BOISE — Yes, even Chris Petersen is routinely impressed by Kellen Moore, too.
“I’m always impressed when I put the tape on — the consistency, the accuracy and the timing of things, I don’t take those things for granted,” he said. “You expect it from Kellen, but I don’t take them for granted.”
On Monday, at his weekly meeting with the local media, Boise State’s coach was excited by how his senior quarterback played at Fresno State after possibly his worst-ever start the previous week.
Moore was 23-of-31 for 254 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions Friday against the Bulldogs in 36 minutes of work. The previous weekend, he was 19-of-33 for 142 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions against Nevada.
“I think Kellen was at his best,” Petersen said. “I gotta be honest, across the board, I could’ve made a lot of those plays. Kellen was throwing darts. He was on fire. It was good to see him answer back.”
For his efforts in Fresno, Moore was named the Mountain West Conference’s offensive player of the week — the third time he’s earned the honor in the Broncos’ five games.
On his three scoring passes against the Bulldogs, Moore hit Geraldo Boldewijn on perfectly-placed balls along the sideline and on an inside slant, and also got Matt Miller in the back of the end zone for a diving score.
“They were great throws,” Petersen said. “The guys were covered on occasion and they’ve got to make good catches as well, but it makes it a lot easier … when you put the ball on their numbers, the chances of them making plays are a lot higher.”
Once again, Moore was generous with his passes, spreading it out to 10 different receivers. Seven of them had multiple catches, led by Miller’s five.
Even if at times Moore’s passing style looks a little, well, unorthodox, Petersen figures it little needs to be fixed, considering the accuracy he has shown most of his life. He credits coaches allowing Moore to utilize his style instead of fitting into a prototypical mold.
“Kellen’s got a unique style that works,” Petersen said. “Are there certain times you need to step into (a throw)? Yeah, but he’s the best at what he does.”
Moore faced a talented Fresno State pass rush, led by defensive tackle Logan Harrell. Again, the senior avoided being sacked, but it didn’t mean he wasn’t facing pressure on a few of his passes.
“He was very pinpoint accurate and he got hit a few times, which nobody seems to ever pay attention to,” Petersen said.
Paul likely to redshirt
Senior fullback Dan Paul, who has not played this season with a groin injury, will in all likelihood not suit up again until 2012. Paul played as a true freshman in 2008, so he has not used a redshirt year.
“At this point, he hasn’t been healing like we were hoping — I think our plan, unless we have a remarkable change in the next week, is to probably redshirt him,” Petersen said.
Center Thomas Byrd is still “week-to-week,” though he suited up at Fresno State, and receiver Chris Potter is expected to return. Junior cornerback Jamar Taylor, who went down late Friday with a knee injury and limped off the field, is also expected to play Saturday at Colorado State.
“I think he’s OK … we think he’s making progress,” Petersen said.
Miller a pleasant surprise
Freshman receiver Matt Miller was one of the standouts of fall camp after missing most of last fall and the spring with an injury, but Petersen did not expect what he’s done in the first five games. Miller leads the team with 284 yards and is tied for the team-high with 25 receptions.
“I would think as a freshman, a first-time player, he’s probably exceeded (expectations),” Petersen said. “He’s done a great job, he’s made some tough catches. He’s very sure-handed, a guy you can really count on, reliable.”