Boise State hosted their first home game of the year against the Marshall Thundering Herd on Friday night. It was one of those perplexing games where the stats don’t match the final score. However, the Broncos were able to walk away with a victory and improve to 2-0. Let’s revisit my keys to the game and see how they turned out for the Broncos.
Which version of the Boise State defense will show up?
The defense struggled mightily in the first quarter. Marshall was running the ball at will, but things changed drastically in the second half. Boise State held Marshall to zero yards in the second half and the Herd didn’t even get a first down. It was a great showing by Schmedding’s defense.
Can the Broncos avoid a let down?
Marshall is a really good football team. But this kind of showing was expected from the Broncos. They are playing a lot of young players at key positions. But Broncos fans should be encouraged after this game. Hank Bachmeier and George Holani showed glimpses of greatness.
Which true freshmen will be key contributors this year?
It looks like George Holani and Hank Bachmeier are going to be the only true freshman that see significant snaps. JL Skinner and Markel Reed both saw snaps on special teams. Next week will be an opportunity for some of the other young bucks to get on the field and show what they are made of.
Will the run game continue to shine?
It was a slow go, but the run game eventually opened up in the second half. George Holani showed great vision in the second half after Robert Mahone went down with a shoulder injury. Boise State finished the game with 155 yards on the ground, but only managed 3.3 yards per carry.
Can Hank avoid a freshman slump?
Bachmeier had a really solid game, he definitely made some freshman mistakes. He needs to do a better job of holding on to the ball and limiting turnovers. He finished the game completing 22 of 34 passes for 282 yards.
Are the Broncos the top Group of Five team?
If the defense can continue to play like this, they are going to be difficult to beat. I believe that the offense is on the verge of being elite. If they can learn to take care of the ball and finish drives, they will be difficult to stop.
My Prediction: Boise State 45-Marshall 24. Yeah I was off, I was way off.
Offensive Player of the Game: Khalil Shakir 5 receptions for 95 yards
Defensive Player of the Game: Kekoa Nawahine 3 tackles and an interception.
It may not have been pretty, but the Broncos will head into week three with a 2-0 record. Be sure to stay tuned, the Broncos will host an FCS foe in Portland State next Saturday.