Wide receiver Aiona Key misses practices

Boise State sophomore wide receiver Aiona Key has not practiced during the first two days of fall camp.

“He is in the process of trying to work some things out academically,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen said.

Key, who is 6-foot-4 and one of the team’s best overall athletes, showed improvement in the spring after two years of inconsistency on and off the field. He was among five wide receivers listed on the depth chart going into fall camp.

Key is one of just four Bronco receivers who are 6-foot-2 or taller. The others are converted safety Evan Surratt (6-2), converted tight end Julian Hawkins (6-3) and true freshman Austin Pettis (6-3).

Ian Johnson hopes season matches wedding

Boise State junior tailback Ian Johnson hopes the season goes as well as his wedding.

“It went off without a hitch,” Johnson said of his much-publicized July 28 wedding to Chrissy Popadics, “and now it’s the season’s time to go off without a hitch.”

Johnson said he needed just two practices to start feeling comfortable on the field again. He had not practiced with the team since the Fiesta Bowl, although he took part in player-run practices in the summer.

The Broncos opened camp Friday morning.

“The first day was real tiring,” Johnson said. “Today was back to normal.”

Bronco freshmen Pettis, Martin make strong debuts

Freshman wide receiver Austin Pettis made quite a first impression this morning as the Boise State football team opened fall camp. He was named the player of the day by coach Chris Petersen.

Pettis, a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder from Anaheim, Calif., worked out with the veterans instead of the newcomers. He and Titus Young, who is 5-11, 165, are candidates to play this year because the Broncos lack experience at wide receiver.

Early in Friday’s practice, Pettis drew the ire of junior quarterback Bush Hamdan for a mistake on his route.

“I forgot he was a freshman,” Hamdan said. “I got in his face and said, ‘I need you.’ ”

ESPN.com names Boise State 16th-best program of past decade

ESPN.com named Boise State the 16th-best football program of the past decade. The Web site ranked college football programs from 1 (USC) to 119 (Buffalo).

Idaho was No. 106.

The second-highest-ranked WAC school was Fresno State at No. 38.

Here's the full report: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=2947988

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The Broncos’ temporary practice facility at East Junior High was a hit. The team has two full-size practice fields and a third area where the linemen do drills.

The grass is a little long, but it’s a much cooler place to be than the blue turf.

“It’s good to get off the blue here and there and let the blue kind of rest, because it’s kind of an old field now,” senior quarterback Taylor Tharp said.

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