From the first Marty Tadman sideline spotting, I knew this Boise State scrimmage was going to be a good one. And it didn't disappoint. The running game was better, the linebackers all looked the same, and there were more than enough highlights to go around. Here's what we learned about the Broncos.
Kyle Brotzman, 31-yard field goal
Malcolm Johnson, 2-yard touchdown run
Jarvis Hodge, 4-yard touchdown reception from Kellen Moore
Kyle Brotzman, 44-yard field goal
Chris Potter, 37-yard touchdown reception from Kellen Moore
Kyle Wilson, 93-yard punt return touchdown
Kellen Moore 14-25, 56 percent, 141 yards, 2 TD, 129.78 rating
Michael Coughlin 3-6, 50%, 23, 1 INT, 48.86
Joe Southwick 13-17, 77% 113, 132.31
Mike Tamburo 1-3, 33%, -1, 30.54
Total 31-51, 60%, 276, 2/1, 115.26
Tyler Shoemaker 5 catches 48 yards
Titus Young 5-29
Preston Minter 3-22
Chris Potter 3-51-1 TD
Aaron Burks 3-8
Mitch Burroughs 2-45
Jarvis Hodge 2-9-1 TD
Michael Choate 2-24
Jake Johnston 2-11
Kyle Efaw 1-9
Gabe Linehan 1-11
Malcolm Johnson 1-10
Drew Wright 1-( -1)
Total 31-276-2 TD
Doug Martin 16 carries, 88 yards, 5.5 avg
Malcolm Johnson 6-31, 5.2, 1 TD
Michael Coughlin 3-8, 2.7
Jarvis Hodge 2-4, 2.0
Carlo Audagnotti 2-0, 0.0
Joe Southwick 2-7, 3.5
Mike Tamburo 1-1, 1.0
Drew Wright 1-3, 3.0
Total 33-142, 4.3 1 TD
Mr. Bronco Beat Chadd Cripe reports that the three running backs were out with "nagging injuries" but are expected back for the Oregon game.
The linebacker battle will come down to factors that are beyond my comprehension
Watching intently as Acrey-White-Mackey and Tevis-Percy-Smith battled it out for the starting linebacker spot, I still couldn't tell who was winning what. All I have for you is starting lineups, and even those are debatable.
- First-team defense: Acrey and Smith
- Second-team defense: White and Tevis
- Third-team defense: Mackey and Percy
Don't read much, if anything, into these starting tandems because the rotations switched around completely throughout the course of the scrimmage. I imagine that the coaches wanted to give everyone an equal shake with the first-teamers, which is why so many different combinations saw time in so many different places.
At the very least, all six of them looked decent. There were some missed tackles here and there (Tommy Smith, most noticably) and some big stuffs in the backfield (Derrell Acrey on a smooth run blitz right up the gut). Other than that, your guess is as good as mine. But neither of our guesses are as good as those of the Bronco coaching staff.
Visibly swooning over Doug Martin in the backfield
I knew I was in for a treat when Martin was sporting Offense White in warmups. Thanks to the top three running backs sitting out due to whatever, Martin saw significant time in the backfield almost out of necessity. He started with the number one offense. And he was good. Like 88 yards on 16 carries good.
He hit holes with conviction and made sharp, decisive cuts. He carried tacklers down field. He fought for extra yards. He was everything that you would picture Doug Martin to be, only better.
Your 2009 starting offensive line is ...
... still not official. However, it was the same five starters tonight who also started the team's first scrimmage. Coincidence? I think not.
- RT Michael Ames
- RG Kevin Sapien
- C Thomas Byrd
- LG Will Lawrence
- LT Matt Slater
The group performed much better in the running game. I saw several holes and far fewer O-linemen in their own backfield. Getting less man-handled was a big positive.
Justin Jungblut: coming to a defensive line near you
An issue just screaming to be addressed by a Brian Murphy op-ed column is the mysterious absence of Shea McClellin from each of the Broncos' first two scrimmages. Is he injured? Is he apathetic? Is he aware of how much his absence is concerning me?
The Broncos run four-deep at defensive end, and the four players rotate fairly seamlessly throughout the game. With McClellin out, the fourth spot has gone to freshman Justin Jungblut. And he hasn't looked half bad.
He has certainly held his own against the first and second team offenses. And he looks the part of a Bronco defensive end - big, stout, rangy. I would describe him as a Byron Hout clone, although I have yet to see Jungblut's open-field spin move.
Could we see more of Jungblut on opening night than any of us expected? I don't know. We'll have to wait for Brian Murphy's op-ed to tell us.
Dustin Lapray in midseason bandanna form
Lapray was rocking a red-white-and-blue bandanna from his perch on the media/alumni sideline. He totally put Marty Tadman's calf-high black socks, khaki shorts, and sweater vest to shame.
Jarrell Gavins, anyone?
The speedy JUCO CB made several big plays in the scrimmage, batting balls down and standing up a number of ballcarriers. He was the man responsible for the Chris Potter TD catch-and-run, but I chalk that one up to Gavins owing Potter a favor rather than poor coverage or tackling form. Gavins might be hovering near fourth on the depth chart at corner right now, but if our fourth string is as talented and quick as Gavins, the Broncos are in great shape.
At this rate Kyle Wilson will average a punt return TD per game
Wilson took another punt back for a score, this one a Jimmy Pavel kick that pinned Wilson to the far sideline where he proceeded to pick his way past a wall of defenders and blockers all the way for six. Teams may just be better off going for it on fourth down every time this season.
Brotzman again looked solid kicking and punting. Freshman Trevor Harman kicks like Colin Kaepernick throws touch passes: at 100 mph. He pinged an extra point off the upright that came back nearly 15 yards.
Your Kellen Moore scrimmage update
With nothing else missing from his entire quarterbacking repertoire, it appears that Moore spent the offseason honing the one skill he lacks in spades: running. In the first drive of the scrimmage, Moore eluded the rush by escaping the pocket - by foot - to his right and chucking the ball to safety.
HE ACTUALLY PULLED AWAY FROM A DEFENDER.
I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it with my own eyes. In fact, Moore looked highly mobile at several points in the scrimmage, on ball fakes, rollouts, etc. Is it about time Coach Pete took another look at the spread option?
Moore was right on target with his short and intermediate passes, too. The ones that fell incomplete most often were his long bombs. And boy were they long. He lofted one in the general direction of Titus Young that traveled 60 yards in the air. (/giddily rubbing hands together and giggling)
- Michael Coughlin will be a highly serviceable backup. He was solid all night long. Good zip on his passes and extended plays with his legs.
- Martin found his way back onto defense by the end of the game. Also on defense: a Matt Kaiserman look-a-like. Interesting, no?
- It sure was nice of Coach Pete to give the tight ends the night off.
- I saw Kirby Moore walking around before the scrimmage, and I honestly thought he was a fullback. He's that big. And my eyes are that bad.