The nationally ranked no. 21 Boise State Broncos quarterback carousel continued in their matchup against the no. 9 Brigham Young University Cougars.
Regular starter quarterback Hank Bachmier was out for the second week in a row for undisclosed reasons. Redshirt-junior Jack Sears started the game for the Broncos, playing 10 snaps before being sent to the sideline by officials to be evaluated in the medical tent. Sears was sent to the locker room and did not return to the game.
Freshman Cade Fennegan stepped in as signal caller for the Broncos. Fennegan made his collegiate debut Oct. 31 against Air Force, only playing two snaps.
The Cougars are the first ranked team the Broncos have played this season and were their only regular-season loss of the 2019 season. Similar to this year’s game in 2019, the Broncos were forced to start their back-up quarterback after Bachmier was unable to play.
The Broncos struggled on offense in the first quarter, posting 141-yards of offense to the Cougars’ 245. The Broncos also had two turnovers, both coming from Fennegan. Boise State’s defense kept the team in the game holding the Cougars to a four-and-out in Bronco territory and blocking a PAT. Going into the locker room at the half, the Cougars had a 16-3 lead.
The Cougars received the ball to start the second half. They drove 86-yards down the field leading to a 5-yard throwing touchdown from Heisman candidate Zach Wilson. Led by Wilson, the Cougars would go on to score two more third quarter touchdowns, giving them a 38-3 lead.
Broncos Head Coach Bryan Harsin shared his thoughts on what went wrong throughout the course of the game.
“We wanted to run the ball, that was part of the plan. We wanted to run the ball, every game we want to run the ball. We were not able to do it very effectively and we got ourselves behind, so we were throwing more to try and create some bigger plays. That is not the plan we want to operate with,” Harsin said.
Fifth-string quarterback Andy Peters made his collegiate debut for the Broncos in the third quarter. Peters went to Timberline High School in Boise and went 4-8 on passes for a total of 28 yards.
Fennegan closed the game out for the Broncos, throwing their only touchdown of the game on a 52-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Khalil Shakir. After the touchdown, the Broncos successfully recovered an onside kick leading to another touchdown pass to Shakir, pulling the Broncos back to 45-17 with 9:07 left on the game clock. Shakir scored twice in ten game seconds.
After the score, the Broncos attempted and failed to recover another onside kick. The game ended with the Cougars on top 51-17. The Broncos move to a 2-1 record on the season.
Defensive captain and linebacker Riley Whimpey finished the game with a team high of nine tackles. Whimpey was dissatisfied with how he and his team performed.
“I felt like tonight that there’s a lot of responsibility that I had in how we played and you know I take full responsibility in that. I felt that I wasn’t as consistent as I needed to and as a leader I needed to do that,” Whimpey said.
Shakir finished the game with 10 receptions, 139-yards and two touchdowns. Fennegan completed 15 of his 26 passes, and threw for two touchdowns and one interception.
Shakir shared his thoughts on how Fennegan performed throughout the game in a post game press conference.
“What he did well was the flow of the game, the way that it was going. Obviously, things weren’t going our way and he stepped in and handled it pretty well, demand in the hurdle. Under pressure he played well,” Shakir said.
The Broncos’ next opponent will be a rare Thursday night game on Nov. 12, against Colorado State. It is unknown who will serve as the Broncos’ quarterback or who will be available to play.