HARSIN COULD MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY
Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin faces a decision for Friday’s road game at Virginia: Does he start true freshman Brett Rypien or sophomore Tommy Stuart at quarterback?
Harsin is scheduled to address the media at 1 p.m. Sunday, where the QB position will be hot topic No. 1 (watch for news updates at IdahoStatesman.com).
That doesn’t mean he has to say anything specific.
Harsin said Friday night, after losing starter Ryan Finley to a significant leg/ankle injury in the 52-0 victory over Idaho State, that he didn’t know who will start at Virginia.
“One of those guys will be out there for the first time on the road,” Harsin said of the co-backup quarterbacks. “We had that last week with Ryan (at BYU). Hopefully we’ve learned something as a team how to handle that and we can help that quarterback be better prepared when we go play against Virginia.”
Harsin said the Broncos need to identify the quarterback early in the week to prepare him for the game. “We’re not going to be able to go 50-50 all week long,” he said.
WHAT HAPPENED SATURDAY NIGHT?
Coaches can only hope Rypien and/or Stuart execute the Virginia game plan as well as it was executed against Idaho State.
The plan Friday, if anything happened to Finley, was for Stuart to enter the game while coaches and trainers evaluated Finley.
“It worked exactly as they knew it was going to work,” offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz said.
By halftime, the coaches knew Finley was on crutches and wouldn’t be able to return to the game. That’s when they made the final decision to play Rypien and forgo his redshirt year.
“When I told him at halftime he was going to play,” Drinkwitz said, “that guy had a look in his eye like, ‘It’s about time.’ So I’m impressed with him.”
FEELINGS FOR FINLEY
Drinkwitz said he had trouble enjoying the win because of the injury to Finley, whose right ankle got caught under the Bengal who tackled him at the end of a scramble in the first quarter.
“I spoke with Ryan and shared a few tears,” Drinkwitz said. “I’m just praying for the best. You never know. ”
Finley was playing his best game yet with 5-of-6 passing for 59 yards.
HOW’D THE BACKUPS DO?
Stuart was solid in his first action as a Bronco.
“We knew Tommy would go in, and he did exactly what we expected him to do,” Harsin said. “At the same time, we’ve got to have a couple guys ready. Brett has done a nice job. He has put himself in position to play. The decision was after halftime we need to get him in. He’s been ready to play. We’ve talked about it each and every week. At this point, it was time to go. I thought he went in there and showed what he’s capable of doing with his first opportunity.”
Stuart was 9-for-13 for 69 yards and a TD with three sacks. He rushed 11 times for 46 yards.
Rypien was 8-for-9 for 126 yards. His three drives with the first team resulted in TDs and one with the second team ended with a field goal.
“They both operated,” Harsin said.
Rypien, the first true freshman QB to play at Boise State since 1993 (Tony Hilde), or Stuart, who would be playing close to his Maryland home, will face a daunting task next week. It’s possible both could play.
“Maybe they’re crazy enough to not even think about (the situation),” Harsin said. “Why not? Just go out and attack it. ... I don’t think the emotions got to them. They just operated.”