Chadd's blog — Aug. 18, 2006

Idaho StatesmanAugust 18, 2006 

— The Boise State football team staged a clean but uneventful scrimmage Friday night at Bronco Stadium.

It was the Broncos’ second and final open scrimmage of the fall. They will hold a closed scrimmage Wednesday, but with an emphasis on situational play and not as much live hitting.

Starting quarterback Jared Zabransky led the first-team offense on a 54-yard drive that stalled on fourth-and-1 against the first-team defense, a 60-yard touchdown drive against the second-team defense and a 54-yard hurry-up drive against the second-teamers to set up a field-goal attempt.

The offense had just one turnover, an interception thrown by backup quarterback Taylor Tharp, and two penalties (one holding, one illegal touch).

Zabransky completed 7-of-14 passes for 95 yards and rushed eight times for 45 yards and a touchdown.

“It was fairly clean,” BSU coach Chris Petersen said. “You always like (to have) those big explosive plays on offense, which our defense has done a great job of eliminating.”

The offensive star was redshirt freshman wide receiver Aiona Key, who caught five passes for 108 yards and a touchdown. Most of it came from fourth-string quarterback Nick Lomax, who was 6-of-7 on the night.

Key also made a 30-yard grab on a pass from Zabransky during the hurry-up drive.

“That was good to see,” Zabransky said. “That guy’s got a ton of talent. He’s had some ups and downs, but it’s good to see him going in the right direction.”

Key also played some defense as a safety.

He’s 6-foot-4 and 194 pounds with great athleticism, so the Broncos are trying to find ways to use him. He’s well down the depth chart at receiver.

“Aiona’s a phenomenal athlete and we’re trying to figure out a way to get him on the field,” Petersen said. “We’re trying to turn him into a special-teams phenom.”

Key says he’s willing to play anywhere.

“This team’s a role-playing team,” he said. “You’ve just got to find your role. I’m trying. I’m getting there. I will find it.”

Freshman end Ryan Winterswyk led the defense with two sacks. Sophomore cornerback Orlando Scandrick added an interception.

The Broncos’ kickers were perfect on the night. Starter Anthony Montgomery hit from 33 and 42 yards, backup Kyle Brotzman made a 31-yarder and a 44-yarder and freshman David Lowery converted from 41 yards.

•••

Sports Illustrated’s college football preview is out. SI picks Boise State and Fresno State to tie for the WAC title at 7-1, and predicts an 11-1 overall record for the Broncos.

It appears SI is picking BSU to start 11-0 and lose Nov. 25 at Nevada — with a Bowl Championship Series berth on the line.

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