Boise State junior cornerback Michael Young, who transferred from Dodge City (Kan.) Community College in January, didn’t suit up for Saturday’s game.
The 6-foot, 211-pounder was impressive in the spring and is listed as a co-starter at the cornerback spot opposite junior Tyler Horton. Sophomore Reid Harrison-Ducros started in his place and had four tackles, one for loss.
Young was held out of the game for unspecified reasons. Coach Bryan Harsin said Young would play next week.
“Mike Young could’ve played, but we didn’t play him,” Harsin said. “He could’ve played in general. We didn’t play him.”
The only players out for the game because of injury were sophomore safety Evan Tyler (out for the season with a torn ACL) and senior defensive end Austin Silsby. Senior offensive tackle Archie Lewis, listed as the starter at right tackle, suited up, but did not play. Junior Andres Preciado started in his place. Senior strongside linebacker Gabe Perez, also listed as a starter, was in a similar situation, and saw redshirt freshman Desmond Williams start.
“Archie practiced this week, didn’t feel like we needed him to play,” Harsin said. “He’ll be ready to go next week. Gabe Perez, same. And a lot of it had to do with personnel stuff. They didn’t play as much of a personnel group as he’s going to be in on.”
Mattison shakes off the rust
Sophomore running back Alexander Mattison had been out of practice or limited in the two weeks leading up to last week’s open practice, but returned full-go during game week.
Mattison led the team with 82 rushing yards and added a 16-yard reception. His 49-yard touchdown run with 7:51 left in the second quarter was the longest of his young career, by 30 yards. He said he felt better as the game progressed, that “I didn’t think about it much at all.”
“Honestly, I don’t even remember the feeling I had after that play, I just know that it felt great to produce for the offense,” Mattison said. “... It was a lot longer run than 19 yards, so of course that play had me checking my surroundings as I went into the end zone.”
A tribute to Lyle Smith
The Boise State football program honored legendary coach Lyle Smith before Saturday’s season opener by dropping 101 blue and orange daisies at his statue outside Albertsons Stadium during the Bronco Walk.
The biggest logistical challenge: Finding flowers in that color. Daisies were the favorite of Smith, who died in July at 101 years old.
The secret solution? The Bronco painted the white flowers in school colors.
The flowers were carried by players and coaches during their traditional walk from the Student Union Building to the Bleymaier Football Center. Many of them patted the left knee of Smith’s statue after delivering the flower.
One of the last flowers was set in place by running backs coach Lee Marks’ daughter. Smith’s son, Bill, and daughter, Marge Swint, visited the statue immediately after the team. Smith and Swint were honorary captains for the game.
Smith was the football coach at Boise Junior College from 1947 to 1967 and the athletic director at Boise State until 1981.
Hot temps lead to lack of water
Boise State fans, particularly on the sun-drenched east side of the stadium, thinned out in the second half to escape the heat and to seek some hydration.
However, as temperatures reached the upper 90s, there was a run on bottled water, and that caught the concessions off guard. A Boise State spokesman said there was planning for extra water because of the temperatures, but concessions still ran out. Staff set up kiosks throughout the stadium, distributing cups of water free of charge.
Boise State and concessions partner Aramark “have already discussed how to prevent this from being a problem at future games.”
Boise State has three full-time captains this season: senior wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, junior quarterback Brett Rypien and junior linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. A single-game captain will join them throughout the season. On Saturday, it was senior center Mason Hampton. ... A new tradition this season is a player will be selected each game to carry the “Bleed Blue” flag as someone that represents the program’s best aspects. Perez was the first against the Trojans. ... Sophomore STUD end Sam Whitney and junior linebacker Leighton Vander Esch led Boise State with seven tackles. Each had a sack. ... Redshirt freshman STUD end Curtis Weaver had two sacks in his debut. ... Five true freshmen saw the field: linebackers Riley Whimpey and Benton Wickersham, receivers Octavius Evans and CT Thomas, and safety Kekaula Kaniho.