Boise State senior left tackle Rees Odhiambo sustained a broken ankle in the fourth quarter Saturday against Wyoming, coach Bryan Harsin said Monday.
It’s unclear whether Odhiambo will be able to return this season, Harsin said.
Odhiambo is an NFL Draft prospect. He’ll have surgery Tuesday.
“Hopefully we can get him back and he’s able to play — if that’s a bowl game opportunity, great,” Harsin said. “If not, he does have a future in playing this game at the next level. ... There’s a guy who’s one of our best players, best leaders, and he’s not going to be out there playing for us. He’s a competitor and in your senior year, for a guy like that, it’s frustrating.”
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Odhiambo has had bad luck with injuries throughout his career. He started eight games at right tackle in 2013 (missing five games), nine games at left tackle in 2014 (missing four) and all eight games at left tackle this year. He was an All-Mountain West second-teamer last year.
Sophomore Archie Lewis, who has started three games at right tackle this year, is listed as the starting left tackle this week. He started in place of injured right tackle Mario Yakoo last week. Lewis has eight career starts, including four at left tackle last year when Odhiambo was injured.
“(Lewis) did well (against Wyoming),” Harsin said. “He won his fair share of battles, lost a couple. He had a penalty. ... I thought he played hard, which is what we asked him to do. That was my request of him.”
Said senior center Marcus Henry: “Archie’s kind of been a guy who’s gotten better each and every week. He definitely has proven himself to the line and we have total confidence in him if he has to go in at any position.”
If Yakoo is out, the Broncos could move right guard Steven Baggett back to his former spot at right tackle and play a backup guard such as Mason Hampton. Harsin also mentioned redshirt freshman Andres Preciado as an option at tackle.
Other notes from the press conference:
— Harsin said Yakoo and middle linebacker Tanner Vallejo, who didn’t play against Wyoming, are game-time decisions.
— Harsin didn’t share the players of the game, which he had done weekly until the Utah State loss. He said the team was moving on.
— Harsin on the 12:30 p.m. Pacific kickoff Saturday at UNLV: “12:30 in Vegas sounds a little weird ... the one I’m talking about.”
— On tailback Jeremy McNichols getting 40 touches against Wyoming, a school record: “We really don’t think about that. We’re playing to win. The stat sheet doesn’t say once he hits 30 touches pull him out. He had seven catches. He’s also a receiver. ... We had zero sacks in the game. He made a difference that way.”
— On late kickoffs: “I think that something needs to change. There needs to be talk about that. There’s a timeframe — 9 o’clock to 5 a.m. — that you can’t do anything practice wise but you can play. It’s all about sleep and making sure that athletes have some time to just relax. ... That doesn’t apply to game time. I don’t have the answer on that.”
— Injured quarterback Ryan Finley watched last week’s game from the coaches’ box. “When is he ever going to have a chance to be in the box?” Harsin said. “If you’re playing, never. It’s like watching it on video. I hope that give him a different perspective when he gets back out there and starts playing.”
— On redshirt freshman tight end David Lucero: “David Lucero has done awesome at practice. I think that dude is going to be a very good football player.”
— On Lucero’s goal-line fumble: “We just need to tuck it away and take that ball on the 1-yard line or wherever it was. You watch (tailback Jay Ajayi) last year, Jay had a knack for sticking the ball out and scoring and maybe that wasn’t the best example for everybody.”
(Note: I’ll post all of the videos in here today but I’m trying something new this week. I’ll post offense and defense notes tomorrow rather than using all of that in one post tonight.)
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Boise State junior wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck has been nominated for catch of the week by Yahoo. You can vote in the contest here.
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Boise State senior safety Darian Thompson was named a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive back. He’s one of 16 semifinalists.
Boise State at UNLV
When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Sam Boyd Stadium (35,500, Sprinturf)
TV: ESPNU (Clay Matvick, John Congemi)
Radio: KBOI (670 AM), KTIK (93.1 FM); Bob Behler, Pete Cavender
Records: Boise State is 6-2, 3-1 Mountain West; UNLV is 2-5, 1-2.
Series: Boise State leads 5-3 (Broncos won 32-7 in 2012 in Boise).