The facial hair may remain, but Joe Southwick left his moustache mojo on the field in Fresno.
Joe suffered his first loss while donning a crumb catcher, but the physical injuries he sustained Friday may linger longer than the agony of defeat. Southwick was slammed to the ground in the second quarter against Fresno State, landing awkwardly on his throwing arm. Coach Petersen subbed in Grant Hedrick's package shortly thereafter. Joe returned for Boise state's next possession and played the rest of the game in pain. He refused to comment on the treatment he received at halftime, and Petersen refused to comment on the severity of the injury Monday.
"Unless a guy is out long term, I'm not commenting on it," said Petersen. "It just doesn't help us. Southern Mississippi is going to sit here and watch every single word I'm saying... So I just don't comment on that."
Petersen re-iterated Southwick would not be out long-term, but his status for Saturday is up to our imaginations. Hedrick threw a touchdown pass in Fresno, and if he's called into duty, the Broncos feel he'll be just fine.
"I honestly didn't even know (Southwick was out of the game)," said guard Spencer Gerke. "Grant stepped in there and we didn't miss a beat... Grant threw that pass? I thought it was Joe back there," he added with a laugh.
"I just wish we could find more ways to get (Hedrick) in the game and let him go without disrupting Joe's rhythm or anything like that because Grant brings something to the table," said Petersen. "Grant can throw the ball, but Grant can run. We have no hesitation with him."
Petersen does have a little hesitation with Jay Ajayi, who was pulled from Friday's game after fumbling in the red zone. True freshman Aaron Baltazar received the bulk of the carries down the stretch, rushing for his first two collegiate touchdowns. Petersen said he'd continue to split up the carries amongst multiple backs, but Baltazar has exceeded his expectations.
"You really never know how these kids are going to do until they get with you a while and get into games. That changes things," he said. "He's been with us a short time and he's been in all four games and he's really done a nice job. He's just got that calm demeanor where whatever the stage, he kind of plays the same."