Boise State Football

‘Today wasn’t good enough.’ Veterans lack consistency in Boise State’s first scrimmage

The Boise State football team’s veteran offensive line returns all five starters from last season and is supposed to be a major strength going into the 2019 season.

That wasn’t the case during the Broncos’ first scrimmage of fall camp Saturday at Albertsons Stadium.

“You got six, seven bad snaps and you’re trying to get quarterbacks reps and they’re fumbling for the ball and looking for the ball,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “That’s frustrating, because they’re trying to get work. We’ve got specific plays. We’ve got a whole plan for these guys, and then we have trouble getting the ball from the center to the quarterback.”

Inconsistency among his veteran players was Harsin’s biggest gripe following the scrimmage, which was closed to the media, and the sixth-year coach said that comes down to a lack of focus.

“The reality of it is, you’re going to play like you practice,” Harsin said. “Today wasn’t good enough if we had to go play a game.”

The Broncos’ starting defensive unit forced three straight three-and-outs to start the scrimmage and also added “three or four sacks,” Harsin said, but there were no takeaways.

While the defense was on early, Harsin said the offense picked up as the scrimmage progressed, particularly in the run game.

“On the goal line, we had a couple scores with the offense that we did run hard,” he said. “I thought a couple of our tailbacks were hitting it downhill.”

Harsin and his staff will begin increasing reps for some players at quarterback and running back during practice this week as the Broncos move closer to naming new starters at both positions. He did not indicate which players had earned more reps in the coming week, and emphasized the team’s second scrimmage Aug. 16 as the most likely time new starters will emerge.

“That second scrimmage is big,” Harsin said. “Once you come out of that, you’ve got a pretty good idea of your team.”

Quick hits

Kickers were a perfect 11-for-11 on field goals, including about a 51-yarder from redshirt junior Joel Velazquez. ... When asked about any newcomers who stood out, Harsin cited true freshman JL Skinner (safety) and George Holani (running back). ... Harsin on QB play at the scrimmage: “It was OK. They did some good things. They all did. I didn’t see a lot of poor performance. There wasn’t turnovers from that position.” ... Boise State men’s basketball coach Leon Rice spoke to the football team Saturday morning. “It’s always good to hear from other coaches that are a part of the athletic program,” Harsin said.

Mattison scores first pro TD

Boise State alum Alexander Mattison started at running back in the Minnesota Vikings’ 34-25 victory over the New Orleans Saints in an NFL preseason game on Friday at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Mattison scored on the Vikings’ opening drive, catching a 1-yard pass from Kirk Cousins with 10:38 on the clock for the first professional touchdown of his career.

The 5-foot-11, 221-pound 2019 third-round draft pick led the Vikings in carries with nine touches for 30 yards.

“It’s just one of those plays that we drew up, and every time we ran it in practice, it was kind of that same type of look,” Mattison told “So as soon as I saw the safety kind of bite down a little bit, I knew I’d be open. Kirk put a great ball on me, and then I just finished the catch.”

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