Boise State scored the first 16 points of the game against Washington last Friday, then held on as the Huskies scored the only 13 points of the second half, and a missed 46-yard field goal enabled the Broncos to escape with a win.
Bronco head coach Bryan Harsin talked about the season opener and what he expects from BYU this Saturday.
"We've got to go back to executing, bottom line," Harsin said about the Boise State offense. "Be a lot better on early downs, to get the momentum started so we're not behind the chains, and if we can to do that, we get ourselves into a rhythm like we did early on in the game, we can operate pretty well."
(Video by Rod Couch, BroncoCountry)
Harsin pointed out that the opponent in Friday's game (Washington) was extremely familiar with the kind of offense that Boise State runs, given that former Bronco coach Chris Petersen coached at Boise State from 2001-2013, including the last eight as head coach, and several other former Bronco coaches are current coaches at Washington. "We'd love to put up 50 points every game," Harsin said. We're playing somebody that knows us about as well as anybody can know us."
Regarding the punt return for a touchdown by Dante Pettis of Washington, Harsin said, "We had guys attacking the punt returner, and didn't put ourselves into the right position to keep it contained, really as simple as that."
Harsin also gave a good preview of BYU. "Tanner Mangum did a great job. They like to throw it; they had a good quick game, from what I saw. They had a lot of explosive plays in that game--they took their opportunities with their shots, and they hit 'em."
The Cougars held Nebraska to 126 yards offensively. Harsin observed that "They're multiple on defense--3-4, and you really don't know where it's coming from; they bring multiple pressures--middle, both boundary and field. They do a nice job of mixing that up."
Harsin knows that BYU will be playing with plenty of emotion carrying over from the Cougars' big 33-28 win over Nebraska last weekend. The Cougars scored the winning touchdown on a "Hail Mary" pass from true freshman quarterback Tanner Mangum to Mitch Matthews as time expired. "It creates a lot of momentum for them," Harsin said.
Harsin said that the victories by both Boise State and BYU last week enable him to see how both teams handle adversity. "Both sides have a better idea of where we are as a real team at this point," Harsin said.
Boise State and BYU have met on the football team five times, with Boise State holding a 4-1 advantage in the all-time series. The Broncos won last season in Albertsons Stadium, 55-30, while BYU won the last game in Provo, 37-20. The two schools have a yearly home-and home contract that carries into the 2023 season.
The Boise State-BYU game kicks off at 8:15 Saturday night in Provo, Utah.