Boise State held a closed scrimmage on Friday, a follow-up presser on Saturday, and a full practice on Sunday. So much for working for the weekend. Read on for the highlights of what went down the past three days and what it might mean.
First things first ... clear your datebook for Saturday
Boise State holds its first and only open scrimmage this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at Bronco Stadium. The public is invited. Admission is free. BYO churro.
True freshmen watch: Jay Ajayi on the bubble?
The Bronco coaches have made it clear that several true freshmen may play this fall, and we fans have taken that to mean definitely Jay Ajayi and probably some other people. Well, we may need to temper those Jay Ajayi expectations. Drew Wright is currently the team's No. 3 back, and Malcolm Johnson has been as good as advertised. This is not to say that Ajayi won't play as a true frosh, especially when you consider how the RB position will shake out over the next several years. But word out of camp has been high on Johnson (the IPT LOVES him), solid on Wright, and rather quiet on Ajayi. For my money, Ajayi will still play this season, just maybe not as much as we all originally thought.
And now for some other true freshmen making noise ...
Blake Renaud - Chadd Cripe believes Renaud may be the team's No. 5 linebacker at this point, and Chadd Cripe is never wrong, or if he is, he does a very good job framing Brian Murphy for it.
Corey Bell - A Pete Kwiatkowski favorite, Bell is unfortunate to be a star-in-the-making at a position that can only have one guy on the field at a time. There are already three nickels who figure to be above him on the depth chart, so Bell's role this year - if any - would likely be on special teams.
Lee Hightower - We know Kwiatkowski likes Hightower, and we know the Broncos both enjoy playing true freshmen in the secondary and may need to play a true freshman in the secondary. (Maybe a third safety?)
Darian Thompson - Copy and paste what I said above about the Broncos playing true freshmen in the secondary and then check this tweet from the Friday scrimmage:
Freshman CB Darian Thompson had INT, fumble return for TD in scrimmage.
Jeff Worthy - According to Cripe, the Broncos are in search of a fifth defensive tackle to play behind the Fearsome Foursome. Worthy is a defensive tackle. /matchmaker'd
Jake Van Ginkel - No one has anything to say about the Van Ginkel vs. Dan Goodale kicking championship of the world. I find this odd, and a little unnerving.
Complete audio of Chris Petersen's Saturday press conference
Hear Coach Pete audibly frustrated with the Boise State offense.
Add Kharyee Marshall to the same APB as Brenel Myers
Players are disappearing from people's consciousnesses left and right this fall. First it was Brenel Myers at the offensive tackle position. Now it is former Dwight Freeney clone Kharyee Marshall vanishing at defensive end.
Chadd Cripe's rundown of the defensive line touched on the top four DEs - Shea McClellin, Tyrone Crawford, Jarrell Root, and grayshirt Tyler Horn. No mention of Marshall. Has he underperformed this fall? Is he injured? Did he and Myers innocently step into a time machine phone booth and are now reliving American history with Abraham Lincoln and cronies in Bren and Khar's Excellent Adventure? Probably not the last one, but maybe the first two.
The key to enjoying Idaho: guns
The Idaho Press-Tribune points out that some out-of-state players have trouble adjusting to the slower pace of life in Idaho, that is, until someone introduces them to guns. Take Jerrell Gavins, for instance:
At first, I did not like it at all, I thought there was nothing to do. But my teammates have been great in helping that ... I went shooting over the summer with Josh Borgman and Matt Paradis - that was pretty cool.
My mailbox would tend to disagree.
Offense bounces back in Sunday practice
The Friday scrimmage is now just a distant, shameful memory for the Boise State offense thanks to yesterday's practice when the first-team actually found the end zone. The solution: more Mitch Burroughs, natch.
As he has been all fall in practice, Kellen Moore was sharp in red-zone drills, hitting Mitch Burroughs for a touchdown on the first play of the session.
Burroughs for Comeback Player of the Year! The Mitch Burroughs Experience is back.
... the cornerback covering Burroughs fell down ...
Nick touched on this in the morning links: Brad Elkin was one of the top performers in the Friday closed-to-everyone scrimmage. I'm not sure how to feel about this, but I do believe we should start preparing ourselves for an Elkin Era of Punting. Says Elkin:
Now that I have the position at the moment, I'm motivated to keep it.
The Press-Tribune lists Taylor Tharp as a key senior contributor for his career year in 2007. I am conflicted about this.
Brenel Myers clue: Dave Southorn claims Myers is in the running for right guard along with Chuck Hayes and Jake Broyles. Interesting. As far as clues go, let's consider this to be the equivalent of the fuzzy traffic-cam photo of the last time anyone ever saw Myers. Now enhance that.
Standouts include Darian Thompson, Blake Renaud, Matt Miller, Corey Bell, Brad Elkin
Dustin Lapray made-up quote of the day
Bronco camp isn't the same without Person Of The Year Dustin Lapray toting his moleskin journal hither and yon from practice field to press conference. Here now is my attempt to bring a little more Lapray to our Lapray-less world:
With the scrimmage closed to humanity, I turned to the finer pursuits of life - floating, writing, dreaming, living. My Friday was filled with frivolity in a field. The Bronco players spent their Day of Frige sweating behind closed doors, yearning for a goal, improving as a living organism of team goals and brotherhood. To each his own! C'est la vie! Sno cones!
What do you think of Jay Ajayi's chances of playing this year? What other true freshmen do you think will see the field? Excited about the Brad Elkin Era of Punting and Chicanery? Share your thoughts in the comments.