Boise State Football

Players to watch when No. 24 Boise State hosts Utah State

Kent Myers is 0-2 at Albertsons Stadium as Utah State’s quarterback, including a 23-21 loss to Akron in the 2015 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Myers has 333 yards of total offense and three touchdowns on the blue turf.
Kent Myers is 0-2 at Albertsons Stadium as Utah State’s quarterback, including a 23-21 loss to Akron in the 2015 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Myers has 333 yards of total offense and three touchdowns on the blue turf. The Associated Press

BOISE STATE

THOMAS SPERBECK, WIDE RECEIVER

Somehow, someway, Sperbeck keeps getting open, even after his 88-catch, 1,412-yard junior season.

“Thomas is an ultra-competitor, he’s going to work at it, he loves the challenge,” Boise State wide receivers coach Junior Adams said.

In three games this season, Sperbeck is No. 5 in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 122.3 receiving yards per game (367 on 19 receptions). He’s put together games of 130, 133 and 104 yards.

If he goes over 100 again Saturday, he’ll become the first Boise State wide receiver to produce four consecutive 100-yard games.

“It’s pretty similar (to last season). Our offensive coaches do a great job of scheming it up to the point where they know the defense’s weaknesses ... and that’s what we attack,” Sperbeck said.

BRETT RYPIEN, QUARTERBACK

Rypien has put together some outstanding first halves this season, but is still waiting for a strong finish. In the first half, he is 42-of-65 (64.6 percent) for 640 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. In the second half, he is 18-of-39 (46.2 percent) for 221 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Utah State is expecting a tough challenge, as coach Matt Wells said, “He’s got a lot of moxie” and said he combines with junior running back Jeremy McNichols to form the best tandem “we’ll see all year.”

“I don’t think it’s him, I think it’s everybody,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said of the second-half struggles. “We’ve built these leads in the first two quarters as well, come out and attacked. ... I think Brett’s been pretty good.”

CAMERON HARTSFIELD, SAFETY

Hartsfield had 12 tackles in 26 games his first two seasons before he moved into a starting role this season because of Dylan Sumner-Gardner’s four-game suspension.

In three games, Hartsfield has two eight-tackle games and had seven in the other. He has two tackles for loss and two pass breakups.

“I’ve been having a lot of fun out there, been comfortable out there,” Hartsfield said. “It means a lot to go out there and help my team.”

UTAH STATE

KENT MYERS, QUARTERBACK

He was supposed to redshirt twice, but Myers was pressed into duty the last two seasons because of injuries to other quarterbacks. Now a junior, it is Myers’ offense to run. This season, he has rushed for 109 yards and has completed 76-of-126 passes for 800 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said he’s “capable of doing a lot of things, his escapability is what makes him dangerous.”

“I try not to put too much pressure on myself, control what I can control, give my playmakers the ball,” Myers said.

RON’QUAVION TARVER, WIDE RECEIVER

A sophomore transfer from Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Tarver has quickly emerged as a weapon for the Aggies. After not having a catch in the season opener, he had seven catches for 61 yards and a touchdown in the next two games, but broke out last week against Air Force, hauling in nine passes for 143 yards.

“He’s a little bit faster than you think for a big 6-foot-(3) kid. He fits in really well in this league and I’ve been happy with his progress,” Aggies coach Matt Wells said.

JALEN DAVIS, CORNERBACK

The first true freshman in school history to start at cornerback in a season opener in 2014, Davis has shown why. He has started his first 30 games and made five interceptions.

“That guy continues to make plays,” Harsin said.

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