Boise State DT Mike Atkinson out for year with torn ACL, K Jake Van Ginkel dismissed

By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman

Boise State senior defensive tackle Mike Atkinson is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and redshirt freshman kicker Jake Van Ginkel has been dismissed from the team, coach Chris Petersen said Monday.

Atkinson was injured in the second half Saturday against San Diego State. The starting nose tackle is sixth on the team with 37 tackles. He also has 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception return for a touchdown.

“He’s one of those guys — he’s been through some hard things, he’s grown a lot, he’s figured some things out and he’s playing some really good football, the best of his career,” Petersen said. “It’s another bump in the road. That’s how he has to approach it.”

Atkinson, who is from Ontario, Canada, has been drafted in the Canadian Football League and had hopes of playing in the NFL. Petersen expects him to get a pro opportunity even with the injury.

“There will be somebody who takes a chance on him,” Petersen said.

Atkinson’s backup, senior Greg Grimes, was injured in the Wyoming game and missed the San Diego State game. Petersen did not rule out him returning this week. The Broncos also have senior Darren Koontz, junior Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe and true freshman Armand Nance to fill the two tackle spots. Tjong-A-Tjoe will play nose and Koontz will start at tackle this week, according to the team’s depth chart.

Van Ginkel, a scholarship recruit who never panned out, was suspended for the bowl trip in December, did not make the 105-man roster for fall camp, rejoined the team when school started and was suspended again for Saturday’s game against San Diego State.

Boise State already has recruited his replacement. Tyler Rausa of Riverside (Calif.) City College accepted a scholarship offer last week and joins the team in January.


Petersen did not provide any updates on the other suspended players.


True freshman cornerback Donte Deayon apparently was an easy choice to play when the Broncos decided they needed another defensive back.

“He’s been ready to go for a while,” Petersen said. “We’ve been excited about him. We’d watch him play on scout team and say, ‘Man, this guy is not only going to be a very good player, he’s a good player now.’ We’ve been saying that for a few weeks, that if we had to use him we’d have no problem with that.”

Deayon was excited for the opportunity, Petersen said. He played 10-plus snaps on defense and on three special teams units.

“We really put the ball in his court,” Petersen said. “If a guy is completely opposed to it, we would not do that. I still think it will really help him for next year. It’s a long career here. It goes quickly, but there’s a lot of football, so who knows what happens. You could redshirt down the road. Hopefully that doesn’t happen to him. He’s good enough to not need that year.”

Deayon was the No. 3 cornerback last week and likely will be this week, too.


Other highlights from Petersen (audio here):

— On San Diego State game: “The closest games are going to be decided by the smallest details and that sure showed up. … There were periods where guys played good football. We just couldn’t play enough of it.”

— On the failed two-point play in the fourth quarter: “We had a couple options and the protection broke down. Looked one way and it was covered. Looked the other way and didn’t have a chance to get it off.”

— On special teams against San Diego State: “Sometimes you can become numb to hearing things and how important special teams are, and our guys have been great because most of the time they win those battles. But when you don’t, and you dramatically lose them, you can really see what happens. … I feel like a lot of times in the past we have really played with fire and somehow pulled games out. I think the kids have worked hard, practiced hard. I think they were ready to play. If you just don’t take care of those details that we preach day in, day out, they can add up so quickly.”

— On losing: “If we don’t learn from this for not just the next game but down the line, what are we doing? That’s true pain right there if we’re not learning from that.”

— On the defense: “We missed too many tackles. Part of that goes as credit to San Diego State. They’ve got some very good runners. You’d just like to think we can tackle a little better at this point of the season.”

— On the Mountain West title: “Our goals shouldn’t be altered at all. Our goal should be all about Hawaii, period, and that’s it. And we’ll see. I wish we were staying at home just to stay in our routine. Unfortunately, we have to go on a road trip and it’s probably the hardest road trip we take ever. That’s a tough place to go play. We’ll see if we can be focused. Hopefull we’ll play the best football we’ve played all year.”

— On team’s preparation: “They were ready to play. All the coaches were saying before the game, the guys are ready. Sometimes you can be ready and still get punts blocked and snap balls too hard.”

— On QB Joe Southwick: “He was OK. He made some really tough throws and there are a few plays we’d like to have back.” He said he doesn’t have any plans to play backup quarterback Grant Hedrick, other than in the special packages that he runs.


Boise State senior wide receiver Chris Potter also appeared at the press conference. Some highlights:

— “We don’t lose too much around here. When it does happen, people seem to kind of hang onto it a little longer. In the locker room, especially in the past, we’ve had to learn that next Saturday comes around quick.”

— On the offensive struggles vs. San Diego State: “They hid their defense really well. I thought they played really well in what they were doing for that week. We didn’t play our best game all-around. When that happens, that’s not a good combo for us. … I still think we had a great game plan called. If we had executed correctly, we could have done things a lot better.”

— “One of our big things is protect The Blue. There’s so many guys in the past who have worked so hard to do that and they’ve passed that legacy on. When you have that tradition passed on to you and you’re part of the team that loses, it does sting.”

— On the Hawaii trip: “Everyone’s on vacation but you. It can be distracting at times. Your family doesn’t want to come to a game until they find out Hawaii’s on your schedule. … They’re sitting on the beach and wanting you to come say hi.”

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1352154152 Boise State DT Mike Atkinson out for year with torn ACL, K Jake Van Ginkel dismissed Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Thanks Mike!

You were a great team leader, taking over from spring ball forward and showed how great of a player you were. You'll be missed buddy!


the hits just keep on coming. hopefully bacon will still get a shot at the nfl.

Van Ginkel?

Wasn't he going to be the future Boise ST kicking?

False Profit

I think originally that was the hope but he went the other way quickly. They just landed a kicker recruit last week. This team really struggles with find an OKG that can kick the ball.

Why was he dismissed?

Never given a chance. Had to watch walkons take his job. Never wad given an answer that made sense. Chadd said he was NIT good enough. Can someone confirm the guy either could OT couldnt kick who personally knows him? Janikowski had issues too!

Van Ginkel

This was his second suspension ... plus he was not on the 105-man roster for fall camp, which tells you he was in the dog house again then. You can only mess around so many times before you get booted.

Chadd thank you again for your comments!

I must apologize for my spelling. I typed from my small hand held phone and it was obviously pretty pathetic. Sorry!


The definition of irony is "Canadian Bacon' taking the 'pigskin' in the end zone for a TD.

He's a beast and will be thoroughly missed.

What's the deal

with these suspensions and dismissals? Anyone getting details on what is causing these things?

Aw that's too bad for Mike,

Aw that's too bad for Mike, and for the Broncos. Is it too late for a medical red shirt?


It seems very odd the number of suspensions this team has generated--with no explanation from BSU. I believe as a matter of policy the reason for the suspensions should be made public. The media reported the reasons for most teams..Ohio State to Idaho. Public humiliation may stop the repeat offender.


You don't think the fact that the NCAA probation on Boise State, that has been roundly panned by every sports analyst in the country as too harsh, might lead the coaches to be a bit on the cautious side?

Until you now all the fact,

Until you now all the fact, you shouln't make these statements. The coaches know what they are doing-thrst them.

Coach Speak

Those are some super-vanilla coach-speak answers from Pete to be brutally honest. Season all but flushed away and all I get out of the top man is "We have got to learn from this".....

The absolutely no emotion - no content press conferences are getting old to say the least. I want some anger or information - either one - just something.

And I completely disagree that they were "ready to play". Ready to play teams don't lose home games to SDSU that had that much riding on it.

Coach speak?

Coach Pete appeared somber and tired at the press conference, and a little empty after a tough loss. That's to be expected. He's got a lot on his shoulders (okay, he gets paid for it), even so, IMO he is being let down by his O-line coach and OC as he watches the run game struggle game after game with bad play calling. He's dealing with a QB that doesn't play well at home, and let's also not forget that he has lost two OC's and some assistant coaches the past couple of years.

Who really cares what you want.

If you want touchy feely little girl emotion maybe you should watch the cheerleader press conference.

Why don't YOU coach them and have a 'learning experience"?

That's a bit obtuse, son.


Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<

Interception Return

MR. Atkinson - your interception returned for a touchdown against BYU will be legend.

I second!

For me, that was THE single most memorable play of this somewhat-forgettable season for this long-time Bronco fan and alum.

Chadd, the audio link is

Chadd, the audio link is broke.

Fixed it

Two weeks in a row. Gotta get this figured out.

thanks 3 and out southpick

you threw late and high and ruined the senior season of mitch burroughs....
you've made the defense play 3 quarters every game causing
them to get injured (grimes).... and now you have likely ruined atkinson's nfl dream....
thanks for making life hard on our offensive line and
ruining the season for our wide recievers (that you get the ball to once every 5 or 6 attempts....)
thanks recruiting.... for letting us have 3 QBs that suck when you knew kellen would be gone....
thanks prince.... for the incongruent bi-polar play calling....
thanks coach pete for enabling all of the above....


Considering how many people thought the team was going to absolutely s*ck this year with all the departures, I think they've done a great job.

this team is loaded and if

this team is loaded and if we had a yeoman QB like taylor tharp this team would be very very good.... the only place where there was a significant drop off is QB.... sorry, but i know what i'm talking about

Hard to disagree with you.

But our kids do play their hearts out. But if we had Texas A&M s QB we would be talking dynasty and 50 points a game. LaTech has found a way too! Our offense simply is sad right now especially in view of the level of our competition.

Thanks nagirski for showing your ignorance

now sit down very gently so you don't bruise your brain, and give it a well deserved rest...Sunny...

sunny.... i played for boise

sunny.... i played for boise state and my IQ is over 150.... i know what i'm talking about so take your ignorance and go wiz up a rope

Give us your name

let us decide "if" you played here at Boise State.

Nice parry and thrust.


Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<

on top of that...

Hey, Sunny... nagirski is obviously both athletic AND smart! Wow! IQ of 150! I bet his license plate is IQ150... right up there with Norman Einstein and that wheelchair guy! I bet he wipes up his messes with Brawny paper towels, too!

any time punk

any time punk

I think Taylor Swift wrote a song about you.

tell the bartender you've had enough.

go wiz up a rope

go wiz up a rope

You must have a horrible life...

You are the prototypical, uneducated fan who believes that everything falls on one persons shoulders and forget football is a team game. Fair weather fans like you and "fans" that heckle a college kid while he gets groceries aren't welcome in Bronco Nation.

what do you know about

what do you know about bronco nation? i played for the broncos.... i know what i'm talking about and you don't.... your opinion and comments are not welcome.... go wiz up a rope

You wouldn't happen to be

Jake Van Ginkel

would you?

Why don't you become a fan

Why don't you become a fan of another team. We don't need fans like you

Thanks Big Guy,

Michael, you're one the best DT's to ever play on that blue field. You always played hard, and you got injured playing hard. I look forward to seeing you on Sundays; use the CFL as a backup, but I don't think you'll need it. Again, many thanks.

Get a life

@ Nagirski. Grow up, get a job, meditate, do something besides breathe through your mouth.

i played for boise state....

i played for boise state.... i know what i am talking about and have a right to my opinion.... take your childish insults and go wiz up a rope

Hey nagurski!

You must be the DB former player who sat in Section 5 Row N two years ago.

You have the same attitude as that guy so I must be right.

I know, I heard ya the first time. "go wiz up a rope"

PS, DB does not stand for "defensive back".

Wrong 2pt conversion

I wasn't interested at all about the no brainer going for 2 in the fourth quarter. That decision was easy since the
1st quarter 2 point try failed. That's the one I was interested in hearing the rationale for. Maybe there was a good
reason to try it, but I sure didn't see it. At home against an unranked opponent who you're 16 points favored by.
It seemed a boneheaded play at the time and in the rear view mirror, changed the complexion of the rest of the game.
Even though our kicker looks like he'd rather be part of the Idaho Dance Troupe than the Bronco's, he still
could have made a PAT. Was it Prince or Petersen that made the call?


Boise State has been doing that all year, almost every game on the first TD. They like those plays because A, they give the other team headaches in preparation, B, they usually work, and C, they're fun for everyone involved. ... Petersen said the play was there if the snap hadn't been bad. In that case, Boise State might have won the game because of the two-point play.

First down break down

26 first down plays (did not count 1st down penalties)

Harper - 9 carries / 24 yards - 2.66
Ajayi - 6 carries / 32 yards - 5.33
Pass - 11 pa$$es / 6-10 44 yards Sack, INT - 4.00


* All of Ajayi’s game carries were on first downs.
* In the first half, first down pa$$ing was 4-4/37 yards and a sack.
* 11 of the 26 first downs plays gained 1 yard or less.
* On the last drive, threw 5 straight 1st down pa$$es.

Tailback receptions

I don't recall any receptions from the RB's. Were they even targeted this game?



Seems odd doesnt it?

If the Aztec defense was playing back and soft, and it was, Im surprised there wasnt more to Harper in the flats.

Funky, on your break down; I love Harper but Im puzzled by the lack of carries for Ajayi too and all on first down.


WR = 148 receptions

RB = 17 receptions

TE = 12 receptions

Joe does not check down, he checks across.


I saw DJ standing in the flats several times wide open, would be a good option to use once in a while I'd think.

Wow and you call yourself a fan?

Holy bat crap batman... The Broncos lose a game and you want the quarterback sent home, the coach fired, and a whole new recruiting class. Grow UP! Bottom line is the offensive line is not executing.
They are getting beat on the outside quite often and are not winning the line of scrimmage. Until they do that, I don't care who you have at quarterback you are not going to do well in the passing or running game. You have got to win the line of scrimmage to open up holes for the running backs. Yes they have gotten some yards but mostly because they have broken several tackles and got open not because there was a huge whole consistently on the line for them to go through.You control the line of scrimmage, and boom the running game improves, now the secondary has to play you honest because you are a legitimate threat to run for the short 2nd or 3rd down yardage and pick up the first down. This in turn opens up the passing game because the defense can no longer play a zone and must match up man to man on the outside. So now the passing game opens up and all of a sudden they aren't stacking the box and the running game opens up. Bottom line is... if you don't control the line of scrimmage you don't have a passing game or a running game. Southwick doesn't have time to throw ,or the reciever doesn't have time to get open. You can't get a running game going because the backs are getting hit in the backfield and you are not moving the defense back on the line of scrimmage to allow the back to have a seam to get through. Boise has some good O-Line players but they are not controling the line of scrimmage like they did when KM played. I will admit that Joe has had a couple of missed oportunities but mostly because he is having to throw on the dead run and doesn't have time to stop, plant, and throw. When he has time to plant and throw he is extremely accurate. Win the battle at the line of scrimmage and good things will happen... until then you can expect a loss or 2. Southwick is not KM but he will be fine. You need to realize even KM made some mistakes his first year. Stop comparing Southwick with half a year under his belt to KM's ability last year with 4 years of reps under his belt. They are apples to oranges.