to back off. I don’t get that mentality. I heard people talk about (BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall) going for two. They had the guy open.”

— Petersen said former Boise State coach Dirk Koetter (1998 to 2000) put the Broncos’ win in perspective. “Utah from the Pac-12 beats BYU and they storm the field. We beat them by one point and the sky is falling. He said, ‘When I was here as a coach,’ he wouldn’t have been able to get into that office because everybody would have been packed in there so excited to beat them. That’s just how it is.”

— Petersen said he should have tried a field goal of about 37 yards at one point in the BYU game rather than going for it on fourth down and that he still trusts kicker Michael Frisina. “We can still make field goals,” Petersen said. “… I probably got a little bit stubborn. I don’t want to kick field goals, regardless — I don’t care if we have the greatest field-goal kicker in the world, I don’t want to do that. … I told (Frisina) that — that had nothing to do with you, that had to do with me probably being too hard-headed. … I watched college football (last weekend) and everybody is missing field goals, but it’s a big deal around here because we have bad history with field goals around here. But he can make field goals. The situations we’re putting him in, he’ll make them.”

Listen to Petersen’s press conference here.


On the depth chart, starting left guard Joe Kellogg is not listed — an indication that he is unlikely to return from the injury that forced him to miss the BYU game. Brenel Myers is listed as the starting right tackle with Jake Broyles as the backup. Broyles has missed two straight games. Wide receiver Dallas Burroughs (backup outside receiver) and tailback Jay Ajayi (backup to D.J. Harper) make their first appearances of the season.


The Boise State-Southern Miss game will begin at 10 a.m. MDT (11 a.m. in Hattiesburg) Oct. 6, Fox announced Monday.

The game will air on Fox Sports Net. Those games air on Root Sports in the Boise market. Root is channel 27 on Cable One, 426 on Dish Network and 687 on DirecTV.

Read our coverage on your iPhone or Android phone.

1348542505 Boise State football coach Chris Petersen says team won't panic, offense 'will start clicking' Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Next Game

What about their next game?

Their next game...

is against New Mexico and will be aired on KTVB. Not much of a game, so that's probably why they jumped ahead a week.

Well, if that's the case

I hope Doug Harper gets some carries. He's awesome!

I'm sure...

he'll get some carries. Though, Southwick will probably get to throw a lot so he can have some success and build his confidence. The good news is both will be feeling much better next week.

Will they let Southwick wear a jock

This week, so he's not afraid to slide and make first down at the same time?


and knee pads for his slide

TMD that went right over your head...

Doug Harper is what Mark Johnson called Doug Martin/DJ Harper, more than once. He and Tom Proverbial Scott get so excited they cannot pronounce the players names correctly. It gets extra funny/worse when these guys call a game against Hawaii, in Hawaii. Must be all the bikini girls.

At least FO will get to actually watch a game this year.

My name is FO and I became aware yesterday.

Apparently the PR machine is as lackadaisical about BSU coverage as concerts.


You fry wants with that?

Harper needs rest

I think Harper needs some rest and it's time to build in some reps for the true/red shirt freshman specifically Fields and Ajayi. They will be a big part of our future and current success.

harper plan - run him til he tears acl again

that was sarcasm - but seriously - that seems to be the plan

what a plan

I know Jacks father traveled all the way from Texas to watch the game up close and wow he got to see Harper run the ball 31 times and his boy on the sideline. Really considerate Prince

Circle gets the Square.


You fry wants with that?

Doug Harper?

Is he a hybrid of Doug Martin and D.J. Harper?


DJ Hamster?

Ask Mark Johnson...



that will be funny for a long time

Frankensteining players not electronics? A She11ey game?

I had to Frankenstein that too.


You fry wants with that?

Which one? Every other cat in the Valley has that name.


You fry wants with that?

What Channel is root?

Come on Chadd, lets give some goood information.


on Direct TV.


Sorry, was on my way out the door and didn't have time to look up what channel it was on every operator. Will post it in a bit.

what channel on cox cable

what channel on cox cable

Doug Harper....

the cartilage hamster!

No high def on cableone

27 on Cableone, No HD :(

I still watch an 80s Trinitron.


You fry wants with that?

Root In Southern Utah?

Several of us in Bronco Nation will be in Moab and want to watch the game. Anybody know Southern Utah channels? Can we get watered-down beer at 10AM?

693 on Comcast

I live south of Salt Lake City about 30 minutes and have Comcast. Root Sports HD is channel 693 on Comcast, so not sure if that's the same channel for down in southern Utah, but if where ever you are you have Comcast you'll probably have Root Sports. The non-HD Root Sports is channel 52.

Good time for Moab. Get

Good time for Moab. Get some good Slick Rock laps for me! R

DirecTV Channel 687

Is the ROOT NW channel. Probably the only way you will be able to get it in Moab is if you have the Premier package.

Maybe this will help everyone out

Hopefully this will everyone out.

New Mexico

By the way, anyone know if the New Mexico game will be available online somewhere?

it'll be online - on the internet

thats where it'll be

Just don't watch it while in a desert outhouse texting...

Some grizzled old stranger needs to go.


You fry wants with that?

In Petersen

I trust.


— Petersen said former Boise State coach Dirk Koetter (1998 to 2000) put the Broncos’ win in perspective. “Utah from the Pac-12 beats BYU and they storm the field. We beat them by one point and the sky is falling. He said, ‘When I was here as a coach,’ he wouldn’t have been able to get into that office because everybody would have been packed in there so excited to beat them. That’s just how it is.”

Really? I dont, for one second, even think Coach Petersen believes what Coach Koetter told him. Utah and BYU are hated rivals. Rushing the field has nothing to do with conference affiliation. The Utah fans rushed the field because of the rivalry. And second, many Bronco fans EXPECT better than a 7-6 showing at home. Sorry. Expectations are high. Coach Pete just told us in the presser he has higher, better expectations. From coaches down to the players. Dont try to dumb down the fan base with "back in my day...". Coach Koetter was great for the program but a lot has changed in 12 years. Broncos expect to win, and win performing at a high level. Spoiled? Dam* right we are.

Another question

What school is Chandler Koch playing for the rest of the season?

no kidding

his seat on the bench is likely safe.

you betcha

right along side Jack Fields

How I view almost all Bronco games is thru

AM670 radio and on internet thru ESPN gamecast....on gamecast its like the old electric football, but chadd does give play by play comments....

Well ugly,

That would explain the entirety of your football knowledge.
However when I was younger, I grew up listening to the sultry se.xy tones of Paul J. To this day I get aroused when I think about it.

P2....Paul J S was definitely the Sounds of the Broncos

through 1970s, 1980s, 1990s....

AM670 can be picked up in Eastern Idaho as far as Saint Anthony....easily hear AM670 in the Pocatello area....

The ESPN gamecast is abit boring, but play by play comments are done and a beginner at football can pick up onto alot of the cfb lingo....

Can only watch Broncos when on ESPN, thus for other games it is AM and Gamecast....

To Robert Prince....

1. A struggling QB's best friend is a Tight End. They have been missing from the equation since day one.
2. Screen pass es work wonders on aggressive defenses.
3. Let me introduce you to my little friend, "Play Action Pass". We run 50 times a game but don't use this tool???
4. Use receivers on reverses. Speed kills.
5. You get 3 or 4 "homerun" plays during the game. Joe needs to work on hitting the receiver, not showing off his arm.
6. Give the kicker some experience. Anything inside 40, 4th & long, send him out.
7. Wear Bronco gear on Game Day.

I love that coach Pete will work with you but C'mon man!

Great Comment

That about sums it up but I would add that if you do something four times in a row and it doesn't work, a fifth time is not needed to prove it.

100% agree...

Try & try again doesn't apply to all situations.

the best comment of the day

Pay attention Prince you're not such a big shot you can't learn yet - Are you?

Do you realize

How good BYU's defense was? the tight ends were getting rerouted and could not get open. Screen's work great, but was BYU getting sacks left and right, was there a ton of pass rush? Not really. Reverses don't work against disciplined and fast defenses. You make good points but you have to remember the opponent that we were playing. I can assure you that if the coaches felt they could do those things they would have. They know 100x more than you and me.

Big fella

BYU's defense was good. But how many teams are going to throw an offensive Zilch against them?
On november 10th they play Idaho. Idaho will probably score more offensive points than BSU. Washington State scored 6. Heck even WEBER STATE did better. So, when we are talking about a top 25 team, and we are unhappy with the offense, that is why. BYU has good defense, but not shut out BSU good. That is on us.

Not saying

That it was a great offensive performance, at all. I am saying the coaches know their players and what to call in those situations. They are not stupid. They are with those kids everyday and know what they can do. Do you honestly think BYU will play those other opponents as hard as they played Boise? When Boise is on your schedule it is a highlighted game. Boise will get everyone's best shot. All i have heard in the past is how no one respects Boise. Well, now they do. Be a proud fan and watch this team develop.

Every coach is described

by what you wrote. Yet some are better than others and some are flat out stupid. Prince was given one of the fastest most prolific systems around and is obviously in over his head. He is a 15 year old girl with a hel.lo kitty backpack that is taking drivers ed with a Fararri. Some of us know some of the coaches and former coaches real well, Prince is absolutely scared for his job, and he should be. Just because he "knows the players" does not mean up the middle with Harper is the best and only thing to call in any situation. Come on man, even my wife can see that!
You do know football right?

Yeah I know football

I actually played, and not on madden.You obviously don't. Because there is no such things as just a run up the middle. Every play is designed with a purpose. Prince might have been given a Ferrari, but it has been rebuilt with all new parts. They need time to break in. Prince isn't playing a video game, it's real football. Those kids are the one's that need to execute. It all comes down to the individual battles on the field. No matter what play is called if Boise can win those individual battles they will be very successful, and nobody will be complaining about the play calling. It is not all on the coaches!