Kamalei Correa, defensive end
Last year, Boise State defensive line coach Steve Caldwell liked to point out the deficiencies in the star end’s game. This year, Correa is doing that work himself.
Correa this week said he hasn’t “played up to my expectations about how I should play.”
“I feel like I can do a lot more for this team, and I feel like I haven’t been playing where I need to be playing at,” he said.
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Correa, who led the Mountain West in sacks last year, has recorded 12 tackles, a team-best four tackles for loss and a team-best two sacks this season.
His critique of his own play is a little harsh, Caldwell said.
“He’s been more consistent,” Caldwell said. “I know he’s wanting to make more plays than he is, and obviously people are doing a lot of things to keep him from that because they know he’s the one guy that can make plays for us up front. People are sliding protection to him or they chip him a lot, trying to put two people on him.” We’ve tried to do a couple different things ... to move him around a little bit to try to free him up.
“He’s playing well. I expect a lot more out of him even this week. He’s having a good week’s practice.”
Kelsey Young, tailback
The senior sparked the Broncos’ offense to a 31-point second half last week against Idaho State — a week after not getting a carry against BYU.
Young, who transferred from Stanford this summer to showcase his ability to play a traditional tailback role, said Monday that he’s trying to focus on what he can control and not his number of carries.
“All I can do is show up to work every day and do my job,” he said. “Whether that constitutes more carries or less carries, I really can’t control that. All I can do is control my performance and my preparation.”
Young finished with eight carries for 38 yards and two touchdowns against Idaho State. He also made a catch for 9 yards.
He started the second half after the Broncos struggled to run consistently in the first half. He gained 7 yards on the first play and 6 yards on the second play. On the fourth play, he ran down the sideline and into the end zone from 9 yards out for his first touchdown as a Bronco.
“Kelsey came in and ran hard,” offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz said. “That lit a spark in (starter Jeremy McNichols). Jeremy ran violent in the second half.”
Young rushed 13 times for 48 yards and made three catches for 26 yards in the season opener against Washington but also fumbled at a key moment in the second half. He played the next week at BYU but didn’t have a carry or a catch.
“Any time that things aren’t going the way that you want them to, it’s definitely frustrating,” he said. “But all you can do is control what you can control. After the BYU game, all I did was go back to basics. I was going to make sure that there is ... nothing bad that I would put on tape that would say, ‘Oh, maybe he is not the guy to go this week.’ ”
Travis Averill, left guard
Averill started every game at left guard last season. He was suspended for the season opener this year and kept out of the lineup at BYU. Coaches put him back in the lineup last week against Idaho State, moving Mario Yakoo to right tackle, and Averill was named the team’s offensive lineman of the week.
“Travis was a guy we felt like we needed to have back in there,” coach Bryan Harsin said. “He had one of the best summers of the O-line.”