Boise St. Suspends Joe Southwick

Joe Southwick career as a Bronco is over. The senior quarterback, conferring with Boise St. quarterbacks coach Jonathan Smith above, has been sent home from Hawaii for violating team rules. - Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

The uncertainty about whether Grant Hedrick or Joe Southwick will start Tuesday for Boise St. in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, and how much each will play, has been resolved, and not in the way Interim Coach Bob Gregory probably intended when the Broncos flew out of Idaho.

It will be Hedrick all the way after today's events. Southwick, a senior, and redshirt freshman QB Nick Patti were initially suspended from Friday's practice for unspecified violations of unspecified team rules shortly before practice was scheduled to begin, as reported by the Mt. West Connection.

Subsequently, Gregory, who is filling in in the bowl game for former head coach Chris Peterson, who has departed to take the head job at Washington, announced that Patti, Boise St.'s third string quarterback, had been reinstated, will practice with the Broncos Saturday, and will be available for the game on Christmas Eve, but that Southwick is being sent home, effectively ending his career.

Patti won't likely see action unless there is an emergency, or the game gets out of hand in one way or another, but had he remained suspended, Boise St. probably would have been left with having to use a wide receiver at quarterback in such a situation, as the Broncos would not want to burn true freshman walk-on Richard Hoppe's red shirt, and the only other quarterback on the roster is true freshman Ryan Finley, who is recovering from shoulder surgery.

Southwick completed 151 of 208 passes, for 1,654 yards, and 12 touchdowns against just 5 interceptions, but broke his ankle on the first play of the game against Nevada, and only returned late in the last game of the regular season, though he did throw another td pass in the Broncos' 45-17 win over New Mexico.

Hedrick, a junior who hails from Monmouth, OR, which is only about 20 miles from the Oregon St. campus, has completed 135 of 198 passes this season, for 1,443 yards and 15 touchdowns, against only 5 interceptions and 5 sacks, played in certain packages while Southwick was starting, and led the Broncos to 4 wins in 6 games after Southwick's injury.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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