Boise State Football: Improvements That Must Be Made After Recent Loss

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 5, 2012

BOISE, ID - NOVEMBER 03:  D.J. Harper #7 of the Boise State Broncos reacts after a play against the San Diego State Aztecs at Bronco Stadium on November 3, 2012 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

Boise State had to deal with an unfamiliar feeling on Saturday after losing at home against San Diego State.

The Broncos lost at home for only the second time in 73 games since 2001. It was also just the third time in 11 seasons that Boise State lost more than one game in a season. 

This has been one of most successful programs in the nation over the past decade, but now the team has to deal with the possibility of not winning the conference championship for the second year in a row. 

The loss highlighted a number of internal issues that need to be fixed. Hopefully, the Broncos make these necessary adjustments to win going forward.


Special Teams

The kickoff team had not been a problem until Colin Lockett returned a kick 100 yards for a touchdown to start the game—showing how important it is to stay focused at all times.

This play, along with the blocked punt, caused huge momentum swings and likely cost Boise State the game against the Aztecs.

Special teams usually consist of players not ordinarily on the field. However, often times they make as much of an impact as the more high-profile men on offense and defense.

These players need to make sure they stay focused on every play and not allow the other team to change the game in an instant. 


Improved Quarterback Efficiency

Joe Southwick has been very accurate on short passes, but he has been relatively unsuccessful when trying to throw the ball down the field this year. 

For this reason, he has only topped 200 passing yards in three games this year, despite a good amount of attempts in each game. 

When he does throw deep, he has a tendency to overthrow receivers, like he did in an interception at the beginning of the second half against the Aztecs. In fact, he has thrown a pick in five straight games and seven out of nine for the year.

This has led to Southwick being rated only No. 62 in the country in efficiency rating (among qualified quarterbacks) with a 132.8.

It is tough to be an elite team without an elite quarterback. At some point, lack of experience can no longer be an excuse for the junior and he needs to lead his team.


Give Jay Ajayi More Carries

As the season has progressed, the freshman running back has become a bigger part of the game plan. However, it is still not enough.

The Texas native has obvious talent, as evident by his seven yards per carry average. He also has three touchdowns, which is more than anyone else on the team besides D.J. Harper.

Harper has been very solid this year, but he cannot do it all himself. This is why the team is only ranked 64th in the nation in rushing despite a good year by the senior.

Great teams use multiple running backs to keep fresh legs while controlling the clock and the game. Boise State needs to use this type of system, with the two runners getting close to 35-40 touches every week.

In addition, Ajayi can use this experience to help him for next season after Harper leaves.

Boise State still has loads of talent and is not far from being at the level that it has been in past years. However, a few adjustments must be made in order to keep the Broncos on top.