Boise State Football: Team Wraps Up Spring Ball With Defensive Bang

Casey RobbinsContributor IApril 17, 2011

Boise State Coach Chris Petersen
Boise State Coach Chris PetersenSteve Dykes/Getty Images

If Saturday's final spring Blue on Orange scrimmage is any indication of the year to come, their defense might not be quite so questionable after all.

Coach Chris Petersen in usual low-key fashion called the scrimmage, "Good, I guess."

The defense showed a relentless tenacity over the four quarters forcing six three-and-outs, six sacks (the total Boise gave up the entire season last year), one interception and two red zone stops.

“It’s probably good and impressive that our defense finishes on a high note,” Petersen said. “When you’re going against yourself, I think your defense should probably have the upper hand.”

Question Marks Linger

Still, some question marks remain and those are primarily on the defensive side of the ball. The position for safety, left open by the graduation of senior Jeron Johnson  will be undecided until August due to injuries by all three contenders in freshman Jeremy Ioane, and seniors Cedric Febis and Travis Stanaway.

Question Marks Answered

With the loss of star wideouts and NFL-bound prospects Titus Young and Autin Pettis, the Broncos scrambled to find some playmakers who could perform like them.

And they may have found it in sophomore Geraldo Hiwat.

In a dismal offensive showing in which the rest of the team managed just 180 yards of total offense, 55 of which came on 36 carries on the ground and 50 yards came from perennial Heisman candidate quarterback Kellen Moore in a 5-14 outing, Hiwat grabbed five passes for 97 yards. Hiwat's two biggest catches of the day came in tight coverage.

Others to watch

QB Kellen Moore: Any kid who is in the Heisman contention two years in a row is going to be on everybody's radar. And rightfully so. His stats over his career are not only fantastic, but they're consistently fantastic.

His main struggle this season may come in the form of pressure. There's no telling how the line will fare against other defenses with a few key losses and their six sacks allowed on Saturday. Nevertheless, Moore is known for being cool as a cucumber in the pocket. Maybe he can work on some footwork in the summer.

RB Doug Martin: Unfortunately, he's not well-known outside of the Boise State program and the WAC. This may be his biggest advantage. Dubbed "Muscle Hamster" for his relatively short but stout stature, Doug Martin is more of a bruiser than his opponents tend to give him credit for. Although in Saturday's scrimmage, he showed his underrated agility and finesse with an incredible hurdle over a defensive back.

With 1,260 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, Muscle Hamster Doug Martin will assuredly be one to watch. Although with a healthy D.J. Harper, the duo may share the brunt of the work in the backfield.