BOISE — Boise State senior defensive end Kharyee Marshall needed only three words to respond to a question about the rivalry with Fresno State.
“The milk jug,” Marshall said.
Officially named the Milk Can, the trophy is given to the winner of the Boise State- Fresno State football game each year. The big metal can was started by a group of dairy farmers from both the Fresno and Boise areas in 2005.
It currently sits in a display case in the Boise State Athletics Hall of Fame, but will make the trip to Fresno with the Broncos for Friday’s 7 p.m. ESPN matchup. And they hope to bring it back to the display the next day.
“It’s just a rivalry,” Marshall said. “It’s just that game. You’re playing for something. Obviously, you’re playing for something every week, but it’s an honor to bring that home and have your name placed on that milk jug. It’s something special.”
Some controversy surrounds the actual debut date of the trophy. The idea was started in 2005 — and Fresno State’s victory that year is the first listed on the side of the can — but the trophy wasn’t done in time for the game that year.
The Milk Can made its first appearance on the field in 2006 — the year Boise State started a string of seven consecutive wins over Fresno State entering Friday. The name of each player on the winning team is engraved onto the Milk Can.
“We talked about it this morning,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. “It will surface later in the week, I know that.
“I think it’s important. It kind of goes back to supporters of both programs, the dairy farmers down there in the valley of Fresno and the dairy farmers up here, all they’ve done for both programs and to put something like that in the middle of it, I think it’s neat. I think it’s special and also, I think, it’s a way of honoring the dairy farmers around here.”
PREP DEFENSIVE LINEMAN CHOOSES BOISE STATE: The Broncos landed a big addition to their 2014 recruiting class Monday with a verbal commitment from defensive end Jaylen Johnson from Centennial High in Corona, Calif.
According to Scout.com, Johnson turned down offers from Oregon, USC and Notre Dame to become a Bronco. Johnson took a visit to Oregon over the weekend before committing to Boise State on Monday morning.
Johnson is a 6-foot-3, 235-pound linebacker at Centennial High but projects as a defensive end at the collegiate level. Scout.com ranks him as a three-star prospect.
He will take his official visit to Boise State for the Southern Miss game on Sept. 28.
FRESNO STATE HAS AN UNEXPECTED BYE WEEK: Fresno State’s game scheduled for last Saturday at Colorado was postponed due to dangerous flooding in Colorado, giving the Bulldogs two extra days to prepare for Friday’s game against Boise State.
“I’m sure you could make a case for either side, and I’m sure on their side they see it as an advantage,” Petersen said. “They got some really good work — sometimes with a bye you don’t have quite the urgency, so I’m sure they had some urgency getting ready for Colorado and then they got a couple extra days under their belt for us. But that’s more their focus than our focus, really.
“It’s one less game (to have on video tape), which is something we would have liked to have seen, another game, for sure, so that’s not an ideal situation for us.”
FRESNO STATE COACH IMPRESSED WITH SOUTHWICK: Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter was asked during a conference call with reporters Monday about the differences he’s seen in Broncos quarterback Joe Southwick from last year to this year.
“I think he’s much more poised, much more comfortable,” DeRuyter said. “You look at his performance last week and, I mean, he was 27-for-29 and set a school record for completion percentage. I think he’s a guy that a year ago, you try to establish yourself and you don’t have that confidence, and he’s got that confidence now.”
NO PROBLEM WITH PICKLE JUICE: Petersen said he has no problem with running back Jay Ajayi drinking pickle juice if he thinks it helps him. ESPN cameras caught Ajayi gulping down a jar of pickle juice Friday night against Air Force that he said was to deal with cramping.
Ajayi had four touchdowns and a career-high 125 yards rushing in the game.
“If he doesn’t cramp after drinking it, he can go drink out of the gutter, and I think we’re good,” Petersen said. “I think they probably both have about the same chance of working but hey, if he thinks it works and there’s no cramping, keep bringing it in there.”
LAWRENCE NAMED MOUNTAIN WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Boise State junior defensive end Demarcus Lawrence was named the Mountain West defensive player of the week Monday after tying for the team lead with nine tackles in the Broncos’ 42-20 win over Air Force.
SOUTHERN MISS TO AIR ON ESPNU: Boise State and ESPN announced Monday that the Broncos’ home game against Southern Miss on Sept. 28 will start at 8:15 p.m. and air on ESPNU.