Bronco Beat

Harsin on MW championship game in Boise: 'It's never going to get bigger than this'

Redshirt freshman defensive end Mat Boesen isn’t practicing with the Broncos and won’t be with the team for the rest of the season, football coach Bryan Harsin said Friday.

Boesen hasn’t been dismissed from the team.

Boesen hasn’t played since the Oct. 24 game against BYU for unspecified disciplinary reasons. He had three sacks as a backup.

Boesen last month pleaded guilty to a charge of inattentive or careless driving stemming from a July arrest, according to court records. A second charge, for resisting or obstructing officers, was dismissed at the same time.

Boesen was given a suspended 90-day jail sentence and one year of misdemeanor probation. He must pay a $457.50 fine and complete an Alive at 25 driving education program by April 1. He also received a withheld judgment.

Boesen was not suspended after the original incident.

Harsin, Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter and two players from each team met with the media Friday to promote the Mountain West championship game, which is at 8 p.m. Saturday at Albertsons Stadium.

Some highlights:

Bryan Harsin

— On tailback Jay Ajayi needing 95 yards to break Ian Johnson’s school record for single-season rushing yards: “The first thing I asked him is if he has a girlfriend. If he gets (95) yards, I don’t want any marriage proposals.”

— On this week: “I think the feel has been a little bit different, in a good way.”

— On sluggish ticket sales: “If you think about Albertsons Stadium, this is the biggest game we’ll have. This is a championship game. It’s never going to get bigger than this. I hope come game time we have a great turnout. My focus right now is on the game. That’s it.” He mentioned that he bought tickets to a Division I-AA playoff game in 1994, when he was a high school senior.

Boise State QB Grant Hedrick

— On his strong play down the stretch: “We needed that. This team needed a quarterback who could lead them and I would like to think I’ve done a decent job with that lately.”

— On his play after Air Force: “It kind of switched my mindset of being too careful, trying not to force things. That leads to bad things. I’ve just got to cut it loose and not worry about what happens.”

Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter

— On Boise State’s 17-play drive for the go-ahead touchdown in the October game. “Might have been 18. Felt like 28.”

— On the up-and-down season: “We’ve shown we have the talent to play with teams like Boise if we’re playing well. If we’re not totally engaged, if we’re sloppy in our execution, Edison High School (in Fresno) could beat us. That’s just who we are right now.”

— “As bad as things were early this year, we’ve got an opportunity. This game is about the redemption of this season.”

— He said the rest of the conference probably is rooting for Boise State for financial reasons. “Maybe Marshall is out there rooting for us.”

— On Hedrick: “He’s played terrific down the stretch. In our game in particular he hurt us early on with his legs, but he made some throws. As you watch him after our game, I see him continuing to improve. I think he was playing as good as any quarterback in our league down the stretch. We realize this is a dual threat who has played a lot of football games now. That’s the difference in their team from a year ago. They didn’t have that heady of a guy who could run and do everything. He’s really come on.”

— On Ajayi: “Utah State has a terrific run defense. I know those coaches. Their plan was to stop Jay Ajayi and they couldn’t. I talked to Matt Wells this week and he said, ‘If you can do it, good luck to you.’ ”

— On safety Derron Smith telling the team in Boise that they’d be back to play for the title: “I was psyched that he still had that vision. Most 3-5 teams aren’t talking about playing in a conference championship game.”

Fresno State safety Derron Smith

— On the season: “It's been a wild ride — it's a really different path to this game than last year, probably not exactly how we wanted it, but we're exactly where we want to be, our goal since this spring is to be in the championship game.”

— On saying Fresno State would be back: “I actually told that at first (after the game) to two of the Boise players (Ajayi and Shane Williams-Rhodes), told them we planned on being back here, and they were like, 'Look forward to seeing you again.' I said it in the media interviews afterward, too. I figured the Mountain West would lead right back to Boise. They held up their part, and we made it back, so it's exactly where I wanted to be.”

Fresno State WR Josh Harper

— On Boise State CB Donte Deayon: “He's actually one of the few people to get a pick on me, so we've kind of got that (battle) going.” Harper had a rare TD vs. Deayon and Deayon had a pick vs. Harper in the October game.

Boise State has distributed 22,100 tickets for the game. Fans will be allowed on the field after the game. There will be an on-field trophy presentation that will air live on CBS Sports Network (the game is on main CBS).

Email me at ccripe@idahostatesman.com.

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