Sports Main Feature

The Boise State Broncos were able to upset #24 Colorado State 82-78. With the win the Broncos have won five in a row and are tied for third in the MW standings.

Stay up to date on campus news at
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online. New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2015

The annual Beauty and the Beast event took place at Taco Bell Arena on Jan. 23. Here is a video recap of the event along with several interviews with coaches and players from both the wrestling and gymnastics team.

Stay up to date on campus news at
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online. New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2015

Senior Derrick Marks has averaged 19.5 points a game over the last two for the Broncos.

It has been a tough few weeks for the Boise State men’s basketball team.

The Broncos lost their leader in senior Anthony Drmic for the season with an ankle injury. The team has started conference play 0-2 and are the losers of three straight games including a heart breaker to Utah State.

“On that last play we defended it absolutely as good as we could,” head coach Leon Rice said.  “We got them out on what they wanted to do and they had to throw one up. The kid made a heck of shot.”

The Broncos have been on the cusp of winning those games only losing by a combined 10 points.

“It hurts and I don’t have anything else to say about it,” senior guard Derrick Marks said.  “I’m not going to sit back and keep thinking about it, I am just going to move on.”

Despite all the struggles the team is remaining resilient, believing they can turn things around.

“We have a tough group of guys that are going to compete,” Rice said.  “We are a team that is going to get better and that’s the way we have to approach it.”

A highlight for the Broncos during this stretch has been the play of Marks.  In Drmic’s absence Marks has averaged 19.5 points a game despite battling a sprained ankle.

“With the way he has been feeling it has been a pretty courageous effort on his part for putting us in positions to win those game,” Rice said.

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Broncos as they have tough games against Wyoming, UNLV, and New Mexico.

“It is a really tough stretch,” Rice said. “We don’t care though, we are just going to chunk it out and get ourselves better.”

The Broncos hit the court today Jan. 10 at 4 pm. on the road against the current MW leader Wyoming and are hoping to put all the tough bounces behind them.

“We can all get better from here and look forward to the next 16 games of conference and go from there,” sophomore forward Nick Duncan said.



Boise State students Ty Hawkins and Brandon Walton recap the Mountain West Championship game.

Stay up to date on campus news at
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online. New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton, Ty Hawkins
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2014

Boise State students Ty Hawkins and Brandon Walton recap the Boise State Utah State game.

Stay up to date on campus news at
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online. New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton, Ty Hawkins
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2014

Boise State students Ty Hawkins and Brandon Walton discuss the upcoming Boise State and Fresno State.

Stay up to date on campus news at
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online.
New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton, Ty Hawkins
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2014

Stay up to date on campus news at
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online. New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2014

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Boise State's Marisa Howard has slowly blossomed into one of the nation's best steeplechasers, despite overcoming a six week injury this winter.

While her teammates were running the streets and trails of Boise, redshirt junior Marisa Howard spent her winter in the last place she wanted: the pool.

 Following a successful 2013 cross country season, Howard entered her winter post-season break excited about the possibilities of the upcoming track season.

 While visiting her parents in mid-January earlier this year, Howard began to notice pain in her knee while running. After consulting with the team trainer, Howard took several days off to avoid further injury. After returning to Boise, several days turned to 10 days, and 10 days turned to six weeks.

 Over those six weeks, Howard had two MRIs, consulted with two doctors and two physical therapists, and received two cortisone shots, all the while trying to remain confident in the fact that she would be able to compete again.

 “I was crying every week it was so awful,” Howard said.

 To remain in shape, Howard cross-trained relentlessly, pool running and lap swimming for one to two hours every day.

Her coach, Corey Ihmels, who had dealt with his own set of injuries in his running career empathized with Howard and the frustrations of not being able to do something they loved.

“I tell them when they’re injured, ‘When you drive down the street and see someone running, do you want to get out and punch them in the face?’” Ihmels said. “I don’t want them to go through the things that I’ve gone through.”

With six weeks of treatment and still no improvement, Howard elected to start running again in March in order to not lose her entire outdoor season.

“At first it hurt a lot; I still deal with it today,” Howard said. “To this day we still have no clue what was wrong.”

Despite the pain Howard felt, she continued to train with the goal of qualifying for the national championships— regardless of the setback from her injury.

“I think on my side there was a lot of doubt but everyone else kept reassuring me it would work out,” Howard said.

 The confidence from those around her carried Howard through the season, giving her a victory in the steeplechase at the MWC Championships and a runner-up finish in the 5,000-meter.

The NCAA steeplechase final played out perfectly for Howard. A controlled pace that slowly strung out competitors put Howard in fifth place with 500 meters to go.

 Going over the water pit with 150 meters remaining, Howard was able to pass Rachel Johnson and Rachel Sorna to take second place – a feat she never could have thought imaginable.

 “I tried to get to the finish line as fast as I could,” Howard said. “Afterwards, talking to a lot of people, they said ‘Look at where you came from.’ It was so surreal to get there after not running for six weeks.”

 Her second place finish has only added to Howard and Ihmels’ excitement for the future. With both her and NCAA Champion Emma Bates returning for their senior seasons, expectations are high for the Broncos’ cross country team.

For Howard, she now has the confidence and belief that she can be an elite runner. With this confidence, she hopes she can qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The NFL Draft took place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City from Thursday, May 8 through Saturday, May 10, and several former Broncos saw their life long dreams come true as they were drafted in to the NFL.

 Former Boise State defensive end, Demarcus Lawrence, was projected as a potential first round pick on Thursday night. Lawrence’s name was not called Thursday night, but he didn’t have to wait long to move on the to the highest level of football.

 With the 34th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys drafted Lawrence, making him the seventh highest pick in school history. Lawrence is the seventh second-round pick and the ninth pick in the first two rounds in Boise State history.

 During his time at Boise State, Lawrence was named to the first team All-Mountain West in 2012 and 2013 and led Boise State defensive linemen in tackles both seasons.

 Joining Lawrence as fellow draftees over the weekend were former offensive linemen Matt Paradis and Charles Leno Jr.

 Paradis was the 31st pick of the sixth round (207 overall) by the 2014 Super Bowl runner-up Denver Broncos, while Leno Jr. was picked up by the Chicago Bears as the 31st pick in the seventh round (246 overall).

Former wide reciever Aaron Burks signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Falcons, late Saturday night.

Experiencing déjà vu can be uncomfortable to some. And rightfully so ­— repeating the same event in a Bill Murray Groundhog Day kind of way can be

Head coach Greg Patton and the Boise State men’s tennis team are starting to get used to the same old same old routine.

For the third straight year, Boise State men’s tennis defeated New Mexico to claim the Mountain West Championship and secure a trip to the NCAA Championship.

The Broncos snagged the doubles point to start the day, and finished with three singles victories to earn the 4-0 victory.

The NCAA Championship begins May 9 for the No. 25 ranked Broncos.

“(New Mexico) is sick of us, and they don’t like us anymore,”  coach Patton said.

The team point has been the most consistent form of success for Boise State this season, and against New Mexico, the Broncos won their 18th-straight doubles point. The pair of Brendan McClain and Garrett Patton cruised with an 8-5 victory at No. 2 doubles.

Boise State (28-4) hasn’t squandered a doubles point since losing to Oregon on the road on March 2.

“Doubles is all about collaboration, passion between two guys and about playing for each other,” Patton said. “Once we get the doubles point we know no one can touch us. And then it empowers the singles.”

After the team point is secured, the Broncos only have to split the six singles matches, something they are very confident in doing. That confidence comes from depth throughout the lineup and the success of the No. 3, four and five players.

Junior Garrett Patton has won 10 matches in a row while sophomore Toby Mitchell has won 12 in a row.

“Damn,” coach Patton said. “That’s impressive. These guys want to win and they’re hungry for that high.”

Boise State may have defeated New Mexico for the Mountain West Championship, but it was the win over Nevada, according to Coach Patton, which secured the title. The Broncos took down the Wolf Pack 4-2 to advance to the conference final.

Nevada also boasts arguably the most talented top-to-bottom roster in the Mountain West.

“Honestly Nevada was the best team in the conference,” coach Patton said. “Once we got past Nevada, I knew that if we won the doubles point there was no way (New Mexico) could touch us. (Nevada) didn’t play anyone, they could’ve beaten teams twice as good. That team is better than half of the teams that get into the NCAA’s.”

Now the Broncos move on to the NCAA Championship in pursuit of Boise State’s first Division I national championship. Patton and the Broncos have earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Championship in each of the three season they’ve been members of the Mountain West.

The last two seasons, Boise State has needed an at-large berth in order to slide into the NCAA’s. This season, however, the Broncos punched their ticket before the beginning of the conference championship.

“This year we knew we were getting in,” coach Patton said. “This is special.”

The Boise State gymnastics team is sending two members to the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics National Championships this weekend.

Despite not qualifying as a team, the Broncos are sending juniors Ciera Perkins and Kelsey Morris to the biggest stage of collegiate gymnastics.

“I’m excited. We are going against teams we haven’t competed against and girls we haven’t seen before,” Perkins said. “I’m just excited to go out there and show people who Boise State is and show them we have amazing talent and we can go to nationals next year.”

Both Perkins and Morris won their respective events to qualify for nationals: Perkins on floor exercise and Morris on uneven bars.

“Just being able to represent Boise State is such an honor,” Morris said.  “I want to put us on the map and let people know that we are out there.”

Perkins and Morris join a shortlist of national qualifiers in school history. Only seven other individuals have qualified for nationals.

“I’m so proud of them and I am super excited to see these two particular girls going to nationals,” co-head coach Tina Bird said.  “They are both leaders and work harder than anyone else in the gym.”

Morris became the first ever Bronco in school history to qualify for uneven bars. Morris is the first to go in floor exercise since Hannah Redmon did it back in 2010.

They are not letting all the attention and pressure that comes with making it to nationals get to them.

“The most important part for me is to take a moment and sit back and enjoy it,” Morris said. “I realize how lucky I am and how cool of an experience this is going to be.”

Whatever happens at nationals the girls are just happy to be able to have this opportunity.

“Pretty much go out there and have fun is the way I am looking at this,” Perkins said.  “Show people I’m happy to be there and realize this is a life experience that I will always remember.”

Both Morris and Perkins wish though they would be able to share this experience with their teammates.

“That’s one of the bittersweet parts of going to nationals — not being able to go there with our teammates,” Morris said. “But just knowing that they are supporting us and wishing us well will get us through the meet.”

Morris and Perkins attribute all their success this season to their team and will be competing for them.

“Without our teammates support we definitely wouldn’t be standing here,” Perkins said. “They definitely motivate us to be the best we can be.”

They know they are more than capable of being successful and know exactly what they need to do in order to make that a reality.

“We have done the work already,” Morris said. “Now it’s just a matter of going out there and executing it like we have all season.”

Perkins and Morris have cemented their legacies at Boise State and Bird sees the national championships as the perfect capstone.

“I’m expecting them to go in and do what they have been doing all season long and do the best routines they can do,” Bird said.  “When they do that no matter what the outcome is I will be happy with that.”

With most coaching changes, many fans expect the transition to be quick, seamless and yield immediate results.

Boise State fell far short of its Spring Game attendance goal of 20,000, as only 13,822 filled the stands.

Unfortunately, Saturday’s Spring Game offered a dose of reality to many Boise State fans expecting to see the full of extent of Bryan Harsin’s return to the glory days of Bronco football.

The annual Blue and Orange Spring Game saw both the offense and defense struggle during the game, with the first stringers pulling out a 21-7 win over the second team.

While the Spring Game brought many answers –such as strength along the defensive line as well as Jake Roh appearing as the missing link at tight end – many questions still remain unanswered.

“There was some good, some bad,” Harsin said following the game. “As you go back and forth a lot of things to work on and build from but plenty of positives
as well.”

Offensive coordinator Mike Sanford cemented Harsin’s comments with what he saw from the coaches box.

“It was a tale of two halves,” Sanford said. “We got a lot of things out of our offense, but we’re not where we need
to be.”

The conclusion of spring practice still leaves many questions for the coaching staff to answer in the coming months.

Who becomes the back-up to quarterback Grant Hedrick? Thomas Stuart or Ryan Finley?

Who gets carries behind Jay Ajayi in the backfield?

Will the offensive line continue to be the Broncos’ Achilles heel?

Neither Stuart or Finely created much separation on Saturday. While Finley showed his arm injury from last year won’t be an issue, Stuart showed flashes of brilliance and athleticism Finley couldn’t match.

Stuart tossed a costly interception to a wide-open Darren Lee to tighten the gap between himself and Finley.

Harsin, Sanford and Hedrick all agree there’s been tremendous growth from
the two.

With the struggles along the offensive line and one returning starter competing during spring practices, much of Boise State’s offense struggled.

Electric playmaking was soon killed by defensive pressure causing the offense to be unable to stretch out any drives.

“You want to sustain drives; it’s great to move the ball in the open field, anybody can do that,” Harsin said. “Can you do it back to back? Can you do it in the red zone? Can you move down the field? We’ve shown signs that we can do that, but we’re not there yet.”

The Broncos made jumps this spring in implementing Harsin and Sanford’s offense to a young and inexperienced team, but there is still a long way to go before Boise State is back to dominating defenses the way they used to.

One of the first things on Boise State head football coach Bryan Harsin’s mind appears to be showing appreciation.

 The opportunity to return to Boise State, his hometown school and alma mater, has not been an opportunity Harsin has taken lightly.

Harsin opened up April 5 scrimmage up to members of the Boise State faculty and students and spoke before the scrimmage of his appreciation of support the university and students have provided for his student-athletes.

The scrimmage would not be the only thing Harsin opened up to the university — two and a half hours before the scrimmage began, the Gene Bleymaier Football Complex and Bronco Stadium were filled with fans and university faculty.

According to ASBSU President Bryan Vlok, the event, dubbed On the Blue, was a combination of a several groups across campus together to begin planning the event before students left for spring break.

Vlok said the event was important to get the university more invested in the Broncos.

“I believe it is important for Boise State students, faculty and staff to tour the facilities and get on the blue to be able to get more invested in our Broncos,” Vlok said.

“I think we are taking steps to break down some walls between athletics and Boise State to become one united campus.”

Students and faculty were led on a brief tour of the Bleymaier Football Complex which took them through the team room and weight room before walking out of the tunnel onto the blue turf for an assortment of activities such as throwing drills, PAT attempts, pictures with the Buster Bronco mascot and cheerleaders, as well as photos with Harsin himself.

Freshman music education major Kaelin Ward enjoyed the opportunity to see things from the perspective of the Boise State players and coaches.

“It was really fun taking the tour,” Ward said. “Walking through the tunnel was a different experience to look at it from the players perspective.”

Roughly 600 individuals took the tour and participated on the blue turf while roughly 1,500 fans attended the scrimmage — an overall success for Vlok.

“My favorite part of this event was [everyone’s] reaction,” Vlok said. “To be able see how excited and appreciative they were of Football allowing them into their complex and getting to have an awesome experience on The Blue.”

Vlok hopes the event becomes a Boise State tradition and continues to grow in the coming years.

Check out our gallery for more photos from Student Day on the Blue.

ROBBY MILO/THE ARBITER - Boise State men's basketball coach Leon Rice debuted with a 77-58 win over Montana Tech on Friday.
ROBBY MILO/THE ARBITER - Boise State men's basketball coach Leon Rice debuted with a 77-58 win over Montana Tech on Friday.

There will be no need for Boise State to begin a search to replace its second major head coach this year after the university reached an agreement with head coach Leon Rice to remain at the school for the next five seasons.

Sunday afternoon Rice made the decision to remove his name from the coaching search at his alma mater Washington State and stay with Boise State.

Rice recently interviewed with the Cougars earlier this week to replace Ken Bone who was fired following a 10-21 record this past season.

Washington State director of athletics Bill Moos was willing to pay Rice the average Pac-12 salary of $1 million annually, a vast increase of Rice’s former contract of just over $480,000 per year.

Rice’s new five year contract with Boise State will feature a $100,000 pay increase to $596,573 for the 2015 fiscal year according to a release from the Boise State Athletic Department. Rice’s salary will also increase by 3 percent over the remaining four years of the deal.

Boise State will automatically extend Rice’s contract by one year every season the Broncos win 18 or more games and earn a berth in the NCAA tournament under another new revision in the contract.

The new contract must still be approved by the Idaho State Board of Education before the deal becomes official.

Boise State athletic director Mark Coyle is excited to have retained the fastest coach in Bronco history to reach the 50 win mark.

“Leon Rice has done an outstanding job directing our men’s basketball program and we look forward to many more successful seasons,” Coyle said in a release from Boise State.  “We feel the best years of this program are ahead of us and we are very excited Leon will be leading our men’s team.”

Rice has gone 77-54 in his four—year tenure as the Broncos head coach after previously serving as an assistant at Gonzaga for 12 years.

The Broncos went 21-13 this past season and failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament despite high expectations for a team that returned all five starters from the previous seasons.

Despite the struggles, Rice spoke highly of the direction the program is headed through a press release.

“I am really excited for the future of Bronco basketball,” Rice commented. “There has been a great commitment to grow this program. There’s a commitment from our administration, our student-athletes and our fans. That’s what has me looking forward to continuing to build what we have here at Boise State.”

A taste of the NCAA Championships, albeit a first round loss in singles, has only left Andy Bettles hungry for more.

Individual success and a shot at redemption in singles is not what drives Bettles through his final year as a member of the men’s tennis team; Bettles is instead motivated by the chance of making program history in the team competition.

The irony of the matter is that Bettles is the driving force for a team currently ranked No. 19 in the nation.

In matches against Virginia Commonwealth and Clemson this spring, the Broncos found themselves down several matches before Bettles took the court. The fire from head coach Greg Patton’s senior was the spark of hope for Boise State to secure victories in both contests.

“What it does is give this incredible sense of hope to the team,” Patton said. “We’ve been down against other schools that look like they got us down in between the ropes, but then we get some momentum to bring it back. What was the thing that started the fire? It was Andy.”

Facing one of his toughest opponents thus far, Virginia Tech’s Amerigo Contini who is ranked No. 24 in the nation, Bettles was quickly down 5-1 in the third frame. Bettles would battle back making the score 5-2, 5-3, 5-4 and soon 5-5 before eventually losing 7-5.

Despite the loss, Bettles’ efforts were enough to start a fire within the Blue and Orange that led to a team victory against No. 46 Virginia Tech.

“He’s probably one of the greatest warriors that you’ll ever see,” Patton said. “There’s been  many times he’s been down or on the verge of absolute disaster and catastrophe and he somehow wills himself back into a match.”

What drives the resilience—a No. 60 individual ranking in the nation and countless comeback victories? Bettles’ teammates.

“Just sticking in there and playing for my teammates gives me an extra drive to get things to happen,”
Bettles said.

According to Patton, there are three things that make Bettles an elite tennis player: a sound mind, a strong body and a courageous heart.

“He’s another Spartan at the front of the 300 Spartans ready to take on the vast horde of heathens,”
Patton said.

The drive and demand of one’s self Bettles displays everyday in practice has infected a Broncos squad that is on the verge of making program and national history after beginning the year
ranked No. 48.

In Patton’s mind, without Bettles, Boise State is not the same team.

“This is a different team without Andy,” Patton said. “We’re not just talking about the wins that gets, we’re talking about the presence that he gets.”

With only two months remaining in a standout Boise State career, Bettles has not taken anything for granted, simply enjoying every minute he has left to be a Bronco ­— looking only to lead Boise State on a deep run at the national level.

“It was an honor to get to NCAA in singles, but I’m always team focused in those goals,” Bettles said. “It’s more about the team rank and everything. If the team does well I do well.”

Devin Ferrell
Boise State Womens Basketball V. Air Force Devin Ferrell

The Broncos have had a successful season in their 2013-2014 campaign and it continued with a win over Air Force at Taco Bell Arena last Friday night.

The Broncos fought hard and pulled ahead early in the first half, ending the game with a score of 75-44.

Miquelle Askew, sophomore forward, helped lead her team to their final home victory putting up 17 points shooting 8-of-11 from the floor and getting the team high of seven rebounds.

“Obviously I couldn’t do it without my teammates,” Askew said. “It’s not like I don’t bring the ball down. Without them, I don’t think it would have been possible.”

By the end of the first half Askew had already put up 10 points, battling it out underneath the hoop for the rebounds and jump shots that helped the Broncos pull ahead early in the game.

When second half started, the Broncos were refreshed with an entirely new game plan: work the ball inside to Askew.

“From the beginning, she was 5-6 and she was getting fouled a lot, but we knew that if we just kept trying to get it into her she would make it count,” freshman guard Brittney Pahukoa said. “That was our goal coming out of halftime too.”

The cohesiveness and understanding between all the girls showed on the court.

“I have never been on a team where we play more cohesive, better together then what we do now,” Askew said. “We are all friends on and off the court. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

The fan base for women’s basketball at Boise State has steadily been growing throughout the season and been supportive for the Broncos.

“Our crowds have been growing as the season’s being going on, and we’ve gotten better and improved. It’s always a lot more fun to play with a bigger crowd,” Askew said.

The crowd did play a big part in the game as well with the defensive cheers, the band pumping the crowd up and the wave going around the arena to help push the Broncos toward their victory.

This was the last home game for the Broncos. They will be playing in the 2014 Reese’s Mountain West Women’s Basketball Championship in Las Vegas, Nev.

The tournament starts on Monday, March 10 when the Broncos take on the Wyoming Cowgirls on Tuesday, March 11.

Boise State head football coach Bryan Harsin held an hour long press conference where he spoke to the local media on March 6 to preview the Bronco’s upcoming spring practice.

Below are highlights from Harsin’s first spring press conference as Boise State’s head coach.

Harsin opened up by speaking about former Bronco defensive lineman Randy Trautman, who passed away on March 3 at the age of 53. Harsin spoke highly of the former walk-on from Caldwell who helped lead Boise State to the 1980 NCAA Division 1- AA Championship. Trautman is the only Bronco enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.

“[Trautman] embodied what it means to be a Bronco,” Harsin said.

– The Broncos wrapped up winter workouts today. Harsin said the players were “grinding pretty hard,” and strength and conditioning coach Jeff Pitman has done a great job thus far

The coaching staff had the players run decks in the rain at 5:45 in the morning before surprising them with a buffet breakfast in the Stueckle Sky Center.

“They’ve worked extremely hard,” Harsin said.

– Harsin detailed the schedule for spring practices, which begin on March 10. The Broncos will continue with practices on the 12 and 14. A closed scrimmage will then be held under the lights at Bronco Stadium on March 16. Practice will continue on the 18 before yet another closed scrimmage on March 20 before students vacate campus for spring break. Quarterbacks will not be live in either scrimmage.

The first time fans will be able to see the Broncos play will be April 12. Harsin hopes to get 20,000 fans out to Bronco Stadium for the annual Spring Game. The Spring Game will be an offense vs defense scrimmage.

“I think it’d be great to have a great environment,” Harsin said.

Another open scrimmage, geared towards students and the faculty of Boise State, will occur in April 5.

Harsin said multiple deans have already visited the Bleymaier Football Center to speak to the team.

– Boise State will be without the services of tight end Holden Huff and linebacker Andrew Pint for the season opener against Ole Miss on Aug. 28 in the Georgia Dome. Huff and Pint were suspended for a violation of team rules.

— Eight Broncos will be held out of spring practice due to injuries. Rees Odhiambo, Travis Saxton, Chanceller James, Ben Weaver, Taylor Pope, Cameron Hartsfield, Alec Dhaenens and Andrew Tereck will miss spring practices because of undisclosed injuries.

Harsin said there is a possibility several of the injured athletes can still participate in individual drills, but none will do team drills or play in any of the scrimmages this spring.

— In the months since being hired, Harsin has grown close to figuring out what type of offense the Broncos will run. Harsin said the Broncos will use an up-tempo, no huddle offense that will have the quarterback line up under center—in the pistol formation used heavily last season–as well as in shotgun. It appears Boise State will be a melting pot from Harsin’s experience at Arkansas State last season and that  of offensive coordinator Mike Sanford’s when he was an offensive assistant at Stanford.

Harsin also said there will be a larger focus on the running game this season behind the strength of Jay Ajayi.

“The core still will be running the football on offense,” Harsin said. “To be a successful team, to be a championship team, you have to run the ball.”

– Boise State’s shift to a no huddle, up-tempo offense won’t be hindered by the proposed 10 second “slow down” rule. The NCAA rules committee recently tabled discussion on the rule that would force the offense to allow 10 seconds to run off the play clock before they are allowed to snap the ball.

 “Not a lot of fun to sit that long is it?” Harsin joked after looking at his watch for 10 seconds waiting to respond to the question. “I’m glad it didn’t pass to say the least.”

– Grant Hedrick and Tommy Stuart will take the majority of the reps at quarterback this spring, according to Harsin. Harsin feels lucky that the Broncos were able to land another quarterback in Stuart after Nick Patti transferred earlier this year.

Redshirt freshman Ryan Finley will be in limited participation during the spring as he continues to rehab his injured shoulder. A plan for Finely’s return has been set by the coaching staff that includes a set number of throws each day. Finely will do some individual drills, but will not participate in any team segments.

“He’s done a great job in our drills,” Harsin said. “I think he’s hungry to get out there. I know he wants to be in everything, but that just isn’t going to happen (yet).”

At the end of spring the coaching staff will re-evaluate Finley’s situation.  The Broncos will have depth at the quarterback position as they signed Alex Ogle this spring.

“Alex needs to be prepared come summer,” Harsin said.

— Harsin commented briefly on the Broncos regular season schedule.

“First five games we have a lot of traveling to do,” Harsin said. “Ole Miss is a good football team, I have no idea about Connecticut and what the travel is like for that. I like the fact that we have good teams at home.”

Boise State will also face Louisiana-Lafayette, a familiar opponent for Harsin, at home on Sept. 20.

— Harsin as well briefly commented on the situation of Nick Patti—the only player to transfer out of the program after Harsin’s hiring. Harsin said Patti’s decision was mostly personal, and that Boise is a special place, but not everyone fits in here.

“[Patti] being from Florida, there was an opportunity for him with the coaching change here,” Harsin said.

— On recruiting, Harsin said the coaching staff is constantly recruiting, but they are unsure if they will use the three remaining scholarships they have available for this year.

Sophomore Kayla Reinhart stepped up for her team when they needed her the most.

“I was really proud of her stepping up. She is a very good player and a great kid,” head coach Gordy Presnell said. “We are lucky to have her.”

She played a vital role in the Broncos’ 72-59 home victory over the Wyoming Cowgirls.

“It feels really good coming off the loss to Fresno— that was a tough one,” Reinhart said. “It’s really exciting getting this win and holding our position in the Mountain West standings right now.”

Reinhart started in place of fellow sophomore Lexie Der who suffered a season ending injury.

Reinhart would have had a career game for the Broncos.

“I wish I didn’t have to start for Lexie because she is such a big part of this team and we are going to miss her,” Reinhart said. “I’m hoping I can step up and fill her shoes.”

In her first ever start as a Bronco, Reinhart led her team in points with 13. She was perfect from the three point line and also added three rebounds and one steal for the Broncos.

“It was a good performance for me,” Reinhart said. “I love to shoot the ball and it was going down for me tonight.”

It wasn’t apparent in her performance, but Reinhart was in jeopardy of missing the game for the Broncos as well. She had been battling the flu all week.

“Unbelievable performance,” Presnell said. “She hadn’t practiced and had a 103 degree temperature the day before yesterday, but gradually her fever went away and she stepped up for us big time.”

Despite not feeling her best, Reinhart went out there and gave it her all in the win.

“She had a great performance,” teammate Deanna Weaver said. “She had the flu but she came in and muscled up and played hard and kept knocking down shots. She just played great and it was really exciting.”

Reinhart this season has been the best bench player for Boise State. She has averaged 6.5 points per game and was the obvious choice to come in and fill the void left by Der.

“I know she is capable of playing amazing and know she can do a lot more,” Weaver said. “We are just happy to have her here and have her playing.”

Reinhart will now become an integral player for Boise State. Her play will be key to how the Broncos finish the season.

“It’s important for me to know when I can get my shots and when I can get somebody else open and get them a shot,” Reinhart said. “That’s a very important thing for me to do.”

With the win the Broncos remain in third place in the Mountain West and are hoping to close the season on a high note before Mountain West Tournament play starts.

“I think it’s really important for us to keep working hard,” Reinhart said. “Everyone is tired but you just got to muscle through because this is the tough part of the season and the most important part, so we just have to keep pushing hard.”


Ryan Watkins Devin Ferrell
Ryan Watkins goes for a lay in against Wyoming on Jan. 11 at Taco Bell Arena. Devin Ferrell

In a thrilling overtime victory that ended in a somewhat controversial call, senior forward Ryan Watkins helped to seal the deal for the Broncos with another double-double performance, his 13th of the season.

Watkins’ night was overshadowed by Derrick Marks’ overtime brilliance but in no way was his performance anything less than spectacular. Watkins finished the game with 22 points, 15 rebounds on 9-13 shooting.

“We know now, no matter how much we’re down we can still come back,” Watkins said. “We just know we got to keep fighting and that’s what we did.”

Ryan Watkins Devin Ferrell
(Devin Ferrell)

Watkins was held his own against the much taller 6-foot-10 freshman Christian Wood for the Rebels. The Broncos don’t have the luxury of having a lot of size like most squads, so for much of the season, it is Watkins who has had to guard opponent’s tallest player.

“It’s always going to be a battle when you’re playing against talent like that, you’ve just got to fight and you’ve just got to bring it,” Watkins said.

With the Broncos trailing by nine points with 8:44 left in the game, Watkins pulled down a missed rebound and laid it in while drawing a foul. The play ignited the Broncos and the crowd to bring the Broncos within four points. Eventually the Broncos would force overtime where Watkins and Marks fought to keep the Broncos in the game.

This is something that Watkins has been doing for the Broncos all season long and his career. He gets his hands dirty and is able to provide the second effort and win most hustle plays. Of Watkins 15 total rebounds 7 of them were offensive.

“It doesn’t matter who is on the inside, Ryan is going to come to play, he’s going to play hard,” Marks said. “With the stuff he’s doing it sounds bad but I expect that of him but he just keeps on surprising the world.”

When the game was over, the one who had logged the most minutes for the Broncos was none other than Watkins, finishing with 41 minutes played.

Even with the visible fatigue on his face, Watkins was able to stay focused and come up with key plays down the stretch.

“We got a lot of games left and you never know what the game has in store for you,” Watkins said.

Cody Finney / The Arbiter

If all goes according to the way The Corral has planned, then UNLV may wish they could wear earplugs during Saturday’s crucial Mountain West game against Boise State.

The Corral, the official student section of Boise State, has spent the past week making a large push to reach their goal of 3,000 students in attendance for Saturday’s game.

Dubbed Project 3K, if 3,000 students are in attendance, it will shatter the Boise State student attendance record of 2,408 set earlier this year against San Diego State.

The Broncos lost that game 67-65.

Taco Bell Arena has averaged 1,084 students in attendance during games contested during the academic calendar.

The decision to make a push for the 3,000 mark during the UNLV game was to generate some buzz at the end of the season according Lindsay Roberts, a graduate marketing assistant.

“UNLV is always a big competitor of ours,” Roberts said. “We want to create as much buzz as possible for the end of the season.”

In an effort to fill Taco Bell Arena’s student section to its full capacity, tickets for the student section will be withheld on game day instead of being released to the general public.

Project 3K will also be The Corral’s third attempt of doing a flash mob.

The flash mob will occur at the under 12-minute first half media timeout and will start with the Buster Bronco mascot on the court dancing to Bon Jovi’s hit song, “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

Jayson Davis, a junior social science major, is looking forward to an improved flash mob after being disappointed by the last one against Wyoming last season.

“My experience with last year flash mob wasn’t the best,” Davis said. “This year shows promise. The dance is simple but I feel will still look great. Students are getting ready for it and they’re excited to cheer on our Boise State Broncos as they beat the UNLV Rebels.”

The official color scheme of the game will be an Orange-Out.

Get Involved will also continue their trend of giving away prizes before the game begins.

Tip-off is at 6:05 p.m. MT, but all students should expect to come early, be loud, and stay late.

Rivalries are what make sports truly great.

The Boise State wrestling team will take on their biggest rival tomorrow night when they host conference foe Oregon State.

“They are our biggest rival and we have been able to match up with them really well in the past,” head coach Greg Randall said.

Many people know about the football team’s rivalry with the Beavers but not many know of the heated rivalry between the two wrestling teams.

“They are our rivals,” heavyweight J.T. Felix said. “Honestly we can’t stand them and they can’t stand us.”

Both Boise State and Oregon State have been among the top teams in the PAC-12 conference in the past seasons, each of them becoming a staple in the top 25.

In fact Oregon State and Boise State have finished 1-2 respectively in the last two PAC-12 championships.

The Broncos are hoping to end the Beavers recent streak of PAC-12 championships and know a win over them to end the regular season would certainly help.

“We have got to be ready to wrestle for seven minutes and win the matches that we are supposed to win,” Randall said.

Boise State already owns a victory over Oregon State this season. The Broncos defeated the Beavers up in Corvallis 19-18. Boise State would like nothing more than to sweep the season series over their bitter rivals.

“We beat them at home and it was a blast,” Felix said. “I got the pin and shut the crowd up and we won by a point.”

Despite the fact that the Broncos already own a win over the Beavers, they come into this match as the underdogs.

“I think we can beat them again,” Felix said. “We have a different mindset going into the Oregon State dual.”

This season has been a struggle to say the least.

Since the early season win over the Beavers Boise State has lost six out of their last eight duals and are currently a dismal 3-7 on the season.

In addition the Broncos have fallen out of the top 25, a place that Boise State has been accustomed to.

The struggles of the Broncos are due to the fact that they just haven’t been able to find any momentum this season and have also been plagued by a slew of injuries.

The Beavers on the other hand have won six of their last eight duals and are currently ranked 22nd in the nation, leading the PAC-12.

Even with the struggles and hardships this season the Broncos know that a win here would give them the momentum they need heading into the
PAC-12 championships next month and help turn around a season that has been full of disappointment.

“The winner of this match will probably be the front runner going into the PAC-12 tournament,” Randall said. “So it’s important that we perform well and get away with a win because this is our
last dual.”

During the era of head coach Leon Rice, Boise State basketball has become one defined by perimeter shooting.

With long range specialists like senior guard Jeff Elorriaga, and versatile guards like junior Anthony Drmic, the Broncos have dominated three-point efficiency.

Heading into this season, the Broncos were the only team in the 2013 NCAA Tournament to return all five starters to their squad.

With expectations for another clinical season from beyond the arc, it has been the Boise State posts who have stolen the spotlight, specifically senior forward Ryan Watkins and freshman forward Nick Duncan.

Standing at 6-foot-9, 229 pounds, Watkins is the biggest body on the Boise State roster. At that size, Boise State is significantly undersized down in the post against almost any team they go up against this season.

Watkins has thrived however, establishing himself as one of the best rebounders in the country.

“It’s so special as a coach to get to see a kid with just continuous improvement all the way to his senior year,” Rice said. “It’s just really impressive and it shows you how much character this kid has and that hunger to get better.”

Watkins has posted a double-double in nine games this season. Averaging 10.7 rebounds a game, Watkins is the best offensive rebounder in the conference, outpacing the next player on the list by more than 10 rebounds.

Those second chances have been vital to keeping the Broncos in games against powerhouses like San Diego State and New Mexico.

“What’s maybe lost on it is how unselfish it is,” Rice said. “A lot of guys play hard when they’re trying to score, but he’s playing hard for the team on the defensive end and rebounding the ball.”

On the opposite block from Watkins during the past several games has been Duncan.

Getting over 30 minutes of playing time against both Utah State and New Mexico in the absence of junior guard Igor Hadziomerovic, Duncan showcased his skills in spreading the floor, knocking down five three-point shots in each contest.

“He’s really important to this team and this program moving forward,” Rice said. “I think we’ve got a great one there that is just going to get better and better and be a weapon in this league for a very long time.”

With extra attention being focused on Elorriaga this season, the door has opened up for Duncan to be a feature in the Boise State offense as a freshman. Extra minutes for Duncan could be key for the Broncos building a foundation for the future.

The versatility of the Boise State post game could be important in the Broncos making a push in the second half of their conference schedule to make the return trip to the NCAA Tournament.