BOISE – It turns out the Utah State Aggies won’t be the only team without a key player for Saturday’s important Mountain West showdown with Boise State.
Days after the Aggies lost starting quarterback Chuckie Keeton for the season due to a torn ACL and MCL, Boise State coach Chris Petersen announced Monday that freshman running back Aaron Baltazar and senior safety Ebo Makinde will both miss the rest of the season due to injuries.
“We’ve lost about nine for the season, and you don’t like that,” Petersen said of a rash of injuries that continue to hit the Broncos. “Football, you’re going to lose guys here and there but when you lose them for a long time, it’s a bummer.”
Baltazar, a true freshman that impressed enough during fall camp to earn immediate playing time, had 50 carries for 234 rushing yards and two touchdowns as the primary backup to Jay Ajayi. Petersen said he suffered a torn ACL during the Broncos’ 60-7 win over Southern Miss on Sept. 28.
Sophomore Jack Fields and junior college transfer Derrick Thomas figure to see extra carries in his absence.
“We’ve got some guys there,” Petersen said. “We’ve been saying from day one that you need more than one or two guys at that position so we have a few guys that we feel like will continue to progress and the next guy, whether its Derrick Thomas, Jack, all those guys will get more reps and that’s good.
Makinde, a special teams standout who also saw time at safety, was a senior and sees his Boise State career come to an end. He suffered a torn pectoral muscle against Southern Miss.
“He doesn’t get any more football,” Petersen said. “We’ll put our best guys in there. We’re going to play our best guys and Ebo was definitely one of those guys for sure. He had been doing a really good job and I think our team and our coaches know how important that guy was in the role he was in. A lot of times from the outside you don’t see how important that is but he was doing a very nice job.”
More on the injuries to Baltazar and Makinde and plenty other news and notes from Petersen’s Monday press conference in Tuesday’s Press-Tribune and at Idaho-Press.com.