Boise State senior cornerback Donte Deayon will be out about four weeks with a knee injury, coach Bryan Harsin said Monday. He had surgery.
Deayon is tied for the team lead with four interceptions this season and is one behind teammate Darian Thompson for the Mountain West career record with 17.
Deayon is a third-year starter. He hadn’t practiced much in recent weeks, defensive coordinator Marcel Yates said. His injury was aggravated by the hit he took while fielding a punt at Colorado State, Yates said.
True freshman Tyler Horton has been the Broncos’ No. 3 cornerback this season. He and junior Raymond Ford are listed as co-starters this week.
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Boise State plays host to Wyoming on Saturday (8:15 p.m., ESPN2).
Other notes and quotes from the Broncos’ weekly press conference, during which coaches established a theme of treating the 52-26 loss to Utah State as an aberration and moving on to the Wyoming game:
— On the Utah State game: “We played hard. It’s just you go from plus-10 or No. 2 in the country (in turnover margin) to having eight turnovers, that’s the key. Those are things we focus on. We spend a lot of time on it. We talk about it quite a bit and it just didn’t go our way. Tackling — they did a nice job, they ran hard, they had some things offensively with their quarterback run game and sweep game that they did a nice job with. We had guys in place and just have to make tackles.”
— On tipped passes for interceptions: “I always believe this: Tipped balls are picked balls.”
— He said he didn’t have any thought of pulling true freshman quarterback Brett Rypien, even for a series. Rypien committed five turnovers in the first half. “Let Brett play through it,” he said. Rypien was 12-for-23 for 221 yards without a turnover in the second half. He was 13-for-27 for 78 yards with three interceptions and two lost fumbles in the first half. “The one thing I wanted to make sure of with all of our guys is that we didn’t go out there and play timid, at that position in particular,” Harsin said. “You put yourself in a position where you become more one-dimensional and he’s still throwing the ball well, he’s still making good decisions.”
— Harsin said coaches and fans let losses linger longer than players: “Because the reality of it is you have to go play. If you sit there and dwell on it, you’re not preparing for the next game.”
— On questions about other shortcomings: “You just have to eliminate the eight turnovers down the road. We can talk about all these other things: It came down to eight turnovers. That’s the bottom line in the game. We cannot let that happen. If we get one, we need to recover faster.”
— On his low-key approach publicly to the loss, compared to Mountain West coaches who called a loss an abomination or said his team needed to hose off this past weekend: “The first way I approach it is I start with myself. What did I do during the week that maybe hurt us? When you don’t have a great performance, you have to look at and evaluate yourself first. Our coaches, I watch them work. I watch our team work. I watch them work in the weight room. I watch them work in the academic center, I watch them out at practice. I don’t have a lot of complaints when it comes to effort or how they work. The performance wasn’t there. OK, well, we know why and there’s a stat in there that probably contributes to why the performance wasn’t very good. You also have to go back and see that in four games we had one turnover. We really did a great job in that area. We really turned things around and all of a sudden it changed just like that. But I like this team and I like this staff and I like that they care tremendously about their performance and how they prepare themselves. Am I upset? I’m absolutely upset. I’m upset for our coaches and players more than anything. At the same time, I know that these guys will bounce back and I know that they’re going to compete hard and I know they’ll get ready for this week of prep and do it the right way, and I’m glad I get to be a part of that. I don’t have a team that needs to be hosed off or whatever somebody else said. We need to clean it up. We need to not let that happen. Trust me, I’m not good with it by any means. And our team and our coaches and everybody in this program knows that, but we’ve got to move on and we’ve got to prepare to go out there and keep playing. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m only worried about Wyoming. Whatever down the road may change, it’s out of our control right now. All we can control at this point is Wyoming and that’s we need to focus on and that’s all we’re going to focus on this week.”
— On Rypien’s fumbles: “Probably hung onto it a little bit too long. Any time you start going backward in the pocket, it’s not really a good thing. It’s probably going to be a throwaway situation. ... They came off the edge. We got beat on the 1-on-1s. We knew going into that game that their edge rushers were really good. (Kyler) Fackrell is one of them. We did a pretty good job with him for the most part and he did get us a couple times.”
— On wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes swiping the ball from a defender on an interception return: “Shane’s play in a tough game was maybe one of the most spectacular plays I’ve ever seen. I felt at that point in the game that was our one chance at life and we went down and scored. We talked to the team about, this was the life that we needed right there — and then misfortune happened again after that.”
— Starting tailback Jeremy McNichols is expected to play this week. He missed the Utah State game after a helmet-to-helmet hit against Colorado State.
— On Wyoming: “I think you’re seeing the physicalness that coach (Craig) Bohl is known for.”
— On the struggling run game: “I wouldn’t put it all on the offensive line. ... I think the O-line is doing a good job. Are we giving up penetration? Yes. Can we be better? Absolutely. It’s a combination, too, of the O-line and the running backs working together. There’s some scheme things in there. (Opponents) have gotten an extra guy in there who is making the tackle. We’ve got to be able to break (those tackles). They take a lot of pride in it and they put the pressure on themselves and I like that about that group, but it’s a combination — the backs and the tight ends included — doing a better job of eliminating penetration.”
— On the division race: “That’s not really our mission. Our mission is week to week, game to game. We know our mission and that is our goal. ... To me, the motivation is still there. That hasn’t changed. As far as what we can accomplish, we’re not going to know till the end of the year anyway. We sat here last year after the Air Force game and had the same conversations. We ended up being conference champs and ended up winning the Fiesta Bowl, so who knows. The ball doesn’t just bounce funny for the Broncos.”
— On the first-half passing game vs. Utah State: “I don’t think it was all (Rypien). A little high here, a little low there, but also plays that have been caught and made before. Sometimes, you throw a ball up and a guy goes up and gets it and sometimes he doesn’t. It really comes down to that. ... We were all off a little bit of rhythm. ... I thought Brett threw some really good balls in there that probably should have been caught. When it doesn’t happen, it becomes a little bit frustrating. But he handled that really well.”
Offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz
— On turnovers: “We spend a lot of time on that. We’re going to continue to emphasize it. Around here, when we focus on something, you usually get better results.”
— On the offense: “I wasn’t proud of the execution and I wasn’t proud of the overall performance but the competitive spirit, there’s nothing more you’d like to do than crawl into a shell and pretend it didn’t happen but you can’t do it. The competitive spirit shined through. That’s something to build on.”
— On sacks: “Three of them for sure, the quarterback could have easily made whatever adjustments he needed to do to make us right. ... There’s a lot of good things about our offense and we’re not going to lose confidence in who we are. We’re not going to forget that four straight weeks we had (one turnover) and averaged over 40 points per game. That’s who we are. We had a slip-up last week. We’re not going to focus on the negative. We’re not going to lose our confidence.”
— On throwing the ball 50 times: “You always want to fight. We could have said, ‘Hey, let’s run the football.’ We wanted to fight and score points. Our job is to score. ... By God, we’re going to fight. That’s the attitude of everybody on this staff, that’s the attitude of everybody in that locker room. It wasn’t good, but you ain’t going to quit. You’re going to fight it out. I hope they take that with them a lot further than football. It ain’t always pretty. It doesn’t always go like you planned. But you’ve got to fight it out. You can’t give up on one another. We sure didn’t do that.”
— On the coaches’ subdued reaction to the loss: “I don’t necessarily know how positive I’m being. I think I’m being realistic. What good is it to kick and scream and scratch and claw? There’s nothing you can do about it. You cannot go back in time and fix things. All you can do is move forward. That’s what we’re going to do, move forward. I’m as disappointed as anybody. There’s nothing I can do about that disappointment other than move on to this week.”
Defensive coordinator Marcel Yates
— On third-and-long conversions against the Broncos: “I don’t know the theme behind it but it seems to be hurting us at times.”
— On the Utah State game: “You had two of the better defenses in the conference and I thought their defense played a lot more aggressively than our defense. With turnovers, they somehow got eight and we didn’t get any. ... I thought their defense came to play. They were fired up to play. I don’t care if it’s at their place Their football team was fired up to play that night and ours wasn’t.”
— On his defense: “I’ve been asked so much about dominant. Those are the type of games when you really show you’re dominant. It’s your job to hold them to field goals (after turnovers). At least hold them to three points. Six times three is 18. Six times seven is 42.”
— On the week: “We had a good week of preparation. I mean we had a good week of preparation. For whatever reason, the way we played, I don’t understand it. I don’t get it.”
OL Steven Baggett
— On negative plays: “We’ve got to be able to fix that. You can’t be shooting yourself in the foot, whether it be turnovers or penalties or negative plays. We’ve got to find a way to get positive plays strung along.”
— On the offensive line: “Especially last week, it wasn’t very well. We’ve got to be able to be the unit on the team that when things are going bad, when some other players are struggling, we’ve got to be able to pick it up. We’ve got to really focus on that and become the strength of our offense. ... You’d like to say that we have so much experience that it will just be easy and we’ll go out there and we’ll do well, but football is tough. It’s a tough sport. We’ve just got to really focus on getting in there and preparing better, that way we can really play to the level we’re expected to play to. ... Overall, I don’t think we’ve been playing very well. Obviously you look at the negative plays ... sacks ... we’ve got to be able to pull it together and not continue that trend and really play better.”
DL Armand Nance
— On short fields: “When we get put in those situations, we have to capitalize and let our offense know we’ve got their back no matter what.”