Boise State vs. Hawaii: Keys For A Broncos Victory
Keys to Victory for the Broncos on the Island
Can Boise win on the islands?
The Boise State Broncos bounced back from their disappointing loss to BYU with a well-rounded and dominant victory over the Colorado State Rams. All facets of the game were clicking for the Broncos, none more so than special teams, who was responsible for 3 blocked kicks (2 punts, 1 field goal), 3 blocked kick return touchdowns, multiple solid kick and punt returns, and final solid kick-off and punt coverage. The odds of repeating such an excellent special team’s performance on Saturday against the Warriors is highly unlikely however, therefore Boise State will need an improved offense and defensive effort to walk away with the victory.
Headed across the Pacific this week 🏈🌴
🗓 Saturday | 9 PM MT
— Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB) November 17, 2020
Key #1- Fighting 2020
This key would not be as significant most any year but 2020, but the Broncos need to stay disciplined and isolated in efforts to avoid contracting Covid-19(no small task). Normally this key would simply pertain to injuries (not a predictable or simple task either), but in this crazy year, it’s a much different beast. Last week against the Rams, Boise State had 33 players with the designation “Not In Bench Area” and this did not even include those players who had suffered season-ending injuries.
The Broncos (and almost every other team in college football this year) have been severely impacted by this fast-spreading virus and at key positions such as their starting quarterback. It’s anyone’s guess who might all be out on a weekly basis and that makes turning in a consistent performance every week, a near-impossible task. This key simply boils down to the fewer players that are out due to Covid-19 or injury, the greater the level of success Boise State will experience on the field.
Key #2- Effectively Slinging the Rock
Hawaii has one of the most efficient pass defenses in the Mountain West. This stat could be skewed by the fact that they have played a couple talented running teams in Wyoming and San Diego State, but regardless the Warrior’s defense has shown to be strong against the pass. Hank Bachmeier made his Covid-19 comeback against the Rams and looked to be mostly back to his old self, however it was evident that he was missing several of his key targets such as Octavius Evans and George Holani.
Holani’s absence was further felt in the lack of production in the run game, which in turn put additional pressure on the passing game. If Hank can step up and have an above-average game for the Broncos and even get a few of his tried and true weapons back, it will go a long way towards keeping Boise State undefeated in the Mountain West.
Key #3- Adapting to Face a New Offense
The Warriors were one of six teams in the Mountain West to opt for a new coach for the 2020 season. Gone is the beloved Nick Rolovich, in is Todd Graham. Historically Graham’s offensives haven’t been too different from the high-powered Run and Shoot, however, that is not the case thus far in Hawaii’s season. They rank in the middle of the Mountain West in both rushing and passing offense.
Despite this, the Broncos have never faced Graham’s offense and will need to do their homework in the film room and be able to translate that work to the field. Also due to the fact that the Warriors have only played 4 games, there really isn’t much film to study from this year. Getting a few of the defensive linemen Covid-19 victims back from isolation will definitely help their cause as well. A dominant and well-rounded defensive performance will go a long way in securing the win for the Broncos.
All in all, I believe the Broncos will increase their win streak against the Warriors to 9 games and fly back to the mainland victorious. The comfort of the victory will depend on how effectively the Broncos navigate the keys above. I see this playing out as a semi-comfortable victory for Boise State, with a 42-17 victory on Saturday.