Boise State football team's defense shuts out offense in scrimmage

August 18, 2013 

The Boise State football team’s 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 Southwick’s 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, ‘Where’d 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, I’m going to try to get there,’ ” Makinde said.

Makinde’s 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.

“We’ve 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. We’ve 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.

“That’s some good confidence for us going into the season opener,” Moore said.

•••

Scrimmage notes:

— Southwick said the interception was his third of camp. “It was a great learning experience, too,” he said. “Each pick I throw I’m really trying to make a learning experience.”

— Moore on the offense: “We’re doing a good job (on offense). We’re being really consistent in practice. Executing in the red zone and on third downs, that’s important to us.”

— Petersen on the offense: “We’ve 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. That’s offensive football. And if you don’t take care of the details, that’s what it looks like — no points.”

— Among the true freshmen who looked like they’re in position to play this year: tailback Aaron Baltazar, linebacker Darren Lee, cornerback Jonathan Moxey and defensive ends Kamalei Correa and Gabe Perez. It’s also possible the Broncos will use one of their true freshman tight ends, most likely Jake Roh. “It’s frustrating because they’re freshmen and you sit on the sidelines and you’re like, ‘Boy, I wish we didn’t need freshmen,’ ” Petersen said, “but we all do. I don’t think it’s just the Broncos.” Baltazar got quality time with the top two offensive units and looked good. “He’s been really good — very solid,” Petersen said. “That’s an area that we have some depth so we’re trying to give him the ball and see where he is. I don’t know if his situation will be decided any time soon, what we’ll do with him. But we’re definitely analyzing where he is.”

— Defensive end Sam McCaskill and tight end Holden Huff were among the players who weren’t in uniform. Theirs aren’t long-term injuries so Petersen didn’t 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 didn’t catch passes. “He’ll be fine,” Petersen said. “Preventative.”

— Others who didn’t 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. “We’ll get those guys back,” Petersen said. “They’re D-linemen. They’ve got to be tough guys. They’ve got to be the toughest guys on the team.” Petersen indicated Correa and Perez are likely to play this year. “They’re doing well and they’re going to be very good football players,” he said. “We’re going to continue to bring them along — I’d like to say slowly, but I don’t know if we can bring them along slowly. Those guys are going to be in the mix and we’ve got two weeks to get them right.”

— Goodale was 9-for-9 on field goals. Sophomore Tyler Rausa was 6-for-8. “I think it’s close,” Petersen said. “We’ve got another good week of really analyzing that thing. They’ve been pretty clean most of camp. … I think Dan Goodale’s been very, very good and Tyler’s 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 haven’t seen a catch in 1-on-1s like we saw out here today. When they’re 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 he’s done a nice job, but I think Grant has gotten better as well. … You never think it’s going to be right until those guys get their opportunity and they step up.”

•••

Stats:

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. Here’s 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

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