BOISE — Quarterback Joe Southwick took plenty of heat last season as the leader of a Boise State offense that had its lowest scoring average in more than a decade.
He doesn’t expect to hear the same things this season.
The Broncos held a closed scrimmage Monday afternoon inside Bronco Stadium and Southwick said afterwards that he feels the offense has a chance to be much better than last year’s group.
“I think we’re in a good spot right now,” Southwick said. “We’re ahead of where we were. A lot of guys are back. I know they weren’t necessarily starters, but a lot of guys are back. That makes it easier on everyone. Coaches are back. I think that makes it easier. We’re definitely ahead.”
Most teams would love to average 30.2 points per game but for Boise State, it was the Broncos’ lowest scoring average since 1998 and more than a touchdown less than any of the previous six seasons with Chris Petersen as head coach.
Several things contributed to the decrease in production. Southwick was a first-year starter trying to replace one of the most successful quarterbacks in college football history in Kellen Moore and the Broncos also had a new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
The coaching staff remained intact from last season and the Broncos return several skilled position players, including running back Jay Ajayi, and a stable of talented receivers who many believe will contribute to an uptick in the offensive numbers.
The offensive coaches also retooled the playbook to eliminate dead weight and focus on plays and formations that best suit the personnel they’ll have on the field this season.
And all indications are that after eight days of practice, the offense is headed in the right direction.
“You all are going to see eventually when the season starts,” senior wide receiver Aaron Burks said Monday. “We’re doing good and looking really good. Joe is looking good. I can’t complain about it.
“I always think we’re going to be more explosive, but we want to show it instead of talking about it. We’ll let it show on the field.”
Petersen said at Mountain West media days in Las Vegas that scoring more points has to be a priority for the Broncos this fall. And after watching Monday’s scrimmage, he agreed that they were ahead of last year’s pace.
“I think so,” Petersen said. “You hope so. You don’t know until you play, but I think they worked really hard in the summer, I think the coaches have worked hard at simplifying some things. I think they feel OK. They are making progress.”
Boise State’s season opener is set for Aug. 31 at Washington. The Broncos scored only 13 points in last year’s season-opening loss at Michigan State and didn’t have an offensive touchdown.