It has been a long time since there has been a serious quarterback controversy at Boise State — and there will not be one this week.
Senior Montell Cozart impressed in his debut with the Broncos in Saturday’s 24-13 win over Troy, leading two touchdown drives. Junior Brett Rypien, making his 24th straight start, only guided the team to a field goal.
Don’t expect much to change this week as the team prepares to face No. 24 Washington State on the road (8:30 p.m. Saturday).
“One game’s not going to influence that either way,” offensive coordinator Zak Hill said.
Cozart was 6-of-9 passing for 50 yards with a touchdown and added 36 rushing yards. Rypien was 13-of-23 for 160 yards with an interception that was returned for a touchdown. He also was sacked four times.
That was enough for some to call for Cozart to be the man going forward, but the coaches are steadfast in their belief Rypien has done more than enough the last two years to warrant a solid standing as the starter.
“... the only people that matter are the ones in this building that actually watch the film and I thought Brett played well,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said.
Hill and Harsin said they don’t have any concerns that Rypien will be looking over his shoulder this week, though Washington State coach Mike Leach said using two quarterbacks is something he wouldn’t consider.
“I always worry it makes the team disjointed,” he said.
But Boise State thinks being able to use the two-time All-Mountain West passer in Rypien and the mobile Cozart can be a boon, not the old adage of “if you have two quarterbacks you have none.”
“The mix of both those guys within our offense, I think it brings a different dynamic for defensive coordinators trying to plan,” Hill said.
With the offensive line having difficulties against the Troy defensive line, Cozart’s abilities helped the offense be more efficient. That sort of advantage may not exist every week, so how the team uses Rypien and Cozart could vary. And there is little concern that there will be an issue regarding who is or isn’t on the field. Hill said Rypien was upbeat after the game despite Cozart playing most of the fourth quarter.
“Those guys both work well together and feed off each other and push each other and that’s what you want as a coach,” Hill said.
NEW NAMES ON THE DEPTH CHART
The Broncos’ depth chart for Saturday’s game is not much different from the one released before facing the Trojans. All starters remain the same, though true freshmen receivers Octavius Evans and CT Thomas made their first appearance as backups, while true freshman Riley Whimpey is listed as Leighton Vander Esch’s backup at weakside linebacker.
Kicker/punter Joel Velazquez is listed as a co-starter at both spots with juniors Haden Hoggarth and Quinn Skillin, respectively. Harsin said the team played 20 newcomers, including 11 redshirt freshmen and five true freshmen.