Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin held a press conference Thursday night after the Broncos’ closed scrimmage. The open scrimmage is at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 15.
Here are highlights from Harsin, who said the first-team offense and defense went head to head:
— Quarterback Grant Hedrick and wide receivers Matt Miller and Shane Williams-Rhodes were playmakers on offense. Hedrick and Miller connected on a touchdown pass. Hedrick also made a nifty run. “Grant had a big run tonight,” Harsin said. “ He kind of got out there and got (nickel Corey Bell) in a pickle, throwing or running, gave a head fake, stuck his foot in the ground and got vertical. Grant had some good throws tonight. He had a nice throw to Matt for a touchdown. You just see him kind of opening up his game running, throwing, all those things. You saw a good variety from him tonight.”
— Sophomore stud end Kamalei Correa continued his strong play from the first week of camp.
— The linebackers, who were stout in the spring, impressed again. Senior middle linebacker Blake Renaud led the way. “Blake Renaud had some big hits in there,” Harsin said.
— The defense won on three out of four fourth-and-short plays. “They plugged it up — got through (the line) and did a nice job,” Harsin said. “It’s six, seven guys around the ball in a hurry.”
— The scrimmage will move the Broncos closer to a legitimate depth chart. “We’ve got to have a better lineup than a pecking order,” Harsin said. “Is it finalized? No. But we’ll be into putting together guys as far as who we think is going to roll out there more now than we did before the scrimmage.”
— Safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner, who arrived in January, is the only true freshman slated to play at this point. “It’s firm,” Harsin said. “Is it 1,000 percent? Pretty close. He’s planning on playing and we’re planning on playing him.”
— The other true freshman who has generated a buzz in interviews so far is tailback Jeremy McNichols.
— The team hasn’t had any serious injuries, Harsin said.
— The Broncos worked hard for the first six days of camp, then scrimmaged Thursday night. They’ll work out and get some rest before practicing Friday night. Then it’s back to the grind with two-a-days Saturday and Monday. “We’ve pushed to that point where mental fatigue and body fatigue hits, then backed off, given them time to recover, and then we go back and do it again,” Harsin said.
— Harsin on which side has played the best in camp: “Special teams. Just kidding. I do like what our defense is doing. We have a large volume (of plays) on offense going in. Our defense has been more consistent in practice. And that I don’t think is uncommon. That’s where we need to be at this point. That needs to even itself out here this next week. And it will.”
— Harsin said the offense used quite a bit of the shift-and-motion package Thursday. The Broncos didn’t show much of it in the spring. “In the spring it was there,” he said. “We weren’t very good at it. We’re better at it now.” But don’t expect to see a lot of it next week. “It’s an open scrimmage,” he said. “Is everything we did tonight and everything we do in practice going to show up? No.”
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