Boise State notebook: QB debate gains steam

Boise State could spend the rest of the season juggling its two quarterbacks.

ccripe@idahostatesman.comNovember 19, 2013 

  • Boise State at San Diego State

    When: 8:30 p.m. Saturday

    Where: Qualcomm Stadium (54,000, grass), San Diego

    TV: CBS Sports Network (Andrew Catalon, Aaron Taylor, Lauren Gardner)

    Radio: KBOI (670AM), KKGL (96.9 FM); Bob Behler, Pete Cavender

    Records: Boise State is 7-3 overall, 5-1 Mountain West; San Diego State is 6-4, 5-1

    Series: Tied 1-1 (last meeting: SDSU 21-19, 2012, in Boise)

    Vegas line: Boise State by 7

  • Offensive lineman commits to BSU

    Troy Bacon of Oak Hills, Calif., committed to the Boise State football team Sunday at the end of an official visit. He plays at Oak Hills High.

    Bacon (6-foot-4, 280 pounds) chose the Broncos primarily over Washington State. He also held offers from Colorado, Colorado State, New Mexico, TCU and Eastern Washington, he said.

    “That program is one of a kind,” Bacon said. “You’re not going to get a coaching staff so surreal like that, such camaraderie among the team. That was a huge thing. It was family. Every single one of the guys I met gave me a big hug and said: ‘Welcome to the family. We’re glad to have you.’ ”

    — Chadd Cripe

— Boise State senior Joe Southwick will play when he’s ready.

And that time is getting close.

Southwick ran plays at practice Monday, coach Chris Petersen said, but junior Grant Hedrick still is expected to start Saturday at San Diego State (8:30 p.m. MT, CBS Sports Network).

Petersen has been non-committal about who will start when Southwick returns, but he said “there’s no doubt” the senior will play.

“We’ll just take that one day at a time,” Petersen said.

Southwick broke his right ankle Oct. 19 against Nevada and had surgery Oct. 21. Petersen said at the time that Southwick likely would return in around five weeks. Saturday’s game is the five-week mark.

Southwick showed some rust Monday.

“Like he has been out for a while,” Petersen said. “He’s throwing the ball fine.”

Southwick is 15-4 as the starting quarterback (not counting the Nevada game, when he left after the first play). The Broncos averaged 40.8 points per game in his games this season.

Hedrick is 3-1, counting Nevada. The Broncos have averaged 36 points per game in those.

The quarterbacks have similar stats, too. Hedrick’s rating is slightly higher (153.20 to 149.89).

Hedrick’s biggest weakness might be turnovers. He threw an interception and lost a fumble last week against Wyoming — giving him six turnovers (three interceptions, three fumbles) this season — after a fantastic performance at Colorado State.

“I thought Grant was solid (against Wyoming),” Petersen said. “That’s why I think it’s so interesting at that quarterback position. You can take a couple steps forward in one week and then maybe a step back in certain phases of it. He made some good decisions.”

ESPN2 picks up New Mexico game

The Broncos’ regular-season finale against New Mexico on Nov. 30 at Bronco Stadium will begin at 8:15 p.m. and air on ESPN2.

Both schools will receive a $500,000 bonus from the Mountain West. That’s $409,091 more than the schools would have received if the game had not been placed on ESPN2.

Boise State negotiated the conference-wide bonus structure for games on ESPN, ESPN2 or a broadcast network as part of its return to the Mountain West and will reap the most reward. Here are the total bonuses (the Mountain West championship game has a separate financial setup):

• Boise St.: $1.6 million

• Fresno St.: $1.3 million

• Wyoming: $1 million

• San Diego St.: $800,000

• San Jose St.: $600,000

• New Mexico: $500,000

• Air Force: $300,000

• Utah St.: $300,000

• Nevada: $300,000

• Colorado St.: $0

• UNLV: $0

• Hawaii: $0 (Hawaii does not receive any TV money from the Mountain West).

That’s a total of $6.7 million in bonuses ($500,000 for Saturdays, $300,000 for weekdays). If that money had been distributed 11 ways (all but Hawaii) instead of by bonuses, each school would have received $609,090. So Boise State’s benefit from the new system is $990,910.

Visting Bartlome

Petersen and some of the Broncos visited Kuna High football player Boone Bartlome last week. Bartlome broke his neck in a playoff game Nov. 8. The players applauded as Bartlome was recognized on the video board between the first and second quarters Saturday night at Bronco Stadium.

“That’s everybody’s worst nightmare,” Petersen said. "This is a rare thing that happens in this tough game that we play. Everybody feels tremendously bad when something like this happens. We just hope for a real speedy recovery.”

Thanksgiving special

Boise State is offering a $29 ticket deal for Thanksgiving week. The package includes tickets to the football game vs. New Mexico, the basketball doubleheader featuring the men vs. Portland State and the women vs. Idaho State (Friday, Nov. 29, at 3:30 and 6 p.m.) and the volleyball game vs. Nevada (Friday, Nov. 29, 8 p.m.). The football tickets are in section 120, the upper deck at the north end of the student section.

A late night

Petersen expressed appreciation for the fans who stayed to the end of Saturday’s 48-7 win against Wyoming. The 3-hour, 17-minute contest wrapped up at 11:38 p.m.

“My hat’s off to you,” he said, “and it totally helped.”

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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