The Boise State football teams first-team offense produced a nearly flawless dress rehearsal Sunday night at Bronco Stadium.
Then senior safety Ebo Makinde spoiled it.
Makinde batted starting quarterback Joe Southwicks pass to wide receiver Kirby Moore into the air in the end zone and caught the deflection for an interception.
Ebo made a great play, said Southwick, who has three interceptions in fall camp. I thought we had something. Kirby came back and said, Whered he come from. I thought we had a touchdown.
Makinde identified the play from practice and knew Southwick was likely to throw a seam route to Moore. He came across the end zone to bat the ball.
I thought, If he throws a seam route, Im going to try to get there, Makinde said.
Makindes play helped the defense win the scrimmage 18-0 earning points for turnovers, sacks, fourth-down stops and three-and-outs. Southwick only played one series.
The Broncos practiced for about an hour and a half and scrimmaged for about 45 minutes.
Weve got a lot of work to do, coach Chris Petersen said. It always comes down to little details. I thought at times our offense looked really, really good and ended up with no points in the scrimmage. Weve got to get that cleaned up.
Southwick also led a clutch drive before the scrimmage. The offense got the ball on its own 30-yard line with 1 minute, 15 seconds left and one timeout, needing a field goal.
Southwick hit wide receiver Aaron Burks for 43 yards on the first play. He was 4-for-5 on the drive, which ended with a 22-yard field goal by junior kicker Dan Goodale.
Thats some good confidence for us going into the season opener, Moore said.
Southwick said the interception was his third of camp. It was a great learning experience, too, he said. Each pick I throw Im really trying to make a learning experience.
Moore on the offense: Were doing a good job (on offense). Were being really consistent in practice. Executing in the red zone and on third downs, thats important to us.
Petersen on the offense: Weve done some good things on offense but it was good tonight to go out there and watch ourselves move the ball down the field and then shoot ourselves in the foot a couple times. Thats offensive football. And if you dont take care of the details, thats what it looks like no points.
Among the true freshmen who looked like theyre in position to play this year: tailback Aaron Baltazar, linebacker Darren Lee, cornerback Jonathan Moxey and defensive ends Kamalei Correa and Gabe Perez. Its also possible the Broncos will use one of their true freshman tight ends, most likely Jake Roh. Its frustrating because theyre freshmen and you sit on the sidelines and youre like, Boy, I wish we didnt need freshmen, Petersen said, but we all do. I dont think its just the Broncos. Baltazar got quality time with the top two offensive units and looked good. Hes been really good very solid, Petersen said. Thats an area that we have some depth so were trying to give him the ball and see where he is. I dont know if his situation will be decided any time soon, what well do with him. But were definitely analyzing where he is.
Defensive end Sam McCaskill and tight end Holden Huff were among the players who werent in uniform. Theirs arent long-term injuries so Petersen didnt provide details. Others who were out included quarterback Ryan Finley (easing into practice because of a shoulder injury), wide receiver David McKinzie, safety Chanceller James (torn ACL), offensive lineman James Meager, tight end Kyle Sosnowski (knee, out for year) and wide receiver D.J. Dean.
Wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes has a cast on his left arm. He fielded punts and kickoffs but didnt catch passes. Hell be fine, Petersen said. Preventative.
Others who didnt appear to scrimmage, but were in uniform, include defensive end Tyler Horn, defensive end Kharyee Marshall, linebacker Blake Renaud and wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn.
Without McCaskill and Marshall, the only two stud ends available were Correa and Perez. Well get those guys back, Petersen said. Theyre D-linemen. Theyve got to be tough guys. Theyve got to be the toughest guys on the team. Petersen indicated Correa and Perez are likely to play this year. Theyre doing well and theyre going to be very good football players, he said. Were going to continue to bring them along Id like to say slowly, but I dont know if we can bring them along slowly. Those guys are going to be in the mix and weve got two weeks to get them right.
Goodale was 9-for-9 on field goals. Sophomore Tyler Rausa was 6-for-8. I think its close, Petersen said. Weve got another good week of really analyzing that thing. Theyve been pretty clean most of camp. I think Dan Goodales been very, very good and Tylers been pushing him every step of the way.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Chris Santini made a team-high eight tackles.
The attendance was 7,410. It was great, Petersen said, and we really appreciate everybody coming out. It changes things. I havent seen a catch in 1-on-1s like we saw out here today. When theyre going to get cheers like that, I know our guys are going to do some special things. You saw our true freshman Tanner (Shipley) make a great (one-handed) catch.
Petersen on the backup quarterback job: (Grant Hedrick) has done a good job. I do think Nick Patti has improved, he really has. The last four or five days hes done a nice job, but I think Grant has gotten better as well. You never think its going to be right until those guys get their opportunity and they step up.
Passing: Joe Southwick 3-4-1 28, Grant Hedrick 2-6-0 11, Nick Patti 6-10-0 64, Richard Hoppe 0-2-0 0.
Rushing: Jay Ajayi 4-38, Aaron Baltazar 4-36, Charles Bertoli 5-32, Jamel Hart 6-25. Also: Jack Fields 2-10, Derrick Thomas 4-6, Nick Patti 5-15, Devan Demas 3-15, Grant Hedrick 2-(-4), Terrell Johnson 1-(-4), Richard Hoppe 1-(-5).
Receiving: Taylor Pope 3-21, Aaron Burks 2-15, Terrell Johnson 1-26, Kirby Moore 1-13, Troy Ware 1-11, Connor Peters 1-8, Aaron Baltazar 1-6, Jake Hardee 1-3.
Tackle leaders: Chris Santini 8, Travis Saxton 6, Darren Lee 4, Tanner Vallejo 4, Gabe Perez 4.
Interception: Ebo Makinde 1.
Fumble recovery: Austin Silsby 1.
Sacks: Chris Santini 1, Joe Martarano 1.
The Broncos did their wannabe 1-on-1s at the scrimmage. It came down to the last rep center Matt Paradis at quarterback, guard Marcus Henry at receiver and defensive tackle Armand Nance at cornerback. Heres what happened.
Here is the Cover It Live ticker from the scrimmage, which includes tweets from me and Brian Murphy as well as Murph answering reader questions.
Cleshawn Page in the strike zone drill, where coaches emphasize hitting within the targeting rules.
Darian Thompson in the strike zone drill