Bronco Beat

Bryan Harsin: ‘We’ve got to go out and play more hungry’

The Boise State football team held its weekly press conference Sunday in advance of Friday’s game at San Jose State (1:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network).

Here’s a recap. The hot topic: the Broncos’ back-to-back losses to option teams New Mexico and Air Force.

Bryan Harsin

— On the team: “I feel like we’ve got to go out and play more hungry than we do. We’ve got to go out there and compete and we’ve got to go out there and prepare and execute better to win. That’s the key ingredient to me.”

— Opening statement: “The last two weeks have been disappointing and we haven’t coached well enough to win and we haven’t played well enough to win and that’s shown. That’s difficult. That’s difficult on our coaches, difficult on our players, I know it’s difficult on Bronco Nation. And trust me, I feel the pain. ... The difference between being 7-4 and potentially 10-1, it’s little things. It’s details and it’s the smallest of margins.”

— On coaching: “We’ve got to do a better job as coaches, I’ve got to do a better job, of making sure our guys are in position to be successful. And then when they are, we have to be accountable to make those plays.”

— On having fun: “Fun is being absolutely dialed in for that game, being prepared and confident. And when you make those plays, that’s fun. That shows all that hard work you put in is paying off.”

— On whether there is a chemistry or culture problem: “Everybody wants to jump to conclusions rather than pointing to the facts of scheme, execution, whatever it is. We get to watch the tape every single day. The natural assumption is the sky is falling, everybody is jumping off the ship. That’s not true. People are disappointed. Nobody is more disappointed than me.”

— Harsin said offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz calls the plays. Harsin is involved more in preparing the game plan than executing it. 

— Harsin is hopeful safety Darian Thompson (concussion) and wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes (ankle) will return this week. The guys with longer-term injuries are still out, he said. Wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck, who played through an apparent ankle injury against Air Force, is fine, he said.

OC Eliah Drinkwitz

— On Air Force’s pass defense: “Those guys did a great job playing man-to-man coverage. In man-to-man coverage, you’ve got to win one-on-ones. When we did that, it seemed like we missed the throw. Or the throw was on time and there wasn’t separation.”

— On the lack of depth at wide receiver: “We really need some other guys to step up. That’s what we’re going to continue to push to have happen. We targeted several other people in the game. For whatever reason, plays weren’t made the way we would hope.”

— On QB Brett Rypien’s inability to beat the blitz with his legs: “That’s something in his game that we’re going to have to get better, something we’re really going to have to focus on in the offseason — increasing his overall strength, becoming faster, becoming more aware of when he can run. ... He has the ability. He has to have more confidence in doing that.”

DC Marcel Yates

— On the defense vs. Air Force: “The easy way is to say it is guys not doing their job. Execution. I take it a step further. For that many guys to be wide open, I have to question what I did as a coordinator that week. The game plan needs to be cleaner. I think it needs to be more clear for the guys to understand their job. ... My job is to get them to execute.”

— Junior cornerback Jonathan Moxey was pulled from the game because he allowed a receiver to run free.

— On middle linebacker Tanner Vallejo being seen chasing the wide-open receivers: “It wasn’t his fault on any of those. That was just hustle. That kid played great. I thought our linebacker corps played good these last two weeks.”

— On the defense: “We’re still a good defense. We just struggle vs. the option. What I have to do, what we have to do as a staff, is after the season we need to go out and study how to stop the option. But we’re still a good defense.”

— On whether he studied the option last year: “We did. We studied in the offseason. I thought having three weeks of going over it ... we would have been a lot better off. But there was something missing and that comes back to me. The key thing is you can’t give up explosive passes.”

TE Jake Roh

— On the losses: “Everyone on the team knows it’s not our standard to be losing two games in a row, especially at home. Everyone is ready to get to work.”

— On what needs to happen: “It’s just practicing the right way, which I thought we’ve done. But I guess we need to do it even better and have that discipline every play and that focus to make the big plays.”

— On the offense: “We lost a little bit of our execution. The plays are drawn up right. They’re there. We’ve just got to make the play.”

DE Sam McCaskill

— On whether players point fingers after the mistakes that led to Air Force’s big plays: “Coach Harsin does a good job stressing how you deal with adversity. One of the things that he preaches to us is during adversity a lot of people complain, blame and defend, and if you’re spending your time trying to do that nothing is going to get fixed. This was on all of us. We need to get back and fix it.”

— On the game plan vs. the option: “I felt we had a great game plan throughout the week for both teams. We did a good job of bringing a lot of energy and really making it known what each person had to do so there was no question on game day.”The Boise State football team held its weekly press conference Sunday in advance of Friday’s game at San Jose State (1:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network).

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