Boise State notebook: Broncos lead the nation in plays

The Broncos had 100 offensive snaps in 1-point loss at Fresno State.

ccripe@idahostatesman.comSeptember 24, 2013 

— The Boise State football team’s foray into up-tempo offense has succeeded wildly in at least one area.

The Broncos have run the most offensive plays in the Football Bowl Subdivision — 341, or 85.3 per game — going into Saturday’s home game against Southern Miss (8:15 p.m., ESPNU).

They averaged 67.1 plays per game last year.

The Broncos ran 100 plays in Friday night’s 41-40 loss at Fresno State, the second-most in an FBS game this season. Louisiana-Monroe ran 104.

Fresno State’s defense appeared to wear down late in the game, when the Broncos scored three straight touchdowns.

The offense, which is using a leaner rotation to maintain its pace, didn’t seem bothered by the workload.

“I think our guys are fine,” coach Chris Petersen said. “I don’t think anyone is complaining.”

The Broncos have averaged 522 yards and 48.3 points per game in their past three contests.

But they’re still working out some kinks in the new system. Petersen said junior wide receiver Matt Miller was on the field too much at Fresno State and he’d like to get tailbacks Jack Fields and Derrick Thomas involved.

It’s more difficult to substitute in the no-huddle.

“There are certainly tradeoffs,” Petersen said. “We’re making progress. We’re starting to score some points. We have some balance. But there are still some tradeoffs that are different than how we used to do things — some of them are better and some of them aren’t.”

Southwick is 'fine'

Senior quarterback Joe Southwick injured his throwing arm in the first half Friday. He finished the game but said afterward he was “hurting.”

Petersen said Monday that Southwick is “fine,” and also said he would no longer comment on short-term injuries.

Southwick was 31-of-45 for 313 yards with an interception. He also rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown.

“Joe played tough,” Petersen said. “He’s playing well. But nobody’s playing perfect by a long stretch. There are a handful of plays that he needs to make if we want to get over that hump. That’s the position on offense that all fingers are going to point at. … He made some really spectacular plays, we’re really proud of him, but there also were some plays he has to make at this point in his career. That’s not to single that whole thing out. We could start right here with me.”

Tough loss

Petersen on his team’s mindset: “They’re fine. They don’t like losing. Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser — that’s the bottom line. But we’ve got a short time to shake it off.”

Offensive lineman Spencer Gerke on the loss: “The closer the game, the more of a heartbreaker it is. It was just a bummer to not finish.”

Upon further review

Petersen said after the game that the swinging-gate conversion that failed against Fresno State was “wide open.” He changed his opinion after watching the video.

Miller, the holder, tried to run into the end zone for the two points but was stopped. There were three defenders, two blockers and Miller in the area.

“It wasn’t wide open,” Petersen said. “They executed better than us. I went back and looked at it. I thought we had it. Matt thought we had it.”

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398,Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service