With Boise State’s season opening matchup with the Washington Huskies just days away, head coach Chris Petersen and his team are on the verge of finding out exactly what this group of players is capable of.
During fall camp feelings of a breakout season for redshirt senior quarterback Joe Southwick and a return to undefeated glory seemed probable to the local and national media. But many questions still remain for the Broncos.
One of Petersen’s immediate observations about his team since returning from summer break was their bad conditioning. His teams have always been known as well conditioned, and without that strong conditioning, Boise State will have monumental problems with the Huskies.
“We’re still a ways away from the conditioning level we need to be at. That showed up, they knew it,” Petersen said.
Southwick impressed many during fall camp, looking much more developed and controlled than last year. He thinks the Broncos are farther along to this point, despite the conditioning issues.
“We’re ahead of where we were – a lot of guys are back. We’re definitely ahead,” Southwick said. “It’s a process.”
Fall Camp isn’t only a place for returning players to get back into shape before the season. Petersen is using this time to observe the incoming freshman class and evaluate the depth of his newest squad.
“It’s always like this – there’s certain positions that I think we feel pretty good about depth wise and there’s certain positions that you just have to keep your
Veteran wide receiver Aaron Burks is anxious to get on the field after a monumental spring season in which he set personal records in catches and yards.
“I’m really eager,” Burks said during fall camp. “It was a big thing just to get on the field again. We love the workouts, but we love football and that’s what we’re here for.”
The Broncos didn’t escape fall camp free-and-clear, however. Redshirt freshman safety Chanceller James was expected to be a strong contributor at one of Boise State’s weakest positions this season before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.
“We’re going to miss him this year, which is such a bummer when a guy redshirts and they’re ready to play. We were counting on him to do some things,” Petersen said.
The tackle position is in limbo after defensive tackle Duece Mataele left the team only two days into fall camp because of an academic issue. If Mataele doesn’t return before the opening game, junior Tyler Horn will fill the void.
“The great thing about (Horn) is he can play inside, he can play outside, and that’s really nice to have that flexibility,” Petersen said. “We’ll need him with or