Chris Petersen isnt ready to reveal Boise States starting quarterback, just yet. But after Saturday nights scrimmage at Bronco Stadium its clear there isnt much of a decision to be made.
Junior Joe Southwick is the starter.
That much was evident to everyone in attendance Saturday night, even if no one from Boise State is ready to make any announcements less than two weeks away from the season opener at Michigan State.
Southwick, a 6-foot-1, 187-pounder from Danville, Calif., took every snap with the first-string offense in the first half. He sat out the second half, except for one possession of red-zone drills two real clear signs that he is No. 1.
There were others.
Sophomore Grant Hedrick, who along with Southwick was allowed to be hit by the defense in the first half, took every snap with the second offense before a brief intermission. When Hedrick did get some time with the first-team offense, he threw interceptions on back-to-back passes. Hedrick had 3.5 picks in the game he had to wrestle one away from defensive end Beau Martin in the first half and fumbled during red-zone drills, leading to a 95-yard touchdown for the defense.
And he was Southwicks top competitor.
Neither of the other quarterbacks in the competition redshirt freshman Jimmy Laughrea and true freshman Nick Patti took a single snap with the first-team offense in the final scrimmage of fall practice. Laughrea, who ditched his red no-contact jersey for a white hit-away jersey in the second half, left the game after one hit, shortening his night after four attempts. Patti completed 1-of -10 pass attempts in the scrimmage.
Southwicks emergence is no real surprise.
He spent the last two seasons as Kellen Moores backup, completing 76.7 percent of his passes last season in reserve duty, and entered spring practice as the favorite to replace the irreplaceable Moore, college footballs all-time winningest quarterback.
Nothing that happened in the spring scrimmage, during which Southwick completed more passes than the other three quarterbacks combined, changed that. Nothing that has happened throughout fall camp has changed it much, either, as Southwick on Saturday completed twice as many passes (16-of-24) as the other three quarterbacks combined (8-of-30) and nearly as many yards (141 to 143).
Joe earned his reps, Petersen said of the playing time differences. All quarterbacks were off-limits to the media, as has been the case throughout fall practice.
In contrast to Moores cool demeanor a check-his-pulse calm that comforted Boise State coaches, teammates and fans for four seasons and 50 victories Southwick brings more outward passion to the position.
Hes a people person and wants to be loud, wants to be heard, sixth-year senior running back D.J. Harper said. And I think people respond to that well.
We should get our chance to see how well his teammates respond to him Aug. 31 at No. 13 Michigan State, the latest in a string of high-profile openers for the No. 24 Broncos. Petersen, though, wasnt ready to make anything official on the blue turf Saturday.
We havent made a decision. When we do make a decision, we will tell everybody, Petersen said. You guys know as much as I do about how he did. You saw what I saw.
What we saw was a quarterback competition that is over.
Brian Murphy: 377-6444,Twitter: @murphsturph