The Boise State football coaches knew they needed to recruit or develop some defensive tackles for 2013, when three of the top four players depart.
When they unexpectedly needed a tackle last week, the Broncos found one sitting on their roster disguised as a defensive end.
Sophomore Tyler Horn (6-foot-5, 265 pounds) moved from end to tackle on the Broncos second-team line last week. Hell play there Saturday against Colorado State and likely for the rest of the season.
Horn recorded a career-high two sacks last week at Hawaii.
Hes done a good job at end and maturity-wise he can handle learning two different positions, defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said. If something were to happen, he could go back to end, but right now were going to keep him at tackle.
Horn was one of five players in the rotation at end.
The Broncos were down to three tackles after senior starter Mike Atkinson tore an anterior cruciate ligament Nov. 3 against San Diego State.
On Nov. 5, the evening before the first practice for Hawaii, defensive line coach Andy Avalos called Horn to tell him he was moving.
I knew thered be some switching around, Horn said. I was sure I was going to have to play inside a little more.
Ends sometimes perform the same jobs as tackles in the Broncos scheme, so the position wasnt completely foreign. But often the responsibilities are reversed calls that dictate that an end go outside can require a tackle to go inside. Horn got confused a couple of times during the game.
His sacks, he said, came in situations where he was aligned in a spot he learned to play as an end.
I was probably not as comfortable as I have been at end, Horn said, but it was enough to where I felt pretty confident.
Kwiatkowski said he was extremely pleased with Horns play but hasnt thought about where he will play next year. Coach Chris Petersen hinted that Horn could be more than just a temporary patch.
If you can move him inside down the road, to have that frame inside, thats impressive stuff, Petersen said. Hes going to give us another dimension of flexibility and down the road well figure out truly where he fits.
Said Horn: I prefer end, I really do, but I just want to play.
Boise State junior quarterback Joe Southwick raised some eyebrows Saturday when he said, without further explanation, that sometimes its almost easier playing on the road for us.
Petersen said he doesnt feel any more pressure at home than on the road.
Whether theyre in the stands or theyre watching on TV, fans are fans, Petersen said. Theyre going to watch. Thats part of the deal. It just comes with the territory. You cant worry about that. You just have to go out and play.
Southwick has thrown nine of his 13 touchdown passes on the road.
Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco told the Idaho Statesmans Brian Murphy on Thursday that the conference isnt close to a new TV deal.
I dont know whether were in the second inning or the third inning, he said. We have a long way to go.
Heres how this years Mountain West and next years Big East stack up based on the expanded Bowl Championship Series standings computed by Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com:
Mountain West (10 teams): 80.8 ranking, three top-50 teams, five 100-plus teams
Big East West Division (six teams): 72.3 ranking, two top-50 teams, one 100-plus team
Big East East Division (six teams): 47.2 ranking, four top-50 teams, zero 100-plus teams
Combined Big East (12 teams): 59.7 ranking, six top-50 teams, one 100-plus team
Down years for the Mountain West and Southern Miss (from 12-2 last year to 0-10 this year) have crushed Boise States strength of schedule this season. The Broncos opponents to date rank 106th in the NCAA formula and 92nd in the Sagarin ratings.
QUICK HITS: Boise State has 2,500 tickets remaining for Saturdays game. Boise States 2013 game at BYU is scheduled for Oct. 26. An incorrect date had been included on the schools schedule.
Chadd Cripe is in his 11th season covering Boise State football for the Idaho Statesman. He also is a voter in The Associated Press Top 25. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 377-6398. His Twitter account is @IDS_BroncoBeat.