The NCAA has numerous restrictions on how college football teams can gather, interact and practice during the summer. Until August, it is primarily the players’ decision when to practice, and how to improve for the upcoming season.
With players like redshirt senior quarterback Joe Southwick coordinating casual, non-team affiliated practices during the summer, Boise State head coach Chris Petersen is pleased with the results from the first official practices of the season. The Broncos open the season in Seattle, Wash. against Washington on August 31st.
“Real good tempo, real good pace — a lot of guys are cramping up, so that’s probably a good sign that they’re going so hard,” Petersen said in his first official press conference of the season. ”
The first week of fall camp is typically the easiest, and is used to get players acquainted with their groups, and to regain speed and endurance that may have been lost during the summer months. The first two days, players where only helmets, followed by two days of helmets and shoulder pads and the fifth day marks the first time players suit up in full pads.
Fall camp has certainly been different for the Broncos this season. Now, the football team uses the intramural field between the Student Union building and Appleton Tennis Center, which is much easier on players’ bodies than the previous practice field.
“Last year (the field) was just really worn down before we even got on it,” Petersen said. “When we get on something that’s not in good shape it gets torn up very, very quickly. We weren’t on (the field) nearly as long as we wanted to be last year just because it didn’t hold up.”
Petersen expressed the importance of keeping intensity high with his players during the first few weeks of the season in order to stay motivated through December. He is also notorious for sticking with the same summer and fall schedule, but players expressed feelings that this fall camp was the hardest it has ever been.
Coach Pete believes his guys may have had a little too much fun this summer, and just need to get back in shape.
“I think they had a good summer — I do. I think the first two practices from the older guys the indication is that they got some things done,” Petersen said. “Not only some good running, some lifting, but they did some good football on their own. I think it has paid dividends.”