BOISE — Thankfully for Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin, he still has three weeks before his team opens the 2019 season against Florida State.
According to Harsin it wouldn’t have gone well had they played Saturday. Boise State’s sixth-year head coach called out his veteran players after the first scrimmage of fall camp.
“We didn’t really come out the way I think we needed to play today as far as the communication, all the little details,” Harsin said. “Some of these guys that have experience and have done things in the past, it wasn’t as consistent as I expected it to be today.”
Harsin said “there’s a lot of work” still to be done by his group as camp progresses, but did say the younger players “did a good job as far as what you’d expect” from a first scrimmage.
Boise State has a full week of practice next week before the all-important second scrimmage Friday night.
“The consistency from some of our veteran players was not there,” Harsin said. “That’s focus, that’s attention to detail and the urgency you practice with. To me that’s these guys doing something for a long time and doing it the same way and not finding that little detail that’s going to make them better.
“Our urgency, our effort, our focus, all the coaching points our coaches have been making with our players, that needs to happen. The reality is you’re going to play like you practice and today wasn’t good enough if we had to go play a game.”
Harsin didn’t provide many details from the scrimmage and was short on players or plays that stood out. When a question was asked about special teams, he noted that was a “highlight today, all our kickers made all their field goals today. We were 11 for 11.”
It could have been an attempt to fire up his team with his comments or it could have just been his honest opinion. Regardless, Harsin appears to want to see more from his veterans moving forward.
“We’re still improving,” Harsin said. “I thought the young players went out there and played hard today. The older players, we need to be a lot better.”
Harsin touched on a number of topics in his first media session since the first day of fall camp eight days earlier. Among the highlights:
On how the quarterbacks played: “It was OK. They did some good things. They all did. I didn’t see a lot of poor performance from them. There weren’t turnovers from that position. … They made good decisions and did the right thing. That group has progressed…”
On QB Chase Cord: “He’s looked good. He’s throwing the ball better. He’s gotten progressively better. He’s moving better. He took off today and scrambled on a few runs just like’s playing. … We had a goal line segment, he didn’t do that, but he got significant reps. He was free to go. We just shut him down towards the end. Monday we’ll see where he’s at. At this point now it’s really how he feels. We just have to judge off how he feels, but at this point (in terms of reps) he’s ready to go.”
On freshman QB Hank Bachmeier: “He’s done a good job. I like Hank. I think he’s handled it well. Hank does a good job of preparing himself and I think he practices with urgency. I think he’s improving on the things from the day before that he’s getting coached on. He’s very rarely making the same mistake twice. He’s making new mistakes, but he’s also a freshman and he does some things that freshmen do and we’re correcting that.”
On shrinking the candidates for the QB battle: “We will a little bit. It’s hard to answer that right now. I want to go watch what we just did before we make an emotional decision. We’ll get in there and watch the film, study it, look at the numbers and what they did. We’ll get into this next week and we have to start taking that group and focusing on more reps for certain guys so they can get in a rhythm with the wide receivers and the offense. We have to start progressing that way because that second scrimmage is big. Once you come out of that you have a pretty good idea of your team and where guys are and you really start to hone in on, ‘OK this is where we’re going.’”
On whether anybody had separated themselves at running back: “No not really. You have guys taking most of the reps, (Robert) Mahone, (Andrew) Van Buren, Danny Smith is still coming back. He’s still limited. We’ve got to make sure his foot is OK before he starts pounding. George Holani has taken quite a few reps in there and he looks good and picked things up. The thing about George is he can run. He’s starting to pick up the protections and he’s starting to elevate himself on that list. And then Keegan Duncan, he’s improved and gotten better. There were things tonight I saw from that group that I was impressed with. Those guys ran the ball hard.”
On Boise State basketball coach Leon Rice speaking with the team earlier Saturday: “He had a fantastic message. It’s always good to hear from the other coaches that are part of the athletic program and him talking about Boise State and the culture, he had a great message and did a fantastic job.”
On the memorial service Saturday for former Bronco Dan Paul: “We were all thinking about him here when we went out there and played. Certainly our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”