Broncos defense thriving on big plays

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com

If it seems like the Boise State defense is making more big plays this season, that’s because it’s true.

The Broncos have eight sacks, eight takeaways and 28 tackles for loss through three games. They had six sacks, five takeaways and 14 tackles for loss through three games last year.

Those numbers project to 35 sacks, 35 takeaways and 121 tackles for loss for a 13-game season. Last year, the Broncos had 34 sacks, 22 takeaways and 78 tackles for loss.

The most striking difference is the number of tackles in the backfield.

Broncos teasing Ian Johnson about his ESPN success

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com

It isn’t just the media who have noticed Boise State tailback Ian Johnson’s knack for big games on ESPN.

His teammates have noticed, too, going into Wednesday’s ESPN game against Louisiana Tech.

“A lot of the linemen, the funny guys on the team, say I do my best on nationally televised games,” Johnson said Saturday. “We’ll see if they’re right or not. We’ll see if I can go out and bust a 200-yard game and prove them right.”

Petersen calls La. Tech "extremely scary"; injury update

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com

Boise State football coach Chris Petersen said Friday that Louisiana Tech’s big-play ability gives him the most concern going into Wednesday’s game on ESPN.

“They have athletes that can change the game in a snap of the fingers, on both sides,” Petersen said.

The Bulldogs have a 78-yard run, a 44-yard pass, a 57-yard punt return and a 42-yard interception return already this season.

Tight ends coming off a big day; Broncos project 18th in BCS

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com

Add the Boise State tight ends to the exploding list of Kellen Moore fans.

The group recorded 10 catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns last week against Oregon. They combined for 40 percent of the team’s catches, 32 percent of the receiving yards and two of the three receiving touchdowns.

The group also contributed plays that covered 34 and 21 yards.

La. Tech coach impressed with Broncos, Moore

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com

Louisiana Tech football coach Derek Dooley said Wednesday he’s having a difficult time finding a weak spot in Boise State as he prepares for both teams’ WAC opener next Wednesday at Bronco Stadium.

He’s particularly impressed with freshman quarterback Kellen Moore, whose pass-efficiency rating of 179.8 is way higher than senior starter Taylor Tharp’s rating of 121.44 through three games last year.

Tharp finished at 152.85 last year.

Jeron Johnson pledges to keep physical style

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com

Boise State sophomore safety Jeron Johnson said Tuesday his ejection from Saturday’s game at Oregon won’t prevent him from playing physical defense.

“I’ve just got to continue to be aggressive,” Johnson said. “You can’t let that one call affect you … because that’s how I play.”

Johnson said he should have been penalized for his hit on tight end Ed Dickson, who jumped for an overthrown ball.

Moore's play no surprise; Broncos named national team of week

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com

It’s striking how much confidence the Boise State football coaches have in freshman quarterback Kellen Moore.

Every time he does something remarkable, they shrug it off as expected.

Moore was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s national offensive player of the week Sunday and the WAC offensive player of the week Monday. He’s a candidate for USA Today’s player of the week award, which is determined in part by fan voting

Petersen focuses on future, addresses Jeron Johnson's ejection

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com

I caught up with Boise State coach Chris Petersen today. Here's some of what he had to say:

Impressions of the win: "It was awesome that we got the win, no doubt about it. I thought the kids played super, super hard and never stopped fighting the entire game. Maybe even more good news is we think we can get better."

Moore named national player of the week

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com

Boise State freshman quarterback Kellen Moore was named the national offensive player of the week Sunday by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

Moore completed 25-of-37 passes for 386 yards and three touchdowns with one interception as Boise State stunned No. 17 Oregon 37-32 on Saturday at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.

The official stats were adjusted to correct an error. Moore originally was listed as 24-of-36.

Moore completed passes to 11 different receivers.

It looks like Dobbs will start at middle linebacker

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com

Linebacker Derrell Acrey and running back Doug Martin will only play if necessary, Boise State officials said. Both are struggling with injuries.

The Broncos started Kyle Gingg and Tim Brady at linebacker and went with five defensive backs, adding true freshman safety George Iloka to the mix.

•••

It looks like senior Dallas Dobbs will start at middle linebacker for the Broncos against Oregon.

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