By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
The Boise State football team’s defensive backs have responded to coach Jimmy Lake’s push for more turnovers this season.
The Broncos have forced nine turnovers in three games. Defensive backs have combined for five interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. They have been involved in seven of the nine turnovers.
“We just have to continue to do what we do — that’s hustle, hustle and hit, and great things will happen,” said Lake, the first-year defensive backs coach. “They’re fun to watch. It’s fun to stress turnovers, stress hustling to the football and playing physical, and then having good things like that happen. It’s making these guys go, ‘OK, this stuff works.’ ”
That “hustle and hit” philosophy was epitomized by cornerback Jamar Taylor’s forced fumble against BYU. Taylor blitzed from the far right side of the offensive formation and chased quarterback Riley Nelson, who was rolling out to the left. Taylor hit Nelson from behind near the sideline and knocked the ball loose.
“We always talk about when you’re in chase-tackle mode, always be ball aware,” Lake said.
Taylor also recorded his second interception in that game and is on track to have his first all-conference season.
“He will get more opportunities,” Lake said. “We have him in a position in the boundary (short side) … a lot of teams in college football go into the boundary. So he’s going to have a lot of opportunities.”
That’s pleasing to Taylor, who rarely saw the ball early last season as opponents attacked new starter Jerrell Gavins instead.
“This year people are actually throwing the ball my way and I’m starting to make more plays,” Taylor said.
Boise State junior left tackle Charles Leno Jr. said the Broncos’ inability to finish drives is on the players’ shoulders.
“We’ve got the plays there,” he said. “We’ve just got to execute as players. We’ve all got to come together and find it deep down in us. We’ve got to finish drives no matter what it takes.
“… If one guy messes up, it can mess up the whole play, and that happened several times the last game.”
The Boise State-BYU game drew a 1.6 rating and 2.069 million viewers.