Petersen returns to Autzen

When asked what he was excited about in returning to Oregon this weekend, Boise State coach Chris Petersen jokingly replied: "Nothing."

Petersen was wide receivers coach at Oregon from 1995-2000. Now he's in charge of the Broncos, who play the No. 17 Ducks Saturday at Autzen Stadium.

Petersen and Oregon coach Mike Bellotti remain close, and Bellotti even tried to convince him a couple of times to return to the Ducks as an offensive coordinator.

But Petersen has found a niche at Boise State, where he is in his third season. The Broncos have gone 25-3 so far over his tenure and have been to bowl games for the past two seasons.

So it won't be reunion time when the Broncos play the Ducks.

"This isn't about vacation. We're going over there to play football, so that's all I think about," he said.

Bellotti said much has changed at Oregon since Petersen was at Oregon — most notably the innovative spread-option offense installed by offensive coordinator Chip Kelly.

"Over the years we've changed just about everything about our offense," Bellotti said.

Bellotti and Petersen have another connection: They both are alums of UC Davis, although more than a decade apart. Bellotti even tried to recruit Petersen as a quarterback out of high school.

"I finally had to pay him to come and work for me," he said.

The teams are familiar in smaller ways, too. Boise State defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox played at Oregon from 1995-99. And Oregon safety Patrick Chung played against Boise State running back Ian Johnson in high school.

"I'm going to try and get him. I know he's going to try and get me so I'm going to try and get him too. We're going to see how it is," Chung said. "I'm going to be in his ear and he's going to be in my ear too."



Oregon quarterback Justin Roper will likely be out for two weeks, but could be back in time to start against USC.

Roper injured his left knee late in a 32-26 overtime victory at Purdue on Saturday. He partially tore his medial collateral ligament.

The original prognosis called for Roper to be out for two to four weeks. Coach Mike Bellotti said that he would definitely miss this week's game against Boise State, but he would likely be questionable for Washington State and probable for USC on Oct. 4.

Roper was picked to start for Oregon (3-0) in the week before the team's opener against Washington when projected starter Nate Costa injured his left knee in practice. Costa had surgery and is expected to miss the season.

The Ducks will use both Jeremiah Masoli and true freshman Chris Harper at quarterback against the Broncos. Bellotti said Masoli would likely start, but that decision wasn't concrete.

Masoli, a junior college transfer, has completed 16 of 28 passes for 193 yards and two TDs this season. Harper has run for 102 yards and two touchdowns, while completing 4 of 6 for 40 yards and a TD.

Masoli said he was taking his preparation to "another degree" this week.

"When you that you're going to play, of course you're going to be a little more intense as you get ready for Saturday," he said.


HONORS: Oregon kicker Matt Evensen won the Pac-10's special teams player of the week honors.

In Oregon's 32-26 double-overtime victory over Purdue last weekend, Evensen connected on four field goals or 23, 21, 38 and 33 yards, despite a stiff wind.

He also made both his point-after kicks.



Boise State has never played Oregon. ... Ducks coach Mike Bellotti is 17-0 against schools from the Western Athletic Conference. ... Boise State is 2-11 against the Pac-10, and 0-8 on the road against the conference.

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