Boise State Football

BSU linebacker Joe Martarano’s injury likely not severe

Boise State coach Bryan Harsin, pre-Washington State part I

Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin looks back at the Broncos' season-opening win at Louisiana and ahead to the home opener against Washington State (part 1 of 3)
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Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin looks back at the Broncos' season-opening win at Louisiana and ahead to the home opener against Washington State (part 1 of 3)

Boise State could be without a key defensive player Saturday against the high-powered Washington State Cougars, but he will likely return this season.

Junior middle linebacker Joe Martarano suffered a right knee injury Saturday at Louisiana, leaving in the first quarter and not returning. He was seen sporting a knee brace on his right leg in the second half. Coach Bryan Harsin reiterated his policy to not comment on injuries unless they are long-term or season-ending. Junior tight end Jake Roh did not play Saturday with a leg injury, and junior STUD Gabe Perez left Saturday’s game with a right shoulder injury.

“Those guys, we’ll see how this week goes and how those guys feel. That’ll be a game-day decision with some of them,” Harsin said Tuesday.

Asked if the Broncos avoided a serious injury with Martarano, Harsin said, “I think I just answered that.”

Senior Darren Lee stepped in for Matarano, and would be the likely starter, though the Broncos used weakside linebacker Ben Weaver at times in the middle Saturday, flanked by sophomore Leighton Vander Esch and senior Tanner Vallejo.

“I’ve never seen (Lee) go out there and not give great effort,” Harsin said.

BRONCOS ON TOP 25 EDGE

Boise State is just outside the top 25 in both major polls released Tuesday. The Broncos are three spots out of being ranked in the Associated Press poll and four spots out in the coaches’ poll. It was a small movement from the preseason polls, where they were five spots out in the AP poll and tied for third among teams receiving votes in the coaches’ poll.

NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOES

Boise State has used a drill designed to have receivers aware of incoming defenders where a large red ball is rolled toward them as soon as they make a catch and turn upfield. At Louisiana, the Broncos had a big day racking up yards after the catch in the Broncos’ 426-yard passing day. Harsin joked that he showed the skill players the movie “Dodgeball,” referencing a scene where the character Patches O’Houlihan teaches the team “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”

“Compliance said we couldn’t throw wrenches at them,” Harsin said.

Dave Southorn: 208-377-6420, @IDS_BroncoBeat

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