Grant Hedrick

‘Unbreakable’ Ryan Finley officially named Boise’s starting QB

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In the end, Ryan Finley’s off-field incident had no impact on his standing in Boise State’s quarterback competition.

Sunday afternoon, head coach Bryan Harsin revealed the expected, that Finley is his starting quarterback and will line up under center when BSU opens the 2015 season against former head coach Chris Petersen and his Washington Huskies.  Finley had been in a “competition” with redshirt sophomore Tommy Stuart, true freshman Brett Rypien and redshirt freshman Alex Ogle throughout training camp, even as last season’s backup was widely viewed as the front-runner.

Finley wasn’t, though, just handed the job as the coaching staff kept testing the sophomore to see if he’d break.  The verdict?

He’s been unbreakable,” offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz said. “That’s really why we stretched [the competition] out the way we did, because we wanted to make sure that we put the pressure on him. We said, ‘OK, can you handle this? Is this just a one-hit wonder? Can you be consistent?’ Yesterday we gave some reps to some other guys with the first team just to see is it going to rattle him, is it going to shake him. He’s been great.”

As Grant Hedrick’s primary backup in 2014, Finley completed 12-of-27 passes for 161 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.  He played in five games.

In late April, Finley was charged with a pair of alcohol-related misdemeanors.  In July, Harsin confirmed that Finley (likely) would be eligible to play in the opener.

Boise St. QB frontrunner (likely) to be eligible for opener vs. UW

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After exiting the spring as Boise State’s front-runner to take over as starting quarterback, Ryan Finley put that status at risk after being charged with a pair of alcohol-related misdemeanors.  The speculation was, Finley could be facing the loss of playing time.

As it turns out, that couldn’t be further from the case. Probably.

“Because of what’s happened and where the court case is as well, absolutely,” Broncos head coach Bryan Harsin stated when asked if Finley will be eligible to play in the highly-anticipated opener against Washington Sept. 4. “And I’ll say this with absolute confidence: Ryan has done everything we’ve asked of him. I can’t ask him to do more than what he’s done. I’m proud of him.

“This is obviously disappointing, we all understand that, but if guys can make up for their mistakes and I believe he’s done that from our standpoint, then we’re good.”

Finley’s pretrial conference has been postponed until the end of September after originally being scheduled for the middle of July. Despite the fact that the legal case won’t be resolved before the start of the season, Harsin said “I feel like what I’ve asked and what he’s done, he’s done it, and we’ll let the legal process do their jobs.”

Harsin did allow that, should new, pertinent information related to Finley’s case surface as the legal process does its job, additional punishment could be in the offing.

“If there’s something else in there that I don’t know or there’s more too it, then yeah, there’s obviously going to be something that we have to do at that point,” the second-year coach said.

As Grant Hedrick’s primary backup in 2014, Finley completed 12-of-27 passes for 161 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

In addition to the redshirt sophomore Finley, the competition that began in the spring and extend on into summer camp includes redshirt sophomore Tommy Stuart, true freshman Brett Rypien and redshirt freshmanAlex Ogle. None of those three players have attempted a pass at the collegiate level.

Boise State’s potential starting QB arrested

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I suppose it is time to hit the reset button on that arrest ticker on the side of the page.

Boise State quarterback Ryan Finley was reportedly arrested early Saturday morning and charged for a pair of misdemeanor offenses related to alcohol. The Idaho Statesman says Finley was charged for possession of an alcoholic beverage as a minor and resisting or obstructing officers.

Finley, a sophomore, ended the spring as the most likely candidate to be Boise State’s starting quarterback in the fall. A pair of misdemeanor offenses may not do much to distract from that idea, unless Finley gets in any more trouble moving forward between now and the start of the new season.

Finley was Boise State’s backup quarterback behind Grant Hedrick last season. He appeared in five games and completed 12 of his 27 pass attempts for 161 yards. He tossed a pair of touchdowns and was picked off once in the process. With the leg up in experience, Finley saw the most action in Boise State’s recent spring game with the first-team offense, a suggestion the starting job under center will ultimately be his to lose.

There has been no statement from Boise State at this time.

‘Good spring’ leaves Ryan Finley as Boise State QB front-runner

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The same weekend a former Boise State quarterback great was feted, the future of the position gained some additional clarity as well.

Prior to Saturday’s spring game, Kellen Moore, the football program’s all-time passing leader and winner of 50 games in a career that ended in 2011, was honored by the Broncos during a pregame ceremony.  Shortly thereafter, the quarterback competition to replace Grant Hedrick continued, with Ryan Finley once again reaffirming to most observers that he will enter the summer as the front-runner for the job — even as his coaches will wait until the first couple of weeks of summer camp before officially anointing anyone.

“He’s done well,” head coach Bryan Harsin said according to the Idaho Press-Tribune. “He’s put himself in a position to have the most experience out of those guys. He was the guy ready to play had Grant (Hendrick) gone down last year. He’s improved, and he’s taken advantage of that.”

He’s had a good spring,” offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz added. “This competition is open, and this competition is going to stay open until coach Harsin says it’s no longer open. But the reality is he’s had a good spring.”

In addition to the redshirt sophomore Finley, the open competition includes redshirt sophomore Tommy Stuart, true freshman Brett Rypien and redshirt freshman Alex Ogle. None of those three players have attempted a pass at the collegiate level.

As Hedrick’s primary backup in 2014, Finley completed 12-of-27 passes for 161 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

CFT Previews: The VIZIO Fiesta Bowl

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WHO: No. 10 Arizona (10-3) vs. No. 20 Boise State (11-2)

WHAT: The 44th VIZIO Fiesta Bowl

WHERE: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

WHEN: 4:00 p.m. ET Dec. 31 on ESPN

THE SKINNY: It may not be quite the same as the days of busting the BCS party, but Boise State is back in the Fiesta Bowl for a third time. The Broncos won the lucrative reservation to the New Years Six New Years Eve party by being the highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion (sorry Marshall), and the Broncos look to take advantage of it.

Boise State is riding an eight-game winning streak, including a victory in the Mountain West Conference championship game to clinch its spot in the New Years Six line-up. The Broncos have come a long way since opening the season with a loss in Atlanta to Ole Miss and their turnover-filled setback at Air Force. Running back Jay Ajayi has rushed for nearly 1,700 yards and 25 touchdowns and quarterback Grant Hedrick has started to protect the football much more confidently as the offense found its bread and butter down the stretch. The defense has held three straight opponents to fewer than 20 points, but that could be difficult to do in this bowl match-up.

The Broncos will face Arizona, champions of the Pac-12 South and the only team to beat Oregon this season. Rich Rodriguez, the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, and his Wildcats were unable to take down te Ducks for a second time, but they look to be a tough test for Boise State. The star attraction will be middle linebacker Scooby Wright III, who received quite the haul of postseason awards (Bronko Nagurski Award, Chuck Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award and multiple defensive player of the year and all-conference mentions) for his efforts this season. But there is more to Arizona than the phenomenal Wright. Arizona’s offensive nucleus has shown plenty of promise with freshman quarterback Anu Solomon (3,458 yards, 27 touchdowns), freshman running back Nick Wilson (1,289 yards, 15 touchdowns) and sophomore wide receiver Cayleb Jones (902 yards, 9 touchdowns).

This one has potential to open things up offensively. Can Boise State score a third Fiest Bowl memory, or will Arizona represent the PAc-12 admirably on the big bowl stage?

THE PREDICTION: Arizona 37, Boise State 30