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Boise State football: Quarterback race is more clouded after first scrimmage

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Ryan Finley's grip on the starting job for the Boise State quarterback position has loosened after the first scrimmage.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Most felt that Ryan Finley would be lining up under center for Boise State when they open the season against the Washington Huskies, but after the first scrimmage that is not the case. The scrimmage was closed to the media and the public but Tommy Stuart, Alex Ogle and Brett Rypien all gained ground on Finley.

Finley had opened the gap during practices in fall camp but in live action head coach Bryan Harsin did not see that same type of play in the scrimmage.

"That gap has closed," Harsin said Thursday after the scrimmage. "Ryan has done a very nice job, he's executed, he's managed the offense, he's made plays. Tommy has done the same thing. He's executed the offense well, he's made plays. Rypien has really done a great job of catching up, being a young guy. And Alex Ogle from spring to where he is now, knowledge is better and he understands it and we know he has some great physical tools."

"You're going to see more of maybe some guys separating as we get into that second scrimmage and then we'll figure it out from there." -Bryan Harsin

The quarterbacks all earned equal reps during the scrimmage which could mean that they are all in consideration for the starting job. Each quarterback has been given a legitimate chance to earn the starting job as each have had time with the first team offense.

Yet, Harsin saw both good and bad things form all four signal callers.

"I thought what I saw out there was pretty good by all of them," Harsin said. "There were some bad things that happened, but they didn't make it worse. They made some plays as well and directed the offense."

Heading into fall camp the order was Finley, Stuart, Rypien and then Ogle, and for those who wanted an updated depth chart after the scrimmage be prepared to be disappointed as Harsin declined to name a new order. The competition is more open that previously thought heading into fall camp.

The goal for Harsin is to name a starter against Washington 10 days out to allow them to work exclusively with the first-team and get as many reps as possible.

The second scrimmage is expected to have the quarterback face different type of scenarios from play calling on offense and also what the defense will show, and by then Harsin will have a better idea of the position between the group.

"Those guys just go back and forth," Harsin said. "I think when we get through this scrimmage, you're going to see more of maybe some guys separating as we get into that second scrimmage and then we'll figure it out from there."

For Boise State to be as successful as possible, Harsin needs to pick a quarterback and stick with that choice. Last year, the Mountain West saw too many teams play yo-yo at the quarterback position and those teams struggled.