Notebook: Rypien returns to practice as Boise State prepares for Virginia

September 19, 2017 GMT

BOISE — Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien returned to practice Monday and could play Friday night against Virginia.

Rypien missed last week’s game against New Mexico due to an undisclosed injury.

“He’s practicing,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “He’ll practice today and we’ll see where he’s at through practice, but he’s out there. He threw some last week, but he’ll be out there practicing and we’ll go from there.”

The ESPN broadcast during the New Mexico game reported that Rypien had a concussion, and that he was expected to be ready to play against Virginia.

Rypien was removed late in the first quarter against Washington State on Sept. 9 after his head hit the turf hard following a big hit from an unblocked defender. He looked dazed after standing up and was removed before the next play.

Backup Montell Cozart has played well this season and led the Broncos to a 28-14 win over New Mexico, leading some to believe he should continue to play even when Rypien is healthy.

Harsin didn’t address that topic at Monday’s press conference, but said after the New Mexico game that Rypien deserved a shot to play when healthy.

“Let’s not forget … Brett was playing well,” Harsin said. “Guys get injured and things happen, but when they come back, those guys get their opportunities when they come back too. When that happens and he’s ready to go, then we’ll make that decision.”

The Virginia game likely has special meaning for Rypien. His first career start as a true freshman in 2015 came against the Cavaliers on the road.

HARSIN MUM ON POSSIBLE MOA PUNISHMENT: Harsin wouldn’t reveal what, if any, punishment defensive tackle David Moa will receive for his arrest Saturday morning on suspicion of disturbing the peace.

“It’s all internal, we’ll handle it that way,” Harsin said. “Obviously disappointed. … We’ll handle it internally and make sure that we learn from it and grow.”

According to an incident report provided from the Boise Police Department, Moa was involved in a disturbance outside a night club in the 100 block of South Sixth Street in which he and another male were seen shoving each other, yelling and “challenging to fight”.

Moa and Trevor Buffi, 25, were booked around 2:25 a.m. and charged with misdemeanor disturbing the peace.

“I try to look at every situation as its own and get the story and a lot of that, to be honest, is a lot of wasted time,” Harsin said. “We shouldn’t be in that situation, because we’re focusing on something else important for the week. I try to look at it individually and get the story and get ‘why’ more importantly.

“I know this too: People make mistakes and that’s part of it. But how we handle it and what mistakes they are and how we decide to correct it and make sure we learn from it, those things are part of our process and things I look at on an individual basis.”

Asked if that meant Moa was eligible to play in Friday’s game, Harsin said only that the situation would be dealt with internally.

BRONCOS HAVE NO ISSUES WITH HATADA TARGETING CALL: Boise State coaches reviewed the hit from Chase Hatada that forced New Mexico quarterback Lamar Jordan from the game late in the second quarter and said they had no issues with their defensive lineman being ejected for targeting.

“The bottom line is when we hit him, our target zone was a little too high,” Harsin said. “The opportunity to take that last step and maybe veer and maybe make the collision different, it was there. I thought the crew did a good job.”

Asked about fans on social media that thought charges should be pressed against Hatada for the hit, Harsin said, “It’s football. It’s a physical game. That’s just people that have no idea having an outlet to voice ridiculous opinions on things.”

Harsin and defensive coordinator Andy Avalos defended Hatata.

“Chase is not a dirty player by any means,” Avalos said. “He’ll learn from it as well as the rest of the team. Chase is a great young man. He’s a young guy that has played a lot of football for us already, so that speaks to his ability to learn from that aspect.

“I don’t think by any means Chase or the play was dirty. He’s just playing fast. Sometimes you get bang-bang plays and things like that happen, but we have to learn from it and be better.”

Hatada is eligible to play against Virginia since the ejection occurred in the first half.

HILL SAYS PLAY CALLING WAS ‘SAFE’ AGAINST LOBOS: Offensive coordinator Zak Hill agreed Monday that his play calling has been rather vanilla through three games. The Broncos have only run a small handful of trick plays and haven’t taken as many shots deep down the field as they have in recent years.

“Definitely,” Hill said. “Looking back at that game, the last one, I definitely felt like I called a little safe. We knew we wanted to run it and we were in a good position and felt like we were going to wear them out, but there’s definitely more room for some gadgets and some funk and some tricks.

“It’s just kind of feeling the game and finding the right times for those as well.”

Asked if that included more deeper passing plays and shots down the field, Hill said, “It is, yeah. I agree.”

BRONCO BITS: The ESPN2 announcing crew for Friday’s game is Adam Amin, Dusty Dvoracek and Molly McGrath. … Friday’s game will be the first time an ACC team has played at Boise State during the regular season. … Boise State is 29-8 all-time when playing on Friday’s during the regular season.