Tag:Doug Martin
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:35 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Boston College



Posted by Chip Patterson


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Boston College.

Spring Practice Started: Saturday, February 18

Spring Game: Saturday, March 31

Three Things To Look For:

1. Replacing Luke Kuechly. Arguably one of the most dominant and decorated defensive players in recent Boston College history, Kuechly's early departure to the NFL has left a huge hole in the unit. Not only did Kuechly put up nation-leading tackle numbers for the last three seasons, but he was a swarming ball-hawk, exhibiting sideline-to-sideline speed and awareness that helped prevent the home run offensive play. That responsibility will fall now on sophomore Sean Duggan and junior Steele Vivitto - who likely will play outside linebacker. Kuechly was a leader by example for Boston College, and setting that same tone - both on the field and in the film room - is a responsibility to be claimed this spring.

2. With Montel Harris shut down, what is the identity of the offense? First-year offensive coordinator Doug Martin, formerly with New Mexico State and Kent State, has seen on film how the Eagles offense sputtered without Harris in 2011. It only took one practice for Harris to re-aggravate that left knee injury that kept him out of 10 contests last season, and questioning his availability for an entire 2012 season is a legitimate concern. Martin will have both Chase Rettig and Josh Bordner in competition for snaps at quarterback this spring, and he will have the (unfortunate) opportunity of creating his Montel Harris-less backup plan this spring.

3. Can Spaziani get back on track? Boston College may not leap off the page as an ACC power house to many, but until 2011 the Eagles had shown a constancy that that only a few of their fellow league members have displayed. The Eagles went to 12 straight bowl games from 1999-2010 before going 4-8 and missing the postseason. In recent years, bowl trips have helped cool "Frank Spaziani hot seat" talk, but now he needs results. The responsibility will eventually fall on Spaziani to get this new coaching staff on the same page this spring. The offensive staff for 2012 includes new faces at four of the five positions, including offensive coordinator Doug Martin. Improving the offense, which ranked dead last in scoring and total offense in the ACC in 2011, will be essential to getting the Eagles back to their bowling ways in 2012.

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Posted on: January 31, 2012 4:44 pm
 

NCAA grants Boise RB Harper sixth year

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Boise State isn't going to return much in the way of experience in 2012. But thanks to a Tuesday ruling from the NCAA, they'll have a little more at the running back position than they would have had otherwise.

Per the Idaho Statesmansenior tailback D.J. Harper has been granted a waiver for a sixth year of eligibility. Harper ran for a career-high 557 yards in 2011, placing him second on the Broncos behind fellow senior Doug Martin. With Martin moving onto the NFL and Harper both eligible and healthy, Harper should finally have his first shot at serving as the Broncos' every-down back. 

Harper looked well on his way towards becoming a major contributor for the Boise offense in 2009, his first junior year, when he ran 44 times for an average of 6.5 yards per-carry over the Broncos' first three games. But a torn ACL suffered in that third game put Harper on ice for the rest of that season, and a second torn ACL in the same knee limited his impact in 2010, when he again appeared in only three games.

Despite the NCAA's occasional stinginess in granting the waivers -- Arizona State wideout T.J. Simpson was denied a sixth year Tuesday after missing all of 2011 with a knee injury -- the Broncos were highly confident in Harper's application following the pair of ACL tears, holding him out of the traditional Senior Day festivities.

Originally a lightly-regarded running back recruit out of Cypress, Texas, Harper has 1,642 career rushing yards and 25 touchdowns.

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Posted on: December 22, 2011 11:24 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Boise State 56, Arizona State 24

Posted by Bryan Fischer

LAS VEGAS -- It wasn't the time (before Christmas) nor place (Las Vegas) that many had expected Boise State to wrap up the season but, alas, there the 11-1 Broncos were in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl against 6-6 Arizona State. The game went as expected, with the men from the blue turf blowing out the boys from the desert. There were trick plays and turnovers on one side, personal fouls and a 6-foot-8 quarterback on the other. All-in-all, another ho-hum victory for Boise while the ASU fans were able to continue the losing in the casinos after the game.

BOISE STATE WON. The bowl game was all about the end of prolific quarterback Kellen Moore's career and the successful senior class for Boise State. It wasn't a sharp performance by a team making a return trip to Vegas for a game they'd trade anything for to have "BCS" in front of the title but it was another 'W.' There were three turnovers by Moore alone - two picks and a fumbled snap - but that only kept the score closer than it could have been. There was a successful trick play for a touchdown, a staple of the team's run under head coach Chris Petersen, and plenty of points as the Broncos capped another 12-win season off with a victory.

HOW BOISE STATE WON: How didn't they win is a better question. BSU had touchdowns in all three phases of the game in a game they pretty much controlled from start to finish. There was Doug Martin's opening kick return for a touchdown, Jamar Taylor's 100 yard interception return for a score and, of course, a couple of tosses to the end zone by Moore. They nearly had a Yahtzee of college football scoring with TDs coming through the air, on the ground, via kick return and two on defense.

WHEN BOISE STATE WON: When Arizona State left the hotel? When the Broncos warmed up? As soon as the bowl match up was announced? It seemed that way. The tone was set early on when Martin took the opening kick return back for a touchdown and it seemed to be all blue from there on out. ASU had a few chances after grabbing some turnovers but never could capitalize. The back-breaker came in the third quarter when Brock Osweiler tossed a pick-six on the one-yard line that pushed the Boise lead to 35-10 and signaled the Sun Devils waving white flag.

WHAT BOISE STATE WON: The seventh-ranked Broncos captured their second-straight Maaco Bowl trophy with plenty of thoughts about "what could have been" this season. The senior group wrapped up their careers with 50 wins for a new school and FBS-record and capped the program's sixth straight 10+ win season.

WHAT ARIZONA STATE LOST: Dennis Erickson's last game for one. Uninspired, undisciplined and unfit to play, the Sun Devils appropriately sent their head coach out with a 31-31 record over five years in Tempe. The loss also drops the team below .500 on the season thanks to their fifth straight loss. It was a fitting end to the season really.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Kellen Moore cemented his 50th win as the starting quarterback of the Broncos, most in NCAA FBS history. He also wraps up his career with an insane 142-28 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

FINAL GRADE: B. The only reason why it even gets that grade is because it was Moore and the senior group's last game. Boise State at least made it entertaining with a few trick plays and touchdowns just about every way possible.


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Posted on: November 26, 2011 5:15 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 5:20 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Boise State 36, Wyoming 14

Posted by Bryan Fischer

BOISE STATE WON. The Broncos picked up their 10th win of the year at home after a very slow start and some uncharacteristic mistakes. The halftime adjustments by head coach Chris Petersen worked out pretty good however, as the offense extended the lead thanks to a big third quarter. Running back Doug Martin and Kellen Moore put together solid games in their second to last game on the Blue Turf. 

WHY BOISE STATE WON: Credit goes to the Broncos' defense for this one as they shut down Wyoming all day, limiting the Cowboys to just 182 yards and seven offensive points (Moore threw a pick-six). With the exception of allowing a 15-play, 80-yard drive near the end of the day (which nearly doubled Wyoming's total yardage at that point) that resulted in a 4th down touchdown pass, it was a strong day for the boys in blue. Moore finished the day 24-of-36 for 279 yards and three touchdowns while Martin rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns.

WHEN BOISE STATE WON: After Moore was picked off by Luke Anderson for a touchdown, the two teams exchanged punts for most of the first and second quarters. Then the Broncos led a 17-play, 79-yard drive that took over six minutes off the clock before Martin punched it in. The defense forced a three-and-out and then Moore found Matt Miller for a 47 yard touchdown on the second play of the next drive to take the lead in a game that was pretty much over at that point as the Broncos ran off 36 straight.

WHAT BOISE STATE WON: The slim hopes of still getting to a BCS bowl remain alive for Boise State. They're going to need plenty of help but by improving to 10-1 on the season they will make for an attractive at-large team if a team or two (or three) can lose. They've got one final game on the Blue Turf this season to leave an impression in what will be Moore, Martin and plenty of other seniors' final home game in blue and white.

WHAT WYOMING LOST: The Cowboys move to 7-4 on the year and have put together a solid season that has exceeded expectations. With a win next week, they'll secure third place in the Mountain West behind TCU and Boise.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Because of a new conference rule that prevents the Broncos from wearing all-blue uniforms, they tried to come as close as they could to the combination Saturday afternoon by wearing blue helmets, blue jerseys and white pants.

Posted on: November 12, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 8:27 pm
 

QUICK HITS: TCU 36, No. 5 Boise State 35

Posted by Chip Patterson

TCU WON. The Horned Frogs walked into Boise unintimidated, and walked out in the driver's seat to another Mountain West Conference title after converting a two-point attempt to knock off the undefeated Broncos 36-35 on the Smurf Turf.

HOW TCU WON: Sophomore quarterback Casey Pachall took advantage of Boise State's secondary to deliver big play after big play for the Horned Frogs, always having an answer to Kellen Moore's well orchestrated drives. Pachall finished the afternoon completing 24 of 37 passes for 473 yards and five touchdowns, but none were as important as the rollout pass to Josh Boyce on the two-point conversion with 1:05 remaining. TCU head coach Gary Patterson told his offensive staff to have the 2-point try play called in advance, after Boise State backup running back Drew Wright turned the ball over with 2:26 remaining in regulation. Shaky field goal kicking would not cost TCU this opportunity to steal a signature win on Boise's home field.

WHEN TCU WON: Shaky field goal kicking did cost Boise the victory, and shattered their BCS title dreams. Dan Goodale's kick from 37 yards out was pushed wide right, and for the second year in a row Boise State's BCS campaign is halted over a last-minute missed field goal.

WHAT TCU WON: A signature win for a young team with a bright future. With the move to the Big 12 on the horizon, Casey Pachall and the rest of this youthful team made a statement to their future league partners with the upset of Boise State. Pachall will be a force to be reckoned with in the Big 12, and this win will help the Horned Frogs as they continue to improve over the final weeks of the season. TCU has gotten much better since conference play began, and now controls their own destiny for another Mountain West Conference title.

WHAT BOISE STATE LOST: After 65 consecutive regular season home wins, the Broncos' first loss will be memorable for all the wrong reasons. The season has been a record-setting one for Kellen Moore, who recently became college football's winningest quarterback. But Moore's goal of competing for a national championship will fall short with the Broncos' loss.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Boise State can't seem to shake kicking issues. While double-digit leads have kept them safe from crunch time kicks, Saturday's miss by Goodale was eerily similar to the loss against Nevada last season. TCU, with kicking issues of their own, emerged victorious for the decision NOT to kick.



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Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:19 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Air Force at Boise State

Posted by Adam Jacobi

AIR FORCE WILL WIN IF: Kellen Moore defects from Boise State before the game. Here's a list of the quarterbacks who have beaten Boise State over the last 3+ seasons: Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton. That's. it. Two quarterbacks who have been among the most prolific and successful in their respective conferences' histories. Air Force's Tim Jefferson may be a decent enough dual threat QB, but he is no Colin Kaepernick or Andy Dalton. And with Air Force already giving up over 35 points a game so far on the season (including 59 to Notre Dame two weeks ago), setting Moore loose against this Falcon defense may be a fireworks show for the ages.

BOISE STATE WILL WIN IF: Things do not go horribly, horribly wrong. Boise State has outscored its first two Mountain West opponents 120-20 this season, and there's not much reason to think Air Force can keep the game much closer this week. Yes, the Falcon option attack is racking up yards and points this season, but nobody that the Falcons have faced -- not even Notre Dame -- has a front seven as talented as Boise State's. Look for big days from Moore, workhorse tailback Doug Martin, and emerging star wideout Tyler Shoemaker

X-FACTOR: Style points. Boise State's currently ahead of Wisconsin in the BCS rankings at No. 5, and after the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game and the Alabama-LSU game, Boise State could very well reach No. 3 in the BCS rankings without any help from upsets. So it's going to be crucial for Boise State to continue impressing the Harris Poll and Coaches Poll voters, and the only way to do that against opponents like Air Force is to light up the scoreboard. Is that sporting? No, but it's the way of things in a sport without a playoff system, so it'll be interesting to see when Chris Peterson finally lets his foot off the gas pedal, and how Boise State looks compared to the rest of the top contenders at the end of the day.   
Posted on: October 15, 2011 9:16 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 9:56 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Boise State 63, Colorado State 13

Posted by Bryan Fischer

BOISE STATE WON. The first ever Mountain West conference game for Boise State went pretty much like so many of their conference games in the WAC: Jump out to a big lead using a precision offense, take advantage of the opponent's mistakes and mix in a trick play for style points late. The Broncos had over 600 yards of offense before the halfway point in the third quarter. It was a balanced attack too, with nearly equal production out of the running game as the passing game.

WHY BOISE STATE WON. Plenty of Broncos offensive players had career days against the Rams. Quarterback Kellen Moore had 338 yards on 26 of 30 passing and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Running back Doug Martin easily set a career-high, rushing for 200 yards and three touchdowns, including a long of 65 yards. Wide receiver Tyler Shoemaker finished the day with nine catches for a career-high 180 yards and two touchdowns. The defense was pretty good too, intercepting Pete Thomas once and held Colorado State under four yards a play.

WHEN BOISE STATE WON. 21-0 first quarters generally indicate the game is over before it even started. The Broncos allowed Colorado State to threaten a little after slowing down in the second quarter and allowing them to score 13 points before halftime. But they got the offense started after faking a punt and ending a drive with a touchdown early in the 3rd quarter. Still, this one was won as soon as the boys from the blue turf got off the bus.

WHAT BOISE STATE WON. Yet another win to keep the record perfect and their hopes of playing in another BCS bowl game alive. Speaking of which, the BCS rankings come out this weekend and most of the projections have the Broncos in the middle of the Stanford/Wisconsin/Oklahoma State pack following the elite teams in the top three. It's a longshot to play for the title with their schedule this year but that Georgia win is looking better by the week. Still, big wins like this are good for some style points with Harris and Coaches Poll voters and that can only help.

WHAT COLORADO STATE LOST. The Rams fall to .500 overall and in conference play with the loss Saturday. They're likely to get to the six wins needed for bowl eligblity but have a tough stretch of games following two winnable games against UTEP and UNLV. It's possible this is the last conference game against Boise State so maybe Steve Fairchild won't have to worry about them too much longer.

THAT WAS CRAZY. It was a record-setting day for Boise State and several individuals on offense. Doug Martin set a new career-high before halftime and finished with 200 yards rushing. Kellen Moore was nearly perfect on the day and was one reason why the team racked up 742 yards of total offense, best mark in school history. In fact, they had 644 yards through three quarters, which would have been fifth best in school history.

Posted on: September 1, 2011 4:40 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2011 5:56 pm
 

SEC Interrogation: Week 1

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Each Thursday we demand the SEC give us answers to its most pressing questions. Here those are:

Steve Spurrier: are you really going to voluntarily saddle his team with a full-blown quarterback controversy? The Ol' Ball Coach has always done things his way, and it's safe to say very few other coaches' ways would include telling a fourth-year senior starter he's going to share snaps in a potentially challenging season opener, threatening to bench him if his competition outplays in said opener, and publicly declaring said competiton has outplayed him in preseason scrimmages.

Stephen Garcia has seen and heard it all from his head coach before, of course, and given his off-field history, it makes a certain amount of sense for Spurrier to keep Connor Shaw's confidence and focus at its highest possible point at all times. If the Gamecock schedule gave the team a few weeks' worth of breathers, it would make sense to keep Shaw engaged and Garcia on his toes.

But Spurrier doesn't have that luxury; East Carolina isn't Western Carolina, and the Gamecocks' critical trip to Georgia arrives right on its heels in Week 2. If Shaw (pictured) plays well enough Saturday to force another week's worth of Spurrier waffling, Carolina is going to enter the single most important game of its entire season with a colossal question mark still hanging over the team's collective head. And though we're not Steve Spurrier, we retain serious doubts as to whether that's the best way for it to prepare.

Jarrett Lee: can you avoid making the killer turnover? We won't hide from it: when we wrote in this space not long ago that Les Miles had failed his LSU team by not finding a better replacement for Jordan Jefferson than Zach Mettenberger in his first year out of JUCO or fifth-year senior Lee, yes, that was a knock against Lee. To this point, Lee's career -- a 53.5 career completion percentage, those nation-leading 16 picks in 2008 -- is the sort which, frankly, has to be knocked.

But if Lee has matured into the kind of under-control, safety-first game manager that always seems to be under center at LSU's rivals at Alabama, there's nothing stopping the Tigers from being, well, Alabama; the overpowering line, breakout running back (we see you, Spencer Ware), and lockdown defense are all in place.

Now we just have to find out about Lee, and fortunately, we won't have to wait long. Oregon forced 37 turnovers a year ago, the second-highest total in the nation; even without Cliff Harris, if Lee is loose with the ball, the Ducks are going to take it the other way.

Georgia: how comfortable are you in Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense? Much of the pregame chatter regarding Georgia's chances against Boise State have revolved around whether Isaiah Crowell can live up to his considerable hype, and there's no question Crowell's potential impact would give the Dawsg a huge boost.

But just as key -- if not moreso -- will be how the Bulldog defense handles a Bronco offense that's going to come out guns blazing. Chris Petersen and his staff have always been at their best with extra time to prepare, and if the Bulldogs haven't shored up what was an improved-but-hardly-airtight defense from 2010, Kellen Moore and Doug Martin are going to punish those leaks with a quickness. Some of the Dawgs' personnel issues with the 3-4 have been resolved (starting with the ascension of nose tackle Kwame Geathers and the shift of hard-hitting safety Alec Ogletree to inside linebacker), but that doesn't mean all the kinks are ironed out just yet.

And if there's one or two too many kinks remaining, the Broncos could be up big before the Dawgs even know what hit them, much as Virginia Tech discovered a year ago. The Hokies were able to mount a full comeback behind Tyrod Taylor, but with an angry Dawg crowd "behind" a psychologially-fragile 6-7 team, Mark Richt may not be so lucky. Grantham's unit had best be prepared.

Also worth asking: What can Ole Miss accomplish in the air, either offensively or defensively? (Some measure of competence from Barry Brunetti and the rebuilt Rebel secondary would go a long way towards SEC competitiveness.) Does Kentucky have any offensive playmakers? (No Randall Cobb, no Derrick Locke, no Mike Hartline, no Chris Matthews. What's left?) Quarterbacks: how do they look? (In addition to Ole Miss and LSU, there's some level of uncertainty at Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Vanderbilt ... the number of teams in the league that know what they're getting from under center are vastly outnumbered by the ones that don't.)



 
 
 
 
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