Boise State senior Darren Koontz steps into starting role with Atkinson injury

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com
© 2012 Idaho Statesman

Boise State senior defensive tackle Darren Koontz steps into a starting role Saturday and likely for the rest of the season. He has started once in his career, earlier this season against Miami (Ohio) when Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe was suspended.

Koontz moves into Tjong-A-Tjoe’s tackle spot. Tjong-A-Tjoe slides over to nose tackle to replace injured senior Mike Atkinson (torn ACL).

“It’s hard to see Mike go down like that,” Koontz said. “It’s part of football. We’re always ready to step up and fill the shoes we need to fill. I’m looking to take it as I want to make him proud, I want to fill his shoes.”

Koontz has enjoyed a breakout season. He’s second on the team with 2.5 sacks and has made 20 tackles. He also was involved in the forced fumble that led to Corey Bell’s touchdown at Wyoming.

“It’s been awesome being healthy,” Koontz said. “It’s nice to be out there playing how I should be. … I’ve taken my role and just kind of gone with it.”

His new role comes with some added responsibility.

“Now I’ll be one of the ones out there setting the tone,” he said.

•••

A couple highlights from senior left guard Joe Kellogg:

— On the loss: “It’s tough to move on. Losing at home this late in the season is definitely tough. It’s only the second time in my career.”

— On San Diego State’s defense: “(Offensive line coach Chris Strausser) was saying it’s kind of like when you play Air Force. No one else does it and it’s really tough to get used to it in a week. Our coaches did a great job preparing us. We knew exactly where we needed to be every play. We were definitely prepared. The result of the game just didn’t turn out how we wanted it to, but we played hard and gave it our best effort.”

•••

Senior linebacker J.C. Percy on bouncing back from the loss:

“Everyone’s a little more focused and a little bit more intense out there and … just harping on the fundamentals and trying to improve on what we messed up last week.”

•••

Strausser said senior Michael Ames replaced junior Spencer Gerke at right guard last week because Ames was healthier. Ames has stared five games this season; Gerke has started four at right guard and two at left guard.

“At this point in the season, I’m trying to go with the guys who are the freshest,” Strausser said. “To me, when a guy misses a couple days of practice but is still ready to go and someone else is fresh, that’s the guy I’m going to roll with.”

•••

Strausser on bouncing back:

“Kids are resilient. You think they won’t be, but they’re way better about it than coaches are. That thing lingers in the back of our mind for a long time — it’s very, very painful — but for the kids, they know they only have so many opportunities to play college football, so they’re back out there going full speed and not even thinking twice about last week at this point. Thinking back to last season, probably I was most proud of our group when we played San Diego State because it was the week after TCU, we had to face a very tough scheme and we had some guys that were beat up and we went out there and really competed well. That showed me that our kids are very resilient and they’re not going to let a team beat us twice.”

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Good Luck to Koontz....tough shoes to

fill, but stuff happens....

The Broncos arent 100% out of BCS yet....Many miracles need to happen, but not totally out....

If MAACO, kinda hoping for UCLA or Washington....That would be a good match-up....

Ugs

I feel really bad for Atkinson. He's one of my favorite players. With two losses...I'm not sure the MAACO Bowl is within reach. I think Utah State, La Tech and SJSU could beat the Broncos, Fresno and Nevada this year. This year injuries and suspensions are really hurting the team.

sif1960....

I feel your pain....

as with football or political outcomes, people need to adjust. Injuries are a part of football....good teams continues on....

just as conservatives will continue on as well....you adjust to the new and continue....

if Boise is resilient, then a 3-0 final run should be of no problem....if loss to Nevada, yes MAACO is gone too....

Injuries happen and so do suspensions....Boise is having their 'Vandal' moment.

SIF & ugly - good to see you guys

I have been away for a long time, up in Canada, catching and relocating the endangered Double Humped Silverback Grizzlies. It is all part of a humanitarian/animal compasssion thing many of us Vandals are into. I know, as both Vandals, you guys are active in similar events and activities in your busy lives, as well. I won't say much more about it, because this blog is read by Broncos, and they usually find humanitarian or compassionate works that are of benefit to the lives of others and other spaecies as frivolous, boring, and quite frankly, beyond their comprehension, to begin with, so I will get on with BSU Football Talk. Here goes:

It appears as though BSU continues to be having a very productive Training Season and Rebuilding Year. Many mistakes have been made and many have been corrected and much learning has been going on.

I believe it is a successful year for the BSU Broncos so far and look forward to them entering the next football season (2013) as a revitalized team and a legitimate run for an undefeated season.

The final win/loss record for BSU for 2012, is of no importance to developing as a Powerhouse team for next season. While it might help with the next pre-season ranking, it will play no role and serves no purpose in forecasting, predicting, or determilning actual performance on the field for the Broncos, or the extent of any injuries suffered during Spring Camp.

If the Broncos can stay healthy for the reamining games and not get too beat up in the Spring, then the Broncos have a good shot of going into the 2013 season in a very healthy state.

While going to a post season bowl would be nice, it is not all that important for learning and training for a run at the 2013 undefeated season. In fact, it might be a good thing to let the Broncos have an additional 3 weeks of 'down time' to heal and recuperate and not play in any post season bowl games - as they are basically inconsequential to the strategic goal of the BSU Broncos entering the 2013 season in a very healthy state to increase the chances of going undefeated in the 2013 season.

Bottom line - the 2012 season was blown on 31 August, 2012 with the loss to MSU, so why risk many more injuries and instead save the horses for next year's race. It is time to play the scrubs these last several games and keep the studs healthy and safe.

As Coach Pete closes in on the end of his 6th year as Head Coach of the BSU Broncos Football Team, it is intrresting to note that the Broncos have only won one outright conference title with him as head coach - shared a bunch with others, but only one outright.

Maybe the Big East will be different? Maybe the Broncos can do in the Big East what they could not do in the MWC - win an unshared conference title.

ugly, I am like you. I can see what you mean about how the path to a BCS game, if not the BCS Natty Game is far more complicated to get to that it was when BSU was in the WAC.

Your point should really be discussed and debated on these blogs as it is central to understanding the Big Picture of BSU Football in the Big East Conference.

The best thing that ever happened to BSU was when the Broncos were in the WAC and were the darlings of ESPN. Those days are gone. So much more national exposure and name recognition. Now it is kinda like 'Boise Who', when you get out of the Eastern End of the Treasue Valley?

ugly and SIF - let me ask you guys a question:

Do you thibnk going to the Big East, helps BSU's recruiting of kids from New Jersey and Philadelphia or does it hurt BSU's recruiting by not getting exposure in Cali, Oregon, Utah, and Washington? Do you see lots of high school recruits wanting to leave the East Coast to come out to Boise? Do you see inner city kids from Big East schools wanting to come out West or do they wanna stay in the cities? Do we wanna have kids from the Inner City East Coast schools coming to Idaho, or is there an attidutdinal orientetion that makes the recruits prone and more susceptible to violating team rules and social mores that kids recruited from smaller Western type communities are accustomed to respecting?

I am not seeing where going to the Big East is all that beneficial to BSU in the Long Run. Maybe I am missing something, but it sure seemed to me like BSU was becoming a National College Football Brand when BSU was in the wAC and the Broncos kinda slipped since being in the MWC.

I dunno.

What do you think ugly or SIF?

Go Broncos.

VNDL

BAA Member # 63799

Nice to see Darren get his shot at starting.

Best of luck and I'm sure you'll do fine.

Sorry to see Canadian Bacons career end mid season.

Best of luck in the future and thanks for all the exciting times and all the wins you helped pull off over the years at BSU.
Course the BYU pick comes to mind real quick.

Go get'em Darren!

Sorry to see us lose Big Mike but glad we have guys ready to step in and play at a high level.