Boise State received the kickoff and was aggressive from the kick. Wide receiver John Hightower fielded the kick in the end zone and immediately took it out, returning it to the 28-yard line. The passing game remained hot as Bachmeier connected with Garrett Collingham for 24 yards on the first play from scrimmage. Two plays later, on another 3rd down and long, Bachmeier completed a pass to Hightower for a 47-yard touchdown. The Bronco running game didn’t contribute much to the drive with George Holani gaining a single yard on his only carry.
The Bronco defense came out aggressive as well getting a tackle for a loss on the first play, followed by a 6-yard sack by linebacker Riley Whimpey, before forcing a punt with their first 3 and out of the game.
After moving the ball well on the ground for the first time all game, 37 of 50 yards rushing on the drive, the Broncos missed a snap and Bachmeier took a sack for a loss of a total of 17yards, Boise State made an incredibly interesting choice. With a 4th down and 27 Coach Harsin didn’t elect to try to pin Marshall deep with a punt but instead decided to keep the offense on the field. With few options for 4th and almost 30, Bachmeier dropped back and threw essentially a Hail Mary that fell just out of bounds in the end zone.
With another great 3 and out by the Boise State defense, the offense got the ball at the Bronco 32 yard line and got the ball moving again. Covering 53 yards on 9 plays, the Broncos moved the ball well but failed to convert their trip into the red zone. On a 2nd and p play from the 15, Marshall linebacker Omari Cobb got his hand up and tipped the ball to himself, forcing the first Bronco turnover of the game.
Boise State 14, Marshall 7
The Bronco defense found their stride in the second half like they did last week. Marshall was held to their 3rd consecutive 3 and out and between self-inflicted, pre-snap penalties, were at -15 for the second half. The Bronco offense carried on with their new trend of ending drives frustratingly. On a 3rd and 8, and only the 5th play of the drive, Hank Bachmeier was sacked from behind and fumbled. Marshall’s Fermin Silva recovered the ball and gave the Herd on the Boise State 46 yard line.
Both defenses continued to play well which resulted in an exchange of punts, giving Marshall the ball at their own 40-yard line. The Herd were again looking to tie the game up and had good field position to do so. After a short run on first down Herd quarterback Isaiah Green attempted another pass out to the sidelines, but the route was jumped by Bronco safety Kekoa Nawahine on the Boise State 25 yard line.
Boise State finished out the game with an impressive 15 play drive which ran the final 7:36 off the clock to get the 14-7 victory. The drive was helped out on a 3rd and 1 play where Bachmeier dropped back to pass but had his helmet ripped off by a Marshall defender, giving the Broncos a first down. During the drive, George Holani eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the game, becoming the first player to do so against the Marshall defense since November 25th, 2017.
Final: Boise State 14, Marshall 7
Was a negative to turned into a positive, the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Coach Harsin. Granted the offense could not close out drives in the second half, but the defense was lights out from that moment on.
Player of the Game:
George Holani with 103 yards on 22 carries. Marshall has a good run defense and kept 9 or more players in the box for most of the game so Holani didn’t come by any of those yards easy.
With the number of hits that Bachmeier has taken over the first two weeks and the overall struggle of the running game this week (47/155/3.3) the offensive line, which was viewed as a strength, is off to a shaky start again this year. The defense played extremely well this week and didn’t allow a first down to Marshall in the second half. They only allowed a few big plays to Marshall and those where mostly on the scoring drive in the first quarter. As high as a lot of folks were after Florida State last week, this game was a great reminder that there is still work to do for this season.
UP NEXT: Vs Portland State Vikings, September 14th, 8:15 PM MT