Boise State was handed their second defeat of the season Saturday night in a nail-biting 21-19 home loss to San Diego State.
With the loss, the Broncos (7-2, 4-1 MWC) relinquished their lead in the Mountain West to the Aztecs and Fresno State, and will now need help in order to take home honors of conference champs.
In a game highlighted by an opening kickoff by the Aztecs that sucked the air out of Bronco Stadium in the opening seconds, and a dominant performance by Aztec sophomore running back Adam Amuena who went for 127 yards rushing and a touchdown, the Broncos are looking at the areas for improvement.
“The closest games are going to be decided by the smallest details,” said Head Football Coach Chris Petersen.
Looking forward to this weekend’s matchup with a familiar foe and current Mountain West cellar dweller, Hawaii (1-7, 0-5 MWC), the Broncos will be looking to bounce back and get a confidence boosting win going into the final two games of the season.
While Hawaii doesn’t look formidable on paper, Petersen knows coming off a loss, his Broncos could be vulnerable and his task is to keep them focused and in check.
“I know that team (Hawaii) can beat us,” said Petersen. “There is no question about it.”
Offensively, the Broncos struggled mightily vs. San Diego State. With redshirt junior quarterback Joe Southwick throwing for just 164 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and redshirt senior running back D.J. Harper totaling just 81-yards rushing and two touchdowns, the Broncos are focusing on the fundamentals and execution when they have possession.
With a Hawaii defense that is allowing 42 points a game and ranked 122 in the nation in the category, the Broncos know they have an opportunity to get into a good rhythm.
“We’re there, we just need to finish and do what we’re taught and I think we’ll be good,” said senior wide receiver Chris Potter. “I think if we can hone in on those details, we’ll be fine.”
Hawaii brings in a defense that boasts a defensive back who leads the Mountain West in passes broken up, in junior cornerback and kick returner Mike Edwards.
“He’s a very dynamic and electric guy and has a great feel for returning kicks,” said Petersen. “He has that quick twitch to go with it and cover guys and make a lot of plays”.
Defensively and on special teams the Broncos really seem to show holes. Being shorthanded at defense with starters like sophomore defensive back Lee Hightower being suspended indefinitely and standout senior defensive tackle Mike Atkinson and sophomore cornerback Bryan Douglas both out for the season with ACL injuries, the Broncos will be looking for young players to step up and perform.
On special teams, executing the details is what Coach Petersen will get his team to get dialed in this week for their matchup with the Warriors “Our guys have been great, because most of the times they win those battles,” Petersen said.
Coach Petersen’s biggest point of emphasis is putting last week behind and keeping the team focused on what they know they can do.
“It comes back to us playing hard and executing,” Petersen said.
That Broncos look to get back on track this weekend at Hawaii and move to 8-2 on the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. local time and can be seen on the NBC Sports Network.