Boise State’s bye week gave the Broncos a chance to get extra snaps for everyone, and it was also beneficial in healing up a few of their lingering injuries.
Coach Bryan Harsin said Tuesday he is “fully expecting” junior tight end Jake Roh and junior linebacker Joe Martarano to return for Saturday’s matchup at Oregon State. Both had knee injuries. Roh has not played this season, and Martarano left Sept. 3’s season opener at Louisiana in the first quarter, and has not played since.
“Right now, our injury list looks a lot better than it was, those guys were running around last week, the bye week,” Harsin said. “They’ll be running around this week. Expect to be at full strength. We have nobody right now that’s got an injury that’s going to keep them out of the season.”
Harsin has previously said the Broncos were healthy heading into each game, not pointing to anyone that would definitely be out, but Martarano, Roh, quarterback Tommy Stuart, defensive end Sam Whitney and safety Kameron Miles did not play Sept. 10 against Washington State.
Also on Tuesday, Harsin was asked about the rash of plays where ball carriers drop the ball just before getting into the end zone. It happened in the Oklahoma-Ohio State game and the Cal-Texas game last week. Clemson’s Ray Ray McCloud did it the week before. Harsin said the staff has pulled up those clips and showed them to the team.
“We’ve talked about this, I bet every year I’ve been a coach ... because it always happens, for whatever reason this year, there’s some really stupid things,” Harsin said.
“When you watch it, you’re like ‘why would you do that?’”
What would happen if it occurred at Boise State?
“That’s not going to happen with us,” Harsin said. “... you won’t score again.”
True freshman cornerback DeAndre Pierce made his debut on the Broncos’ depth chart this week as senior Jonathan Moxey’s backup. Pierce also has played some safety, quickly showing his versatility. A product of California power Long Beach Poly High, his father, Antonio, played nine NFL seasons with the Redskins and Giants.
“DeAndre’s a very mature young man, he has a great head on his shoulders, and that’s where we feel comfortable not only with the schemes and his ability, but him being able to handle everything that goes with it,” defensive coordinator Andy Avalos said. “(Football) is the family business ... the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Scott Huff also spoke Tuesday. He noted Oregon State’s new defensive coordinator came from Utah State, a team that caused major problems for the Broncos last year. Huff said “there’s a lot to be taken from that game, I mean, shoot, if I was him, I’d be doing a lot of that same stuff.”
In that game, then-freshman quarterback Brett Rypien was intercepted three times, sacked four times and fumbled twice. He rebounded the next week, completing 22-of-28 passes for 211 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover. In the Broncos’ last game, Sept. 10 against Washington State, Rypien had three interceptions, two in the final 5 minutes.
“I would expect Brett to be normal Brett, learn from his mistakes and bounce right back,” Huff said.
Check out Huff’s media session above.
I will host a live Boise State football chat with Michael Katz at 11 a.m. Thursday on IdahoStatesman.com.