Joe Southwick was an understudy for three years before taking center stage. That’s hard enough to do even if you have a veteran supporting cast, but he didn’t.
For sure, Southwick made some mistakes, but rebounded well. The Michigan State game shook his confidence. If just one of those long tosses would have been held-up a foot by the wind we might have seen a completely different Southwick the first half of the season.
There was plenty of Southwick antipathy in the air even when he performed well. They scoffed at the “dink and dunk” passing attack. That is still football. You “dink and dunk” when you can’t “sprint and spring.”
Recall right from the get-go many calling for Nick Patti? Everybody suddenly jumped on the Patti-wagon as if he was the second-coming of Kellen Moore and Grant Hedrick never existed.
Patti had not even taken a college snap.
The media was enamored with the likes of Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, Notre Dame’s Everett Golson, Florida’s Jeff Driscoll, and even LSU’s Zach Mettenburger. All of them ranked below Southwick in quarterback efficiency.
That was then and this is now.
The Spring game proved that Southwick is clearly Boise State’s starter this year. So what can be expected?
They say the play-book has been simplified. Maybe it’s just me, but does that sound like information that should be leaked to opponents? Frankly, I think that’s misinformation. Maybe the biggest misinformation attempt since the Allies landing at Normandy. To throw-off the opposition I would report that Southwick has bad knees, a bruised shoulder, struggles with sudden bouts of amnesia during pressure situations, sees double, is a meth-head, and his appendix is about to burst at any minute.
This year Southwick will have the most experienced and talented corps of receivers Boise has ever seen; Miller, Moore, Burks, Boldewijn, Williams-Rhodes, Burroughs, Linehan, Huff, and Kyle Sosnowski. There are guys who haven’t ran a route yet that may show up also. And who knows when we’ll see a back slip out into the flats. The prospects are colossal.
There is only one question, can the offensive line protect the quarterback? Is there enough depth to sustain a major injury to a key man? I think Boise State has that line, but Southwick ought to be calling or texting those guys all Summer long to whisper sweet-nothings in their ears and make sure they visit the weight-room everyday.
Equally as important will Ajayi or what ever back who is in there be able to pick up a block the way Dough Martin did for Kellen Moore. Likely half the plays Ajayi will line up on will be passing plays.
Southwick is in position for a great year. He will show up as we’ve never seen him before, poised, ready, relaxed, and in command.
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