BOISE — Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien arrived on the national scene when he torched Virginia in his first career start in 2015.
Rypien made 25 straight starts until he missed Thursday’s game against New Mexico with an undisclosed injury. But he could return to face the Cavaliers once again when the Broncos host the ACC opponent at 6 p.m. Friday.
“He’s practicing, he’ll practice today and we’ll see where he’s at through practice,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “He’s back out there, threw some last week.”
Senior Montell Cozart started in Rypien’s place, completing 15 of 19 passes for 137 yards with two touchdowns against the Lobos. Rypien was hurt late in the first quarter on Sept. 9 at Washington State. He is 20-for-31 for 236 yards with an interception thus far.
On Sept. 25, 2015, Rypien was 24-for-35 for 321 yards with three touchdowns in a win at Virginia in his first start.
Harsin said Rypien was key last week in helping Cozart get ready for his first start as a Bronco.
“He was awesome through the week of prep, he was awesome in the game, he was awesome with having suggestions and different things that Montell needed to see,” Harsin said.
MOA’S ARREST ‘DISAPPOINTING’
Junior defensive tackle David Moa was arrested early Saturday morning on a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace. Harsin said discipline will be handled in-house, and he didn’t comment on whether Moa will play Friday.
“Obviously, just disappointed, bottom line. We’ll handle it internally,” Harsin said. “Every single week, we see these things happen across college football. We have a board in (the facility) and we put things up on it and we try to learn from it. You’re always just trying to learn from things other people do.
“As little distractions you have, the better off you’re going to be.”
Moa led Boise State with 8.5 sacks last season and has one through three games in 2017.
MORE TIME FOR MAHONE
Harsin said the running game continues to be a point of emphasis, and an area that must improve after the backs combined for 19 carries for 56 yards Thursday. Redshirt freshman Robert Mahone got the first two carries and went for 7 yards. He didn’t see another the rest of the way.
That won’t be the case against the Cavaliers.
“Rob’s going to see more playing time,” Harsin said. “... He’s going to carry the ball more this week.”
Mahone has three carries for 13 yards this season. Sophomore Alexander Mattison has 33 carries for 155 yards and senior Ryan Wolpin has 37 for 115.
HATADA BACK AFTER EJECTION
Harsin said sophomore defensive end Chase Hatada will play Friday against Virginia after he was ejected late in the second quarter Thursday following a targeting penalty. On Monday, Harsin said the call was correct and the hit was one the team tries to avoid.
“These things are covered. It’s important to the game,” he said. “We’re going to play the game a certain way. Every coach I know is going to teach it to the best of their ability to do it the right way. You’re not trying to knock somebody out of the game.”
Hatada has three tackles in three games this season. The play took out New Mexico senior quarterback Lamar Jordan for the rest of the game, and he is unlikely to play this week.
“Our target zone was a little too high, where he hit him,” Harsin said. He added that Hatada likely couldn’t have avoided a collision but “the opportunity to veer off, it was there.”
Defensive coordinator Andy Avalos said Hatada will “learn from it, so will the rest of our team.”
The hit, being on national TV, was seen by many, and led to vitriol from some on social media, while some Boise State fans didn’t see it worthy of the flag. Even a pro quarterback (former CFL, Arena Leaguer Tanner Marsh) tweeted at Hatada, later saying he was defending Jordan, who he has trained with.
“@ChaseHatada you are a chump for that cheap shot,” Marsh tweeted.
Some thought an ejection wasn’t far enough.
“Now that is some BS. Criminal charges could have been filed on that — ADW,” @Rich_Greene_LA tweeted.
“It’s a physical game,” Harsin said. “There should be none of that, that’s just people that have no idea, having an outlet to voice ridiculous opinions on things.”