Boise State notebook: Southwick expected to start Saturday

The Boise State senior QB could appear in his final home game vs. New Mexico.

ccripe@idahostatesman.comNovember 26, 2013 

  • Boise State vs. New Mexico

    When: 8:15 p.m. Saturday

    Where: Bronco Stadium (36,387, FieldTurf)

    TV: ESPN2 (Allen Bestwick, Mike Bellotti)

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

    Records: Boise State is 7-4 overall, 5-2 Mountain West; New Mexico is 3-8, 1-6

    Series: Boise State leads 4-0 (last meeting: BSU won 32-29 in 2012 in Albuquerque)

    Vegas line: Boise State is favored by 35

— Joe Southwick hasn’t played since breaking his right ankle on the first offensive play Oct. 19 against Nevada.

Whether his potential Senior Day start is ceremonial or legit will depend on his health.

Southwick, who started 20 straight games, clearly was hobbled during warm-ups for last week’s 34-31 OT loss at San Diego State. He was on “emergency, emergency” duty, coach Chris Petersen said.

“I expect for him to play, and that’s all I know,” Petersen said, adding that he expects Southwick to start. “We’ll kind of see. … This week in practice will tell us a lot. We don’t want to put a guy out there for an extended period of time who can’t defend himself.”

Junior backup Grant Hedrick, who has led the Broncos (7-4, 5-2 Mountain West) to a 3-2 record, also will play, Petersen said.

Hedrick struggled against San Diego State, but his biggest lowlight — an interception returned for a TD in the fourth quarter — was not his fault, Petersen said. Aaron Burks fell down on his route.

“Grant threw a good ball,” Petersen said. “The receiver falls down. What do you do?”

Petersen was more concerned with the first 2 1/2 quarters. The Broncos punted seven times and threw an interception on their first eight possessions. They scored three touchdowns, threw an interception, punted, failed on fourth down, missed a field goal and made a field goal in the final eight.

Petersen cited missed reads and throws by Hedrick, a lack of playmaking by the wide receivers, “leaky” pass protection and a spotty run game for the problems.

“That’s disappointing, 2 1/2 quarters before we get settled in,” he said.

On the plus side, he was happy with a defense that shut out the Aztecs for the final 40 minutes of regulation and the all-around effort of his team.

“We make one more play, you name it, and you guys are all talking to me about how proud we are of our team,” Petersen said. “We all understand that’s the nature of the business. …

“You put that tape on, you tip your hat to our kids. They played their tails off. It was a physical game. They gave us everything they had. That’s all you can ask for.”

Laces, schmaces ...

The laces were in, not out, on junior kicker Dan Goodale’s hooked, 43-yard field-goal attempt on the final play of regulation. That shouldn’t matter, Petersen said.

“They were (facing the kicker), but we practice that,” he said. “He kicks under the ball anyway, under the laces. Usually the problem there is a little further out, he tries to compensate and pulls it just a little bit.”

Williams-Rhodes injured

Sophomore wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes, who leads the team with 77 catches, is questionable this week, Petersen said. Williams-Rhodes hopped off the field with a leg injury in the second half.

Walk-on wide receiver Taylor Pope is out for the season with a broken collarbone from the previous game against Wyoming.

Senior list

The 16 seniors who will be honored Saturday: Southwick, Burks, WR Geraldo Boldewijn, WR Kirby Moore, TE Gabe Linehan, OL Jake Broyles, OL Spencer Gerke, OL Charles Leno Jr., OL Matt Paradis, OL Chris Tozer, DE Kharyee Marshall, DT Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, LB Jonathan Brown, LB Dustin Kamper, S Ebo Makinde, P Trevor Harman.

Ten of them are starters or co-starters. Broyles and Makinde are out with injuries. This class is the 12th straight to win at least 40 games in four years (42-8). The 2011 class (50-3) holds the school record.

Odd facts

• Boise State can clinch its first perfect home season since 2010 on Saturday. The Broncos, known for their dominance on the blue turf, lost to TCU in 2011 and San Diego State in 2012.

• Boise State’s four Mountain West losses since joining the league in 2011 have come by a combined seven points: TCU 36-35 (2011), San Diego State 21-19 (2012), Fresno State 41-40 (2013) and San Diego State 34-31, OT (2013).

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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