Boise State defensive line coach Steve Caldwell provided an always great glimpse into his group when he met with the media Monday afternoon.
Caldwell said he has used senior defensive end Sam McCaskill, senior defensive tackle Elliot Hoyte, sophomore nose tackle David Moa and sophomore STUD Jabril Frazier a majority of the snaps because they’ve played well, but the second unit has yet to take a leap.
“Right now, we’re having to play those four starters a lot more than I really want to,” Caldwell said. “One of our goals was to bring on depth, and we haven’t reached that point yet.”
Some of the younger players like freshmen Chase Hatada and Emmanuel Fesili played in the season opener Sept. 3 at Louisiana, but have seen less in the last two games, in which Washington State and Oregon State made the games much closer in the second half.
“That’s those first two groups’ faults ... for us to put those guys in the game when it’s still on the line is pretty tough. They have not progressed to where we want them to yet,” Caldwell said.
Hoyte is the only starter without a sack, and he said Monday his goal is to get his first one Saturday against Utah State.
“He knows he needs to step up and play better ... was really expecting a little more out of Elliot than we’ve had so far,” Caldwell said. “Hopefully he does exactly what he said, that he steps up this week and will be more productive.”
Caldwell said the step up from 15 or so snaps a game to 60 isn’t always easy in cases like Hoyte’s.
“We need someone to step up behind him ... so Elliot’s playing 30-35 snaps, then he can be more productive and the person behind him can do the same, and we’re not there yet.”
With the Broncos facing Utah State for the first time since last year’s 52-26 rout, Caldwell said he has no problem using it as motivation for the team.
“I’m not going to let a day go by that they don’t know what happened to us last year. It’s not a thing in the past. We have to step up and play a lot better up front than we did last year, what they were able to do against us ... was really embarrassing.”
I’m writing a feature story on Moa this week. Here are some quotes from Caldwell:
“He’s a technician. He’s doing things that the way he’s coached to do them, and so far we’ve been very fortunate he’s made a lot of plays.”
“Very unusual ... going into this season, we were really going to substitute him on third down packages.”
“It’s a big difference, when you look at the production he’s getting compared to what we got out of our inside guys even two years ago. Most of our sacks come off the edge. With him in there it’s hard for them to not have to double-team him now, so I think that in the future can help us open some stuff on the outside edge again.”
“Each week there’s something that comes up different and he’s been able to handle it so far.”
WALE A CAMPBELL TROPHY SEMIFINALIST
Boise State punter Sean Wale was named one of 156 semifinalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, the National Football Foundation announced on Wednesday.
The Campbell Trophy, which was known as the Draddy Trophy until 2009, is given annually to the top senior football scholar-athlete in the country. Players from all divisions of college football (NCAA Div I, II, III and NAIA) are eligible for the award.
Wale holds a 3.84 GPA and is a health sciences major, according to a release from Boise State. He is also a three-time Academic All-Mountain West selection and three-time Mountain West Scholar-Athlete Award recipient.
On the field, is Wale averaging 44 yards per punt in 2016, good for No. 28 in the country. He has averaged 42 yards per punt in his career.
Check out video interviews with junior safety Cameron Hartsfield, senior receiver Chaz Anderson and sophomore tight end Jake Knight above.