Boise State (1-1) shook off their Washington-woes from opening weekend to defeat Tennessee-Martin 63-14 in front of a color-coordinated crowd.
Redshirt senior quarterback Joe Southwick threw his first five touchdown passes of the season, accounting for 234 yards on 17-of-25 passing for the Broncos. He didn’t throw a single interception, and was pulled from the game early in the third quarter after throwing his fifth touchdown pass of the game.
Redshirt sophomore running back Jay Ajayi rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries against the Skyhawk defense on Saturday afternoon.
Tennessee-Martin (1-1) quarterback Dylan Favre – nephew of future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre – had one passing touchdown and three interceptions for the Skyhawks.
“I was just pleased how the guys worked all week, and just got better from last week,” Boise State head coach Chris Petersen said following the win. “It’s always a working progress. I think we learned a lot of things from the last game we played.”
Boise State’s early success allowed Petersen to integrate second and third string quarterbacks Grant Hedrick and Nick Patti throughout the second half. Hedrick had a 50-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, while Patti ran the offense for three drives in the fourth quarter.
In game experience is hard to come by for second and third string quarterbacks, especially early in the season. Southwick was happy to watch his fellow quarterbacks get some extra reps under center.
“(Hedrick’s run) was awesome,” Southwick said. “It was great for him to get in there and get some reps. I’m so happy for him as a fellow quarterback.”
Following Boise State’s season-opening loss to Washington, Petersen pointed to the play of Southwick and the receiving core as specific areas the Broncos needed to improve.
Southwick targeted six different receivers, with sophomore Shane Williams-Rhodes, redshirt junior Matt Miller and senior Aaron Burkes all finishing with more than three receptions. Williams-Rhodes led all Boise State receivers with 89-yards and two touchdowns.
Williams-Rhodes is still recovering from a fractured hand, which he suffered during fall camp, but he explained after the game that he feels completely comfortable. He is ready to increase his role with the Broncos’ offense moving forward.
“(My hand) felt great,” Williams-Rhodes said. “I felt like I got more opportunities and just took advantage of them.”
Boise State’s defense was without NFL prospect defensive lineman Demarcus Lawrence, who was suspended for one game for disciplinary issues. This is the third time in two years that Petersen has suspended Lawrence
Despite the repeated offenses, Petersen said Lawrence will rejoin the team tomorrow.
The Broncos needed a strong performance against Tennessee-Martin after their heartbreaking loss to Washington. The entire team is already making strides to prepare for next week’s Friday night matchup against Air Force at Bronco Stadium when the Broncos open up play in the Mountain West Conference.