BTN Analysis: Joe Southwick

Following up Kellen Moore is the hardest task a quarterback can possibly complete. Not only does he hold the most wins as a quarterback in NCAA history, he has the undying, adoration of the Boise State Broncos fans. The Broncos faithful has grilled the red shirt junior quarterback Joe Southwick for his sub-par play this season. Somewhat of it is rightfully so, but a large majority of it is due to what the fans are used too.
Southwick has a solid completion percentage of 66.1% and averages a modest 206 yards a game. His seven interceptions are a bit higher than what Boise fans are used to, but they’re not too bad. His statistics are solid until you see his amount of passing touchdowns. Through 11 games this season, the Broncos signal caller has just 15 touchdown passes. Do the math, that’s just 1.4 touchdown passes a game. Joe has shown a lot of improvement against Hawaii and Colorado State the past two games, but those two teams combine for just four victories this season.
Now granted, the lack of outstanding passing statistics is partially due to the running game and what DJ Harper has been able to accomplish this year. These Boise State running game has produced 24 rushing touchdowns. Joe has mightily struggled this season in the red zone. This seems to be his greatest downfall as a quarterback. When it has mattered the most, this offense has not been able to score touchdowns in the red zone.
To put this 2012 Broncos offense in perspective, it is not pretty. Last year’s team scored 76 passing and rushing touchdowns combined in 13 games. This year’s squad has 39 touchdowns through 11 games. The losses of Kellen Moore, Doug Martin, and Tyler Shoemaker have certainly impacted this team.
One the bright side, the Broncos will return a lot of firepower next season. DJ Harper has been a very solid back this season, but Jay Ajayi has shown that he is more than capable to carry the load. The receiving core will lose Mitch Borroughs and Chris Potter who have played important roles in the passing game. Matt Miller and Geraldo Boldewijn are big targets for Southwick to work with, and will also be able to utilize Aaron Burks with the long ball. It will be important for Joe to use these targets in the red zone next season.
However, Joe Southwick is going to be the key to this offense. He has shown a lot of great strides this season. He has been accurate and throws a solid deep ball. It will be key for Southwick to make quicker decisions with his feet, shorten up his release, and get in rhythm. If Robert Prince can get Southwick in rhythm, he can be a very good quarterback in this offense. A lot of fans have been calling for a faster pace offense and that might help him. We finally got to see a no-huddle offense against Colorado State. It got Joe in rhythm and he was very efficient as he completed 85% of his passes.

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