Hawaii Bowl notebook: Two Hawaiians on Boise State roster

ccripe@idahostatesman.comDecember 21, 2013 

HAWAII MOMENT: The Broncos’ non-playing true freshmen worked out on Waikiki Beach at sunrise Friday, even doing sit-ups as the waves crashed into them. They’ll be back on the beach Sunday and Tuesday. Strength coach Tim Socha tries to find an unusual setting for the workouts for bowl trips. He took them to train with the Navy SEALs at the Poinsettia Bowl and at an MMA venue at the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. “It makes it feel special,” Socha said.

COURTESY OF BOISE STATE

  • HAWAII BOWL AT A GLANCE

    Teams: Boise State (8-4, Mountain West) vs. Oregon State (6-6, Pac-12)

    When: Tuesday

    Kickoff: 6 p.m. MT

    Where: Aloha Stadium (50,000, artificial turf), Honolulu

    TV: ESPN (Steve Levy, Mark May, Lou Holtz, Maria Taylor)

    Radio: 670 AM and 96.9 FM (Bob Behler, Pete Cavender); 730 AM and 96.5 FM (Kevin Winter, Trevor Matich)

    Coaches: Bob Gregory, Boise State (interim); Mike Riley, Oregon State (87-73 in 13 seasons)

    Series: Oregon State leads 4-3 (last meeting: Boise State won 37-24 at Bronco Stadium on Sept. 25, 2010)

    Boise State bowl record: 9-4

    Oregon State bowl record: 10-6

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: JEREMY IOANE

The junior safety is one of two Boise State players from Oahu. The other is true freshman defensive end Kamalei Correa.

“It always feels nice to come back home, especially in this nice weather,” Ioane said Friday as one of Boise State’s representatives at the kickoff press conference. “I’d rather be in 80 degrees than 20 degrees.”

The only downside: He is everyone’s favorite tour guide.

“I kind of feel like sometimes I have to chaperone,” he said. “But we have smart guys on this team. They can figure it out.”

Ioane quietly was one of the Broncos’ best defensive players this season. He doesn’t speak to the media often, and his physical play isn’t always reflected in the stat sheet, but he has the respect of coaches around the Mountain West.

Ioane was named to the All-MW second team this year despite finishing tied for seventh on the team with 49 tackles.

“He’s one of the smartest guys we have back there,” interim coach Bob Gregory said. “He’s able to make all the calls. He plays with great energy, great anticipation. He’s a very physical defender when it comes to defending the run.”

STAYING OR GOING?

Washington and Boise State haven’t announced the coaches who will leave for Seattle after the bowl game.

The Idaho Statesman has reported running backs coach Keith Bhonapha, defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake, offensive line coach Chris Strausser and strength coach Tim Socha have accepted jobs at Washington with former Boise State coach Chris Petersen.

The Seattle Times reported quarterbacks coach Jonathan Smith has taken a job there. And Gregory, the linebackers coach, hasn’t talked to new Boise State coach Bryan Harsin about a job, so it’s likely he’s headed west as well.

But senior center Matt Paradis said the coaches have been straight with the players.

“They’re good with communication,” he said. “They’re good at keeping everything open and telling us what they know. We’re a family. No matter what happens and where anyone goes, I’m going to keep in touch with all those guys for a long time.”

Two coaches definitely will stay: tight ends/special teams coach Scott Huff (as offensive line coach) and defensive line coach Andy Avalos (assignment TBA).

FOOTBALL THERAPY

The best way for the Broncos to relieve the stress of recent weeks: practice.

“It’s been a lot of drama just with all the coaching changes,” sophomore tailback Jay Ajayi said. “Just for us to get back to what we do — what we do is play football — for us to get back to that is so refreshing. … That’s when you don’t have to worry about who your coach is.”

The running backs have experienced perhaps the most drama. They lost their head coach, Petersen, and position coach, Bhonapha — the only position coach who left immediately. They also have lost a player (freshman Aaron Baltazar decided to transfer) and had another player (junior Derrick Thomas) suspended for the bowl trip for a violation of team standards.

Graduate assistant Louie Rodriguez and offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Robert Prince are coaching the running backs.

“It’s been a group effort from our coaching staff, just taking us under their wings, since we really don’t have a running backs coach right now,” Ajayi said.

QUICK HITS

Boise State sophomore receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes wore a boot on his left leg at practice. He is considered a game-time decision because of ankle surgery. … Safety Taylor Loffler worked out on the side with the injured players. … Boise State is the home team but will wear white jerseys, white pants and blue helmets. Oregon State will wear white pants, black jerseys and black helmets.

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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