By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
Boise State redshirt freshman safety Darian Thompson doesn’t play full time, but when he gets in he seems to find the ball.
Thompson, the Broncos’ third safety, has two interceptions to tie for the team lead and a fumble recovery this season. He’s tied for 12th on the team with 19 tackles.
Thompson rotates into the game in place of free safety Lee Hightower or strong safety Jeremy Ioane. He also plays special teams.
“The more I’ve been in, the more I become familiar with the game,” Thompson said. “I just have a knack for going for the ball and it’s been working out.”
He says he prepares for his appearances by watching Hightower and Ioane from the sideline.
“By the time I get in there, I know what (the offenses) are doing,” he said.
Senior nickel Dextrell Simmons has made huge strides since last year, his first with the Broncos after transferring from Blinn College.
Simmons has 31 tackles, an interception, a sack and three pass breakups.
“I just feel like I found my mojo again,” he said. “When you step into a new environment, you don’t feel as comfortable. That’s how it was last year. I didn’t know the defensive schemes. I just took it to a whole new level this year.”
Senior tailback Drew Wright said Wyoming’s defense is not overly complex, but like many teams he expects the Cowboys will have some new wrinkles for the Broncos.
“They’re tenacious. They run to the ball well,” Wright said. “They don’t blitz a whole ton, but they’re playing us, so they’ll probably come out with something new.”
Wyoming ranks fifth in the nation in red-zone offense. The Cowboys score 95.7 percent of the time with 18 touchdowns and four field goals in 23 possessions.
Boise State’s defense is tied for eighth in the nation in red-zone stops, allowing scores just 63.2 percent of the time. Opponents have 11 touchdowns and one field goal in 19 possessions.
Offensively, Boise State is last in the Mountain West and tied for 105th nationally in red-zone scoring. The Broncos have 14 touchdowns and nine field goals in 33 possessions.
Tight ends coach Scott Huff on his young group: “Everybody is going to be really happy in the next year or so with the young guys we have, so these reps (this season) are going to be really valuable down the road.”
Senior linebacker J.C. Percy on his big year: “I feel like getting more playing time than I ever got before has allowed me to mold into a better player and I’m very grateful for that. I played with one of the greatest linebackers ever — (Aaron) Tevis — the last three years. We complemented each other great and I learned things from him and he learned things from me. Now I’m able to perfect all those things I’ve learned over the last three years and this year.”
ESPN.com reports that the Big East and ESPN will not reach an agreement on a TV deal before the exclusive negotiating window closes at the end of this month.