Rating Player Performances In Boise State vs. Florida State Game
Broncos performers of the week.
Which Broncos stepped up and which left something to be desired on Saturday against the Noles?
Everyone has now heard about Boise State’s amazing come from behind victory against Florida State, but which players made this win a reality and which players (or units) made it that much harder to achieve. Let’s take a closer look at who overachieved on Saturday and who left us scratching our heads and wishing for more.
Hank Bachmeier– You have to start with the true freshman from Murrieta, California, a year ago he was prepping with Murrieta Valley High School for his senior season. Fast forward to 2019 and he turned in a gutsy, come from behind victory, in one of college football’s toughest places to play. While he did have two fumbles (one lost) and one interception, his overall play was well beyond reasonable expectations for a first-time college football player. Both his fumbles and his interception were direct results of subpar protection by his offensive line or running back.
When he was provided time to throw, he proved he was the right man for the job, going 30 for 51 for 407 yards and a touchdown. He threw for an additional touchdown that was called back on a questionable (and late) offensive pass interference call. The Seminoles pass rush was relentless and Hank’s white jersey quickly turned green in this matchup, as he was hurried eight times and sacked six.
Despite the pressure, he delivered multiple 3rd down throws to keep the Broncos drives alive, none bigger than his 3rd and goal touchdown to Khalil Shakir in the second half. Bachmeier gave Bronco fans a lot to be excited about this year, especially if he keeps up these gritty performances.
Robert Mahone– The second biggest question mark and offseason discussion for the Broncos (and our fearless leader Jeremy Mauss) was who was going to replace Alexander Mattison and his 1,588 yards from scrimmage and his 17 touchdowns.
Mahone did his best to answer that question with a standout performance in Tallahassee on Saturday. Despite the dreaded humidity (had to sneak that line in this article) Mahone rushed 24 times for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns, good for an average of 5.9 yards per carry and a long of 18. He also had a reception for 27 yards.
If he wants to extend Boise State’s streak of having an 1,000 yard rusher to 11 straight seasons in 2019, he will have to average 78 yards per game going forward in the regular season. More importantly, he put a lot of Bronco fans’ minds to ease, showing he can reliably tote the rock for Boise State.
Kekaula Kaniho– Ever since Kaniho stepped foot on Boise State’s campus, the coaches felt like he was a difference maker. Kaniho first stepped on the field as a true freshman in 2017 and since has scored touchdowns 3 different ways, primarily as a defender.
He returned a fumble for a touchdown in 2017 vs San Diego State, he took an interception to the house vs Oregon in the 2017 Las Vegas Bowl, and he “finished” a punt return for 74 yards and a touchdown for Avery Williams in 2018 vs Colorado State(his one and only punt return of his career).
He burst on to the scene on Saturday to the tune of 6 solo tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and a forced fumble that led to Boise State’s first touchdown. He may be slight in stature (5’10” 182lbs), but he should be a force in the Mountain West this year for the Broncos.
Eric Sachse– Boise State, big games, and kickers have not always gotten along (cue the Nevada fans in the comments, good job against Purdue by the way!), but the Broncos look to change that in 2019. What’s the best way to make that a reality? Invite a kicker from a small D3 liberal arts school in Hartford, Connecticut, to walk on as a grad transfer of course. Sachse quickly earned a scholarship after proving himself in action in fall camp scrimmages and further showing his worth in Tallahassee going 5 for 5 on field goals (with a long of 41) and 3 for 3 on PATs.
Bronco fans may still be dubious of kickers, but Eric did a lot to calm the fears after single handedly (or footedly…I’ll show myself out) keeping the Broncos in the game, despite their red zone struggles.