Boise State senior tailback Kelsey Young sparked the Broncos’ offense to a 31-point second half last week against Idaho State.
A week earlier, he didn’t get a carry against BYU.
Young, who transferred from Stanford this summer to showcase his ability to play a traditional tailback role, said Monday that he’s trying to focus on what he can control and not his number of carries.
“All I can do is show up to work every day and do my job,” he said. “Whether that constitutes more carries or less carries, I really can’t control that. All I can do is control my performance and my preparation.”
Young finished with eight carries for 38 yards and two touchdowns. He also made a catch for 9 yards.
He started the second half after the Broncos struggled to run consistently in the first half. He gained 7 yards on the first play and 6 yards on the second play. On the fourth play, he ran down the sideline and into the end zone from 9 yards out for his first touchdown as a Bronco.
“Kelsey came in and ran hard,” offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz said. “That lit a spark in (starter Jeremy McNichols). Jeremy ran violent in the second half.”
Young rushed 13 times for 48 yards and made three catches for 26 yards in the season opener against Washington but also fumbled at a key moment in the second half.
He played the next week at BYU but didn’t have a carry or a catch.
“Any time that things aren’t going the way that you want them to, it’s definitely frustrating,” he said. “But all you can do is control what you can control. After the BYU game, all I did was go back to basics. I was going to make sure that there is ... nothing bad that I would put on tape that would say, ‘Oh, maybe he is not the guy to go this week.’ ”
Young, who played a hybrid tailback/receiver role at Stanford, has enjoyed the opportunity to play traditional tailback at Boise State.
“One of the biggest reasons I wanted to pursue other options for my fifth year was to showcase that I can run between the tackles, I can pass protect, I can catch the ball out of the backfield,” he said. “I have a lot more to my skill set than running fly sweeps and things like that. Boise has done a great job exploiting that.”
Young (5-foot-10, 198 pounds) has shown impressive physicality for a back typecast as more of an outside player.
“I grew up watching running backs like Toby Gerhart, who was at Stanford before I was,” Young said. “We went to the same high school. Watching his running style, where he would always lower his shoulder and I always felt he had the natural ability to make guys miss — ever since I was younger, I wanted to mold my game to be a combination of both.”
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Young’s younger brother, redshirt freshman Cory Young, tied for the team lead with 69 rushing yards on nine carries in mop-up duty against Idaho State. He also appeared to score a touchdown but was ruled short of the goal line.
“He made sure that all the family through Facebook knew that,” Kelsey Young said. “He recorded the replay of it and just sent out a public-service announcement to our family that it was a touchdown.”
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Here are some highlights from Monday’s practice. The tailbacks were grinding on pass protection, which has been an issue so far this season.
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After some technical difficulties, here’s the Eliah Drinkwitz press conference from Sunday. Worth watching if you’re curious about the QB situation.
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