What we learned from Boise State's scrimmage

We learned that Joe Southwick will be the starter.

We did not learn this officially, but I decided officially, in my head, based on how Southwick looked, who Southwick played with, and what the other QBs did with the opportunities they got. Southwick's final numbers on the night were 16-for-24, 141 yards, a touchdown, and an INT, but do note that a big chunk of his yards came on a terribly-advised (worse than ill-advised) throw that Mitch Burroughs caught off a serendipitous deflection. Southwick's TD came a couple plays later.

Nevertheless, Southwick had a couple nice throws on deep posts - over the linebacker, in front of the safety, and away from the corner. He led the team down the field, showing command of the offense. He checked down, which is awful unsexy but ultimately effective.

Plus, he looked good by comparison. Here are the stats from the other Boise State QBs:

Grant Hedrick - 6-for-16, 28 yards, 3 INTs, 1 fumble
Jimmy Laughrea - 1-for-4, 75 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Nick Patti - 1-for-10, 40 yards, 1 INT

Yeesh.

We learned that the QB competition was down to Southwick and Hedrick.

This is the impression I got from the fact that the only quarterbacks to play with the first-teamers were Southwick and Hedrick and the most snaps on the night went to these two. 'Tis the season for assumptions, and this is mine.

Also making things rich with subtext was the red jersey that Patti wore throughout the scrimmage. Metaphors much?

We learned that Faraji Wright may have had a tough camp.

Wright started the scrimmage at left tackle, which might seem like a good thing except that the second-teamers started the scrimmage. When the first-team O-line came out, Wright was not on it. The line went like this:

  • LT Charles Leno
  • LG Joe Kellogg
  • C Matt Paradis
  • RG Michael Ames
  • RT Jake Broyles

Interesting, to say the least.

We learned what we already thought we knew about Jay Ajayi.

Ajayi is good. This is the theory that most of us had been operating with for the past couple years, but on Saturday night, Ajayi confirmed it with 78 yards and a touchdown. He was a fabulous one-cut runner and more built (in the legs mainly, but really everywhere) than the other backs. Do not worry about the third running back for the Broncos. Ajayi will do just fine.

For that matter, I cannot see how Boise State burns the redshirts of Jack Fields and Devan Demas unless something bad - injuries or otherwise - happens to one of the top three backs. The future looks pretty awesome, though.

We learned who might play as a true freshman.

Keep in mind that I know nothing, but here is what I think I know about who might play right away.

Shane Williams-Rhodes - He was dynamic as a returner and in the slot. His bubble screen touchdown catch was straight-up video game, complete with the early celebration that gets it called back for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Broncos can always use a playmaker, and Williams-Rhodes is that. Could Boise State choose to redshirt Dallas Burroughs and start Williams-Rhodes?

Chancellor James - The true freshman safety was responsible for two picks - one he took for himself and one he tipped to Donte Deayon. His pass coverage was spot on; he always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. If Boise State needs some depth in the secondary, don't be surprised if they look here.

We learned that jersey No. 1 isn't as sacred as we thought.

Backup corner Bryan Douglas was wearing the singlest of digits and playing well in nickel packages (with Jamar Taylor on the slot - yes!).

We learned that turnovers will happen.

The Bronco defense got six interceptions and a fumble return for a touchdown. Opportunistic defenses are some of my favorite defenses.

We learned that the kicking game will be alright, as long as we're not kicking from too far away.

Michael Frisina and Dan Goodale went a combined 10-for-11 on field goals, and Bronco Stadium cheered a big sigh of relief. However, the farthest kick was 37 yards, so adjust your excitement accordingly. If Boise State plans on kicking from 40 yards and in, that means the offense will need to get to the 22-yard line before field goals become an option. Stick this in your mental notebook and see if anything changes come Michigan State.

Your turn

What did you notice from the scrimmage? What did you hear that piqued your interest? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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