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What we learned (and didn't learn) from Boise State's scrimmage


Boise State's Saturday scrimmage was full of answers and full of questions, kind of like an episode of LOST.

After the jump, find out what Bronco fans can take away from the team's final fall scrimmage, and leave your thoughts on what this scrimmage tells us about the season opener. Would Boise State be okay without Ryan Winterswyk and Jeron Johnson? Did Kellen Moore and the first-team offense look good enough? Let's discuss.

Read a full recap of Saturday's scrimmage (plus photos), if you haven't already.

What we learned: Several Boise State starters are nursing injuries

You could make half an All-WAC team with this list: DE Ryan Winterswyk, DT Billy Winn,DE Kharyee Marshall, LB Derrell Acrey, S Jeron Johnson, S George Iloka, WR Titus Young, and K Kyle Brotzman. None of these players saw the field on Saturday night, which is pretty incredible considering how well the defense played without them. Does the Ewing theory cover fall scrimmages?


What we didn't learn: How serious those injuries are

Word out of Bronco camp is that none of these injuries are "serious," but that's probably just because the team is reserving the term "serious" for stuff like tearing an Achilles' tendon (a la Matt Miller). Chances are that most of the DNP list were held out as a precaution, but then Coach Pete has to go and say things like this:

"We're hopeful -- we'll see," he said. "There's a lot of guys other than those two (Winterswyk and Johnson) that weren't out there. At this point, I think the week of the game, we'll be able to know more."

"Hopeful" is a long way from "Don't worry about it, Kevan, these guys are fine, you can stop emotionally eating." It was impossible to make an injury distinction between the players who sat out on Saturday, but the local media seems to be targeting Ryan Winterswyk and Jeron Johnson as the most worrisome candidates for missing playing time.

Is Boise State's defense okay without Winterswyk or Johnson? They obviously looked fine on Saturday. But I am not sure how comfortable I feel with Travis Stanaway taking first-team reps against Virginia Tech in front of 90,000 fans on a Labor Day showcase game. In fact, I think I'm going to start emotionally eating now to prepare.

(Sidenote: I am starting to get concerned with the health of George Iloka. To put things in general terms, he has not been the same player since his freshman year, and I feel that a big part of that is because of injuries. Cedric Febis is a fine backup, but Febis cannot match Iloka when he's at 100 percent. I would have really liked to see Iloka healthy at Saturday's scrimmage, for my own peace of mind. I would also have liked to have seen a Dairy Queen kiosk. One can dream, I guess.)

What we learned: Kellen Moore is just fine, thanks

Moore's relatively subpar spring had some writers (mostly Bleacher Report ones) writing off the Heisman candidate as washed up. Silly Bleacher Report writers. Moore looked just fine on Saturday night, most notably in the two-minute offense when he was zipping out routes and hitting receivers underneath. He was in control ... when Shea McClellin let him be.

Moore's first series seemed destined for points, especially once the Broncos had a 3rd and 1 from inside the 50. But Doug Martin was stopped for a loss on third down and then Moore missed a wide open Tommy Gallarda on fourth down (a pass that Moore will complete 98 times out of 100). Make either of those plays, and the offense comes out looking a lot better than it did.

What we didn't learn: Who will be Boise State's backup quarterback

Coughlin was the first quarterback to hit the field, but Southwick played better. This is fast becoming the "Which SportsCenter do you watch" of 2010.


A: Not this one. (via


What we learned: The starting center and left tackle as of right now

Thankfully, Bronco fans were treated to a fully healthy offensive line (at least until Joe Kellogg limped off halfway through). Kellogg was playing with the first-team at center, which means Thomas Byrd remains the backup. And Charles Leno was the starter at left tackle, with Faraji Wright on the second team. Update your depth charts accordingly. In pencil, though! These things have a tendency to change pretty much all the time.

What we didn't learn: Who tops the depth chart at linebacker

With Derrell Acrey watching from the side, it was impossible to tell how Boise State's linebacker position will shake out on opening night. The Saturday pairings were Byron Hout with J.C. Percy and Aaron Tevis with Tommy Smith.

What we learned: D.J. Harper looks completely recovered

That healing saint candle I bought at Winco was totally worth it.

What we didn't learn: Whether or not Kyle Brotzman can be trusted

From the Chadd Cripe reporter's notebook, we learn that Kyle Brotzman "pulled a muscle" and was therefore sideline-bound for the team's scrimmage. What muscle was it? A muscle in his kicking leg? A muscle in his throwing arm? A muscle disguised as a tendon disguised as hypochondria? These are things we need to know, Chadd Cripe.

At any rate, Bronco fans did not get to see Brotzman attempt any field goals from the left hash, so do not expect me to be any sort of comfortable when Brotzman steps on the FedEx Field on Labor Day. In fact, expect me to be in another room because I do not want to watch. Someone can text me what happens.


What we learned: Welcome to Virginia Tech week(s)

The scrimmage marked the end of the team's Fall Camp, and now Coach Pete and gang are turning their full attention to Virginia Tech. The game is two weeks from today. The team is starting game preparations. We've almost made it, everybody. Go ahead and stop breathing if you want to.

Your turn

What did you take away from Saturday's scrimmage? Worried about Bronco injuries? Happy with Kellen Moore's performance? Share your thoughts in the comments.