Boise State senior wide receiver Mitch Burroughs left the game with an injury to his right wrist or hand after falling to the ground on a failed flea-flicker pass. Burroughs leaped to compete against two defenders for the ball. He was wearing a brace after the game, but coach Chris Petersen said he wouldnt have an update until Monday.
Tight end Hayden Plinke, tailback Drew Wright, offensive lineman Jake Broyles and third-string quarterback Jimmy Laughrea didnt make the trip. All those guys have got medical stuff, and well see, Petersen said.
Senior Joe Kellogg started at left guard for the first time in three games. He had missed one game and one start with an injury. The rest of the line included Charles Leno Jr. at left tackle, Matt Paradis at center, Spencer Gerke at right guard and Brenel Myers at right tackle. Gerke replaced Michael Ames, who was injured in the New Mexico game but did play Saturday.
ANOTHER GOOSE EGG
Boise State shut out its opponent in the first half for the third straight game. The Broncos were tied 0-0 with BYU, led New Mexico 25-0 and led Southern Miss 23-0.
Southern Miss had not been shut out in the first half since a 2008 game at Auburn.
For the season, the Broncos have allowed 19 points in the first half and 59 points in the second half.
Southern Miss scored two second-half touchdowns, but one of them came after the Broncos had built their lead to 37-7.
New Mexico nearly erased its halftime deficit a week earlier.
We didnt come out like we wanted to last week, sophomore cornerback Bryan Douglas said. And this week we really came out with a fire and desire in the second half.
ANOTHER BACKUP QB
For the third straight game, the Broncos opponent switched to a backup quarterback known for his running ability to spark the offense.
Southern Miss true freshman Anthony Alford started the second half. He started one game earlier this season but missed the previous game with a knee injury.
Alford led two touchdown drives. He was 7-of-15 for 100 yards passing. He also rushed 10 times for 37 yards and a touchdown.
You saw what the problem can be if youre a little bit tired or if you do have some backups in, Petersen said. We were tackling terrible. Hes good, and he made us miss. Three misses on a play? Youre going to get something good if you make three guys miss on a play. Thats what he was doing.
Tackling has been the biggest issue for the Broncos defense, which otherwise has been a strength of the team all year.
Third-and-6 cant be a first down, redshirt freshman defensive end Sam Ukwuachu said. We have to get off the field and we just have to keep working on posture and form and tackling.
RUN THIS WAY AND THAT
The Broncos featured a more varied rushing attack than in the first four games. Seven players recorded rushing attempts, including backup quarterback Grant Hedrick in the wildcat. Tailback D.J. Harper scored on the inside reverse the team has used for several years, where tailback Jack Fields took a handoff moving left and quickly handed the ball to Harper going right.
The variety is definitely going to help the offense as a whole so they cant really keep a bead on us, Harper said.
Harper led the team with 13 carries for 47 yards and two touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Jay Ajayi received a career-high nine carries (40 yards).
Hedrick, who was banged up in a fall scrimmage, hadnt run the wildcat package yet this season. He also got some playing time late in the game and threw an incomplete pass on third down when starter Joe Southwick had to leave for a snap because his helmet came off.
I think Grant is a good player, Petersen said. Id like to get him in even more than he was today, and that goes for a lot of these (backups). We need these guys to develop, and were going to need everybody.
Boise State won the coin toss and deferred. The Broncos captains were linebacker J.C. Percy, safety Hazen Moss, Leno Jr. and wide receiver Matt Miller. The Broncos wore all white, including the white Pro Combat helmets. Southwick threw 85 straight passes without an interception before he was picked off on the opening drive Saturday. Former Boise State defensive end Tyrone Crawford, a member of the Dallas Cowboys, attended the game. Southern Miss is 0-5 for the first time since 1976. The program has 18 straight winning seasons. ... Boise State senior defensive tackle Darren Koontz made two sacks on the final drive to prevent Southern Miss from scoring a late TD.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat