BOISE — Though no one is in danger of missing the season, the Boise State Broncos are fighting injuries as spring practices wind down.
At his weekly news conference Thursday, Boise State coach Chris Petersen spoke about how bumps and bruises have affected his squad after 11 sessions, with the final spring scrimmage, open to the public, ahead April 16. It will be an offense versus defense scrimmage, as opposed to a game where a draft is held, which has been done on occasion in the past.
“It’s going to be a scrimmage, we’re not healthy enough to have a spring game, we just have too many guys that are out,” Petersen said. “It’s awesome when you can pick teams. I love that, but when you lose 18 seniors and the new guys aren’t here, you couple about 15 injuries when you’ll have guys out and we just won’t have the depth to do it.”
At some positions, such as safety, the walking wounded have not helped much in terms of determining who may replace a standout like Jeron Johnson. Senior Cedric Febis has missed the entire spring, freshman Jeremy Ioane has missed time with a finger injury, and Petersen said Thursday that senior Travis Stanaway has a broken wrist and will not return until the summer.
Petersen also said offensive lineman Garett Pendergast will take a medical hardship, ending his playing career. Pendergast made five starts in 2009, but did not play last season because of a serious ankle injury. He will stay with the team as a volunteer coach, similar to what fellow lineman Kevin Sapien did last season.
“That ankle, he’s going to be fine for how you and I do things, but to do what we need him to do out there, he’s not going to hold up,” Petersen said. “... He wants to be out there, be part of the whole thing in terms of coaching, and he’s still working on his degree.”
New roles for Bronco assistant coaches
Petersen announced expanded roles for two of his assistants Thursday. Defensive backs coach Marcel Yates will also be the Broncos’ defensive pass game coordinator, which Petersen said is essentially a role he’s held for some time, and running backs coach Keith Bhonapha will serve as recruiting coordinator.
“We’re getting so many calls from outside of our territories … that we need a coach to be responsible and involved, to get back to those coaches and those players,” Petersen said.
Petersen ready for run
Boise State will host its annual “Beat Pete” 5-kilometer race Saturday to raise money for student scholarships. Petersen said “I really enjoy seeing the younger kids show up that want a piece of me.” The Broncos’ coach pledges to give $5 for every runner that beats him. Last year, 564 finished ahead of him, but he cut a check for $5,000, which he also did the year before.
“That’s why I’m a little distracted today when you guys were talking about practice,” he joked Thursday. “I’m trying to get ready for this run.”