As we went through 2012 it became clear Joe Southwick was getting more than just his throws out quicker and better, it became even clearer that he got his legs going as well. In 2013 I suspect we are going to see some Kellen like passing numbers and Zabransky like rushing numbers out of Joe.
Joe did demonstrate from the start of the season his throwing arm there is no disputing he can make all the throws, whether they be quick back shoulder passes on short and goal into the end zone or deep timing passes to the weapons he possess on the outside. The combination that Joe displayed in the last two games against Nevada and Washington along with his leadership and sense of in game action helped win those hard fought games.
No college QB in 2013 will have the weapons at his disposal as Joe Southwick will have, Sr Gerldo Boldewijn, Jr Matt Miller and rising star Sr. Aaron Burks. The combination of size speed and hands are unparalleled by any team in college football. Add in another offseason with the building confidence in Joe himself and certainly what must be an incredible hunger with this being his final year to play on the Blue, all this together just tells me to grab something tight and hold on.
Football no doubt is the greatest of team sports and I’m sure even Kellen Moore will tell you that, so I’m not trying to say 13-0 just yet. Boise State has a very heavy front loaded schedule in my opinion. While we did finally get a game with a closing drive field goal against Washington in the Maaco Bowl, Washington displayed in that game that they had all the pieces to contend for a Pac 12 championship. Their only real bad games last year came against top teams LSU and O and even the game in Eugene they held their own for 3 qts of play. I consider the AZ game a fluke, play that game 9 more times Washington wins 7 of them. At the same time we must consider whom they did beat, SDSU,#8 Stanford and #7 OSU and lost by 7 to USC. Make no mistake the opener in Seattle is a far tougher game then the opener last year in East Lansing and there will be no calls going our way. Joe will need to do like he did in the Maaco game and be ready to run, he will also need to make more deep rout timing passes to Burks and Boldewijn if Boise State is going to win the opener. Both of these things I believe Joe will do very well.
There is going to be plenty of time between a trip to Provo for a rematch of what was one of the best defensive games last year against BYU for the team to jell together, however we should make no mistake BYU needs that game if not just to get their first win against Boise State and avenge previous losses, but it’s. By the time we roll into Provo BYU will have played Virginia, Texas, Utah , Georgia Tech and Huston. We will either find ourselves playing a team fighting for its bowl life or one top ranked and highly confidant team, either way it’s going to be a dog fight to the finish. Joe will have to do much better than he did last year at home against BYU especially when it comes to making tight coverage passes. Last year he held the ball a lot in that game because of the coverage packages that BYU through at him. I don’t think Joe will be having any issues with that this time around and we might find him more of a gun slinger. Certainly when you take more chance there are going to be turnovers and he’s just going to have to shack them off and realize that’s part of the game and forget about it and roll the dice.
Often we find in match ups like this the previous game is not any indication of what the next game is going to bring and as last year’s match up with BYU proved to be a defensive struggle I see a high scoring game in Provo and the winner will be the one that makes the most off of turnovers.
Only two other games next year give me pause and that is Air force and SDSU both on the road and that’s all we really know about those games right now as the schedule is still not set as far as dates go. Hopefully those games come after the BYU game and apart by at least 2 weeks but unlikely. I’d almost just as well have gone to what’s left of the BE then to play Air Force every year and their chop blocking scheme just like New Mexico as Davey tries to build a program there. I’m hopeful Davey will do well only to find himself an offer somewhere and jump ship after this year! All that being said in those Games I see Joe as being the real difference maker being able to use all his assets against those teams spreading them out on the field, making them play honest which will also open up holes for the running game.
Prediction Joe throws for over 70% competitions for 30 TD’s to 6 int’s and 3700 yards, rushes for 500 yards and 30 td’s