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October 12, 2011

Petersen standing by young kicker

BOISE, Idaho (AP) Chris Petersen isn't too worried about the missed extra point, the blocked extra point, or the fortunate bounce off the upright on a 32-yard field goal in last week's game at Fresno State.

Those points hardly mattered considering No. 5 Boise State was in the process of handing the Bulldogs a 57-7 beatdown.

What matters - at least for now - is that Petersen has the faith and confidence that freshman kicker Dan Goodale has the smarts to fix the flaws that have caused four of his extra point attempts this season to sail wide of the uprights.

"Do we think it could come back to get us down the road at some point?" Petersen said Monday. "Yeah, we're well aware that all the games aren't going to be like (Fresno). But he's just got to take the next step ... and get better."

Goodale, a redshirt freshman and Boise native, was wide right on one extra point attempt Friday night, and had another blocked by a Fresno State team that has five blocked PAT's already this season.

And he got a break on his second field goal attempt of the season when the ball clanked off an upright and fell through, spotting the Broncos (5-0) to an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter.

While Goodale's miscues haven't been too costly, they stand out as one of the only blemishes on a team that has been stellar through the first half of the season in so many aspects of the game.

The offense is humming along in typical Boise State fashion, averaging 40.6 points per game and outscoring foes by an average margin of 26 points.

The defense, led by a dominating front line, ranks 12th nationally in total defense, yields a measly 14.8 points per game and has managed to keep its last two opponents - Nevada and Fresno State - from crossing midfield until late in the second half.

Don't forget most of the special teams units. Coverage teams have blanketed opposing kick and punt returners, enabling the Broncos to win the field position battles that have played a big role in the last two wins.

"The guys on those teams understand how important (kick coverage) is to setting the tone for us," Petersen said. "They've been outstanding."

Despite the early-season miscues, Petersen said he's standing by his young kicker as the Broncos prepare for their Mountain West Conference debut Saturday against Colorado State.

Goodale won the job of replacing Kyle Brotzman, the highest-scoring kicker in FBS history, by putting together a solid spring and fall camp. The walk-on hit on better than 75 percent of his field goal attempts during spring drills to beat out fellow walk-ons Jimmy Pavel and Michael Frisina, who missed an extra point attempt against Toledo in the season's second game. Goodale also missed a PAT in the Toledo game.

In breaking down the misses on film, Petersen and his staff have preached better elevation on kicks and tweaked where the ball is spotted. He said the fixes are focused on minor adjustments rather than concerns about glaring errors in mechanics, fundamentals or a lack of confidence.

"He's young, he's new, he's going to get it figured out," Petersen said.











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