Bronco Beat

Boise State football defensive coaches will lean on handful of freshmen

The Boise State football team played two true freshmen last season in cornerback Tyler Horton and defensive end Durrant Miles. The Broncos will more than likely play more than two just on the defensive line, and possibly a few behind it, too.

Meeting with the media Tuesday, defensive line coach Steve Caldwell reiterated what he has thought way back on signing day in February, that his inexperienced group will need some new blood to come in and play immediately.

“I’m approaching it that I need to get three or four of those guys ready to take some reps this year,” Caldwell said. “Two things, it’ll make us better this year and it’ll make us better next year.”

Caldwell noted junior college transfer Daniel Auelua as one new face that will be relied upon early, at the defensive tackle spot, but he also said “physically,” it appears defensive end Kayode Rufai, defensive tackles Chase Hatada and Jabari Watson, along with nose tackle Emmanuel Fesili are the “four guys right now you think could do it.”

The most experienced members of the defensive line are end Sam McCaskill (37 games) and tackle Elliot Hoyte (31 games), though only McCaskill has more than one start under his belt.

Linebacker could be a tough group to break through, as it is loaded with veteran talent (though coach Bryan Harsin did mention outside linebacker Desmond Williams in interviews last month), but the defensive backfield could see some freshmen play, especially at cornerback. Three players on the roster have game experience (Jonathan Moxey, Tyler Horton, Ray Ford), leaving a prime opportunity for those youngsters. Cornerbacks coach Ashley Ambrose pointed at Reid Harrison-Ducros, De’Andre Pierce and Robert Lewis as freshmen he has seen run well in the summer, but has yet to see in a full practice.

“I think it’s in the cards that one or two of those guys can play for us this season, probably starting out on special teams,” Ambrose said.

Safeties coach Gabe Franklin has Jalen Walker, Kekoa Nawahine and Jordan Happle as incoming freshmen, and said “redshirting guys is the goal,” but should they make a quick impression, or if injuries occur, “if they make it so I can’t, I don’t want to.”

SINGLE-GAME TICKETS ON SALE SOON: Single-game tickets for the 2016 home football season will go on sale to season-ticket holders Aug. 22, and to the general public Aug. 29. Prices for the Broncos’ nonconference games against Washington State and BYU range from $49 to $90, and $29 to $75 for their four Mountain West games.

Senior tickets are $2 less for each game, while juniors are $20 or $30 less for the nonconference games and $18 or $25 less for conference games. Tickets will be available via phone at 426-4737 or at Season tickets are still on sale, and begin at $165. Mini plans are available in select areas, beginning at $155. The Blue Plan includes Washington State, Colorado State and San Jose State, while the Orange Plan includes Utah State, BYU and UNLV.

Check out a map of the single-game ticket options here.