Q&A WITH BOISE STATE COACH CHRIS PETERSEN
Boise State coach Chris Petersen visited with Georgia media via teleconference call on Monday. Following is most of the pertinent stuff he had to say. You’ll see some of these comments in a story I’m doing later today or tomorrow, but I wanted to go ahead and share with the loyal blog followers.
Meanwhile, Georgia coach Mark Richt will get a chance to put his spin on Saturday’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game later today. His weekly pregame press conference is scheduled for noon. I’ll share what he and selected Bulldogs players have to say shortly after that session wraps up early this afternoon. I’ll tweet out the really good stuff as soon as I hear it.
Now, from Petersen, 46, who was Boise State’s offensive coordinator when it visited Athens in 2005. He’s 61-5 since succeeding Dan Hawkins as the Bronco’s head coach in 2006:
Q: You guys seem to love opening with these big road games, beating Oregon and Virginia Tech most recently. What’s your philosophy as far as playing high-profile openers?
A: “On one hand they’re good, because you get associated with a program like Georgia, who we have so much respect for,” Petersen said. “On the other hand, they’re bad because you’ve got to play at an extremely high level. We will have had a bunch of kids who have never played in this type of thing. It’s a flip of the coin, a Catch-22 in some ways. I guess we feel the benefits outweigh the negatives as far as playing these types of games.”
Q: Do you think you can ever get a major opponent to come open at your place?
A: “I envision it. I don’t know if it will happen, but I envision it. I know our fans would love it,” he said. “I think it would be great for college football to get someone like a Georgia to come here. Oregon has come here and Oregon State has come here, so that’s been great. I think everybody enjoyed those games.”
Q: Having knocked off Oklahoma, Oregon and Virginia Tech must give your team tremendous confidence for a game such as this.
A: “Those are some of the things that we’ve done in the past,” Petersen said. “Nobody really cares about that once this season starts. It’s all about what have you done for me lately. And we get that. So if we can play well and win some games this year, people will think highly of us. And if not, they’ll think we used to be good.”
Q: Kellen Moore is on track to become the winningest quarterback in college football history this season. Did you envision that for him when you signed him?
A: “Absolutely [sarcastically]. Kellen has been so great. He was one of those under-recruited guys so if anybody had any idea he would have this kind of ability. I don’t anybody predicted that. You hope for all those things. But he has a great feel for this team and he’s done a great job. I’d like to say we predicted it, but he’s put up the numbers. Like Aaron Murray, he played as a redshirt freshman for us and came into the game playing at a high level from the start.”
Q: What do you remember, or take from, the 2005 Georgia game (Bulldogs won 48-13)?
A: “First of all, I don’t remember the game. I put that out of my mind. So that takes care of that.”
Q: OK, you don’t remember the game … but what have been the keys to how the Boise State program has evolved since 2005?
A: “It’s such a slow process. Nothing happens fast. I think slowly but surely we have just continued to build. And we’ve had good continuity on our staff, and maybe the recruiting has upgraded a little bit. Nothing seems dramatic. It just seems like it’s been going on for a while, and each year we’ve maybe made a little bit of progress. And then it’s cyclical, too, because the last couple of years we just had a lot of guys who have played a lot, they had a lot of experience. Two years ago, we lost two starters; that was it. And last year, we had a lot of guys coming back as well. And we have a decent handful of guys coming back [this year], but we have a lot of guys who haven’t played that need to be factors for us. It’s just a slow process that you keep building on.”
Q: Is Boise State still a “Cinderella” team or is it beyond that?
A: “I think every year it’s a new ballgame. Those are some of the things we’ve done in the past, and nobody really cares about that. Once this season starts, it’s all about, ‘What have you done for me lately?’ We get that. And if we can play well and win some games this year, people will think highly of us. And if not, they will think, ‘They used to be good.’”
Q: Boise State is probably known for its great trick plays on offense as much as anything. Do you spend months researching and designing them?
A: “It’s really just an extremely small part of what we do. I know it gets people’s attention and people like to talk about it. We try to be creative around here a little bit, but really in the big picture it’s a pretty small piece of what we’re actually doing.”