By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
Boise State senior tailback D.J. Harper has perfected a tackle-breaking spin move this season — one that seems to be his go-to move any time a defender tries to grab his leg in the open field.
He broke at least two tackles with it last week and spun away from a defender on a 28-yard touchdown against Fresno State.
“It’s just instinct; it just happens,” Harper said. “It’s kind of always been there. It was never the right time to use it. It just so happens I’m always being turned that way and the spin works out perfectly.”
Harper said his only personal goal this season was to rush for 1,000 yards. He’s on pace to get there with 713 yards in eight games.
Harper ranks seventh in the Mountain West with 89.1 yards per game. He’s third in scoring with 11 touchdowns and two two-point conversions. He also has 15 catches for 115 yards and averages 26.9 yards on kickoff returns.
He’s averaging 21 touches per game (carries, catches, kickoff returns) — a comfortable workload.
After five years spent mostly as a role player, Harper is thrilled by his star turn. He also missed most of two seasons with knee injuries.
“Every now and then I kind of sit back and look at the position I’m in,” he said. “I’m really excited for it. I’m happy. I’m glad that I’m healthy and having a good season. It’s really meant a lot to me.
“Now that it’s happening I just want to take it in stride and enjoy every moment of it.”
Boise State sophomore defensive end Demarcus Lawrence is on the updated watch list for the Hendricks Award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive end. He’s one of 33 players on the list.
Lawrence, in his first year at the FBS level, has 33 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a blocked field goal.
Former Boise State tailback Doug Martin has been named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month. Martin led all NFL players with 155.7 yards from scrimmage per game in October.
Martin rushed 58 times for 296 yards and caught eight passes for 171 yards with three total touchdowns in October. He’s now tied for fifth in the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 767 — on pace for 1,753.
Martin was featured on the NFL Network’s fantasy football show at noon. It re-airs at 10 p.m. today and also will be posted at nfl.com/fantasy.
Junior Geraldo Boldewijn has picked up most of Mitch Burroughs’ snaps, offensive coordinator Robert Prince said. Burroughs was injured Oct. 6 at Southern Miss and is out at least until December.
In the past three games, Boldewijn has eight catches for 80 yards and one touchdown.
Matt Miller leads the team with 42 catches. The Broncos have eight wide receivers with at least 90 yards this season.
“We’ve had to fight a little adversity with Mitch getting hurt,” Miller said. “We had some guys step up, which is really nice to see.”
Senior tight end Chandler Koch on the Broncos’ offense:
“We’ve just become a lot more cohesive and as a group we’ve just gotten a lot better. We had a lot of young guys, a lot of new guys. It’s just playing together and getting that feel for how everyone plays and what we’re supposed to do that has brought us along.”
The Big East’s exclusive negotiating period with ESPN for its football TV rights has been extended until Monday, the Big East says. It originally was extended one day because of the fallout from Hurricane Sandy.