BOISE — Boise State senior Joe Southwick will play when hes 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 theres no doubt the senior will play.
Well 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. Saturdays game is the five-week mark.
Southwick showed some rust Monday.
Like he has been out for a while, Petersen said. Hes 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. Hedricks rating is slightly higher (153.20 to 149.89).
Hedricks 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. Thats why I think its 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. Thats $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
Colorado St.: $0
Hawaii: $0 (Hawaii does not receive any TV money from the Mountain West).
Thats 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 States benefit from the new system is $990,910.
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.
Thats everybodys 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.
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 Saturdays 48-7 win against Wyoming. The 3-hour, 17-minute contest wrapped up at 11:38 p.m.
My hats off to you, he said, and it totally helped.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat