Boise State notebook vs. UT Martin

STATESMAN STAFFSeptember 8, 2013 

ONSIDE TRICKERY

Boise State used a play that looked more like soccer than football to spark its first-half surge against UT Martin. Kicker Dan Goodale bounced a kickoff to his left and hit safety Ebo Makinde about in stride 21 yards downfield for a successful onside kick.

The Broncos scored six plays later to take a 21-7 lead — part of a 42-point run to close the first half.

“We put that in this week, and I was telling the coaches if we did it, I was going to go get it,” Makinde said. “I was praying I would get it. I had the opportunity and it was a perfect kick. We weren't able to execute that well in practice, actually.”

Special teams coach Scott Huff spotted a hole in UT Martin’s kickoff-return team and designed the kick. Goodale worked on it all week.

“Dan was really consistent with it, and we’re really proud of how Dan is kicking,” coach Chris Petersen said. “That’s a lot harder to do than it looks. You’re juiced up, trying to kick the ball, and everybody’s running fast and you’ve got to look like you’re running fast and then it’s just a little touch shot. He executed perfectly.”

OFFICIAL ATTENDANCE: 33,293

The attendance was the smallest for a home game since the 2010 regular-season finale against Utah State. The school distributed nearly 5,000 tickets in the last three days leading to the home opener.

Boise State will need strong single-game sales all year. Its season-ticket sales have dropped by about 2,000 this year.

“I say this all the time: For us to continue to do what we want to do, we can’t do it alone,” Petersen said. “The Bronco Nation has to be there. If this stadium isn’t full, that’s game-changing. Regardless of our team or of our record, and I know they do correlate, for us to continue to grow this program and play on a big stage and all those things, we need Bronco Nation every game.”

PERSONNEL UPDATES

• Junior defensive end Demarcus Lawrence served a one-game suspension for violating team rules for the third time since mid-October. “I would say it’s an issue (for his future), but we expect him back tomorrow and hopefully we don’t have any more issues,” Petersen said. Junior Beau Martin started for Lawrence, and redshirt freshman Sam McCaskill moved to that side to play with the No. 2 line.

• Junior middle linebacker Travis Saxton likely will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, Petersen said. True freshman Tanner Vallejo entered the game late and will help fill the void created by injuries to Saxton and senior Jonathan Brown (out about five more weeks).

• True freshman quarterback Ryan Finley underwent shoulder surgery on his throwing arm but is expected to return for spring practice. It was an injury that lingered from his high school career and led coaches to limit him in fall camp.

CEILING COLLAPSE IN SUITES

Debris fell through the ceiling in a suite on the sixth floor of the Stueckle Sky Center at halftime, but no one was injured.

Athletic Director Mark Coyle and his family were in the suite. Emergency medical personnel came into the room, located at the north end of the sky center, but no one appeared to need attention. The suite was empty in the second half as metal supports were exposed.

KWIATKOWSKI MOVES UP

Defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski moved to the Stueckle Sky Center to call the game, as he suggested he might during the week. Kwiatkowski had worked from the sideline for his first three years and one game as the coordinator. He moved to the elevated location to try to identify issues like the alignment errors that proved costly in the loss to Washington.

TRADITIONAL LOOK

A couple times in the red zone, quarterback Joe Southwick went under center and the Broncos used a fullback. Those aren’t staples in the new pistol-heavy offense, but they will be used.

“You haven’t seen everything we’ve got,” Petersen said. “It’s just always going to continue to evolve.”

ROUGH DAY FOR UTM

The Skyhawks committed six turnovers — three interceptions by starting quarterback Dylan Favre and one by backup Jarod Neal, and fumbles by Favre and kickoff returner Kevin Barfield. They also committed 10 penalties for 102 yards.

“I knew on tape we were going to have to play pretty much mistake-free,” coach Jason Simpson said. “We clearly did not do that and they took advantage of everything we gave them. Just very disappointing we didn’t give them a better fight.”

QUICK HITS

Boise State wore blue pants, gray jerseys and blue helmets. … Single-game captains were Makinde, wide receiver Kirby Moore, offensive lineman Spencer Gerke and safety Darian Thompson. Former tailback Ian Johnson was an honorary captain. … Former Boise State golfer Graham DeLaet was honored between the first and second quarters. He is fifth in the FedEx Cup standings on the PGA Tour. … Boise State took a knee at the UTM 34 with 39 seconds left in the first half, leading 49-7, and four times deep in UTM territory in the final minutes of the game. … The 49-point win was the Broncos’ largest since Oct. 15, 2011, when they beat Colorado State 63-13. … The Broncos’ 49 first-half points were the most since scoring 49 against Weber State in 2007. … Twenty-five Broncos have made their career debuts this season — 15 vs. Washington and 10 Saturday.

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