Notebook: Potter shows value in final game

MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Notebook: Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence does not play after being sent home Thursday.

LAS VEGAS – Chris Potter might not have a claim to fame per se. The closest the Boise State wide receiver might get is as the quarterback that replaced Jimmy Clausen at Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, a bit of trivia for recruitniks.

But the redshirt senior showed his value to the Broncos in their 28-26 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas win over Washington on Saturday afternoon at Sam Boyd Stadium, again showing his versatility in a variety of ways.

Potter caught a career-high nine passes to lead the team, good for 55 yards. He converted a key third-and-eight on Boise State's first touchdown drive, gaining nine yards to move the chains.

His biggest impact, however, came by going back to his days as a high school quarterback, finding tight end Holden Huff on a 34-yard touchdown after catching a backwards pass from quarterback Joe Southwick with 5:25 left in the second quarter.

Earlier in the game, Potter ran for two yards after a similar attempt at a double pass was well diagnosed by the Huskies defense.

"It was a different double pass," Boise State head coach Chris Petersen said. "We actually had a couple in, so yeah."

Perhaps generously listed at 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, Potter has proven to be a fearless contributor during his five years at Boise State. Returning punts, he averaged 11.83 yards per return this season, second best in the Mountain West. He actually averaged double-digit yards per punt return in each of his four seasons on the active roster, while his career mean of 12.19 yards ranks fifth on the school ledgers.

"He's awesome," Petersen said. "He is one of those unsung heroes of this program. He'll be a hard guy to replace.

"He is one of those guys that a lot of people maybe don't think about, but I promise you every coach does. Whether it is punt returning, multiple positions, he is just as steady and consistent as you can be as a person and as a player."

Back to Vegas?
Sin City has become home away from home for Boise State in December, winning its third consecutive MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. But that streak is scheduled to come to an end, with the program set to join the Big East next season.

However, with that conference going through its own turmoil, there is uncertainty whether Boise State will actually make the move. Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated reported on Twitter that one option could be an independent-style television contract to broadcast every home game, similar to the deal BYU has with ESPN, while still being a member of the Big East or Mountain West.

For his part, Petersen said he will defer to university president Bob Kustra and athletic director Mark Coyle on the issue.

"There's question marks, but I don't lose one second of sleep over it because I know that our administration is going to do exactly the right thing for Boise State," Petersen said. "That's the bottom line. If the Big East is the best place for it, we'll be there, and if the Mountain West is the right place, we'll be there."

Lawrence Suspended
Defensive end Demarcus Lawrence was sent home Thursday for a violation of team rules, his second suspension this season.

Lawrence, a redshirt sophomore from Aiken (S.C.), was previously held out on Oct. 20 against UNLV. He started 11 games this season, leading the team in both sacks (9.5) and tackles for loss (13.5) after signing with Boise State from El Dorado (Kan.) Butler Community College last December.

Redshirt sophomore Tyler Horn started in place of Lawrence, finishing with five tackles, one sacks, and one fumble recover.

Boise State was also without long snapper Chris Roberson, serving his third suspension of the season.

We'll Meet Again
Boise State and Washington will meet again in Seattle on Aug. 31, 2013 for the first game in the newly renovated Husky Stadium.

Asked what he expected in the rematch, "It's going to be another four quarter game," Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said.

"It's going to be a slug fest. They are a very well coached team, their kids play hard, and that's exactly what I'll expect the next time around. It will be a little bit more clear. We'll have a better idea of the personnel and some things of that nature, but they'll come ready to play. We got nine months to get ready for them."

Dan Greenspan writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.


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