Opinion: Boise State game day experience compared to other universities

Broncos rush the field at the BSU vs. UTEP home opener game, 2021 season.
Photo by Corissa Campbell | The Arbiter

University of Central Florida (UCF) Game Day Experience

The Bounce House and the UCF Knights’ fanbase certainly lived up to their reputation as loud. The Knights charged to take the lead and ultimately won 36-31 against the Broncos during the highly-anticipated matchup on Sept. 2. 

Unfortunately, their student section behaved poorly with unsportsmanlike behavior, much to the disappointment of other University of Central Florida (UCF) fans.

My dad and I attended the Boise State vs. UCF football game, and I was blown away at how beautiful the landscaping and academic buildings were at UCF on our way to the Bronco Bash, the Broncos’ tailgate.

Although we got some looks from UCF fans throughout the game, we also got some compliments about our game day outfits and our willingness to travel from Idaho to cheer on the Broncos. One fan went so far as to offer us some beer and take a photo with us. 

During pregame and throughout the game, the Knight student section was chanting vulgar words at the Broncos that could likely be heard from outside the stadium. Some UCF fans around us were apologetic and voiced their displeasure with the behavior.  

The UCF student section showed more unsportsmanlike conduct in the second half when they started a loud wave while a Boise State football player was injured on the field. 

“It was different. I have never seen that type of behavior,” said Bronco fan Blu Kaboy, who has sat in the South End Zone since the 2000s. “It was the worst I think I’ve seen. It’s sad.”

After the game, the same UCF fans from earlier apologized about their student section’s behavior and stated we were some of the classiest road fans they’ve encountered in the 80 games they’ve been there.

Overall, the UCF fans were passionate, including the student section outside of the unsportsmanlike conduct, and ensured that the Bounce House lived up to its name.

Boise State Home Game vs the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP)

Broncos rush the field at the BSU vs. UTEP home opener game, 2021 season.
[Photo of the Broncos rushing the field for the home opener against UTEP in Albertsons Stadium]
Photo by Corissa Campbell | The Arbiter

The newly revamped Bronco game day experience was a major success, with a full-capacity crowd in Albertsons Stadium that turned out to be the most fans at a Bronco home opener since 2016, a little under 35,200.

I was excited to enjoy the pregame and see Bronco Nation tailgating in full force again. It was awesome to be inside the stadium for the first time since 2019, and it did not disappoint.

I loved that some traditions were continued: the Buster Bronco pump up and run out, being loud on every down, the “Fourth Quarter Blitz” for The Corral and the “Boise State” side-to-side chant.

I really enjoyed the revamped experience. A video played about how Bronco Nation has led the nation in creating false starts.

Bronco Nation was electric, yelling the chorus of the Boise State Fight Song. It was phenomenal hearing the Blue Thunder Marching Band perform during the game, along with their halftime performance and seeing the Boise State Spirit Squad in action at home again.

It was also great seeing and hearing The Corral loud and proud during the game. They definitely brought energy and passion to help fuel the Broncos to a victory.

Overall, it was an excellent game day experience for head coach Andy Avalos’ homecoming and first career coaching win, dominating 54-13 over the UTEP Miners.

Overall Game Day Experiences

Comparatively, I’d say that Bronco Nation was louder, more passionate, more sportsmanlike and more faithful than Knight Nation. Unlike the Knights’ student section, there was no audible unsportsmanlike behavior from Bronco Nation nor The Corral.

In comparison, Bronco Nation was louder throughout the whole game, especially when Broncos were on defense on first and second downs instead of just being loud on third downs.

Knight Nation only caused around one false start for the Bronco offense, whereas Bronco Nation caused around three false starts for UTEP.

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