Questions at Quarterback: Did Boise State make the right decision benching Bachmeier?

Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

There are 12 minutes left in the second quarter. Your team is down 17 points and your four-year starting quarterback threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. What do you do in this situation?

This scenario occurred on Sept. 3 when the Boise State Broncos played against Oregon State University, where they decided to bench senior quarterback Hank Bachmeier and give redshirt freshman Taylen Green a chance on the field.

This singular personnel change turned Boise State football upside down, with fans and media split on whether or not Boise State made the right decision and what the team should do going forward.

[Tweet from Bronco News Station owner B.J. Rains (@BJRains).]

Fans and reporters were tweeting two different perspectives on this move all throughout the game. They were either blaming the coaches for pulling Bachmeier out too early, or praising the coaches for making the right decision.

[Tweet from Broncos fan Liam Blutman (@Blutman27).]

Despite the backlash, head coach Andy Avalos made it clear that he firmly believes the team made the correct decision.

“Given the situation with how many turnovers we had and our lack of offensive production, we had to make an adjustment,” Avalos said after the Oregon State game. “[Bachmeier] never got himself into a rhythm. He threw into double coverage, and he was holding the ball too long in the pocket.”

During his time on the field, Green completed 19 of his 28 passes (68%) for 155 passing yards, one interception and a passer rating of 107.2 against Oregon State. He also led the team with 102 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns after scoring on a 74-yard run in the third quarter.

“Taylen got his opportunity to go in there and we were able to adjust some things and get some drives going,” Avalos said. “One of the biggest [things] is his ability to extend plays with his legs, but we were excited he took what the defense gave him and stayed on most of his progressions.”

The performance of both quarterbacks in this game caused a position battle between the players for the starting spot ahead of their matchup against New Mexico, according to Avalos.

Prior to the start of the game against the Lobos, the Broncos named Bachmeier as their starter.

Bachmeier went 16 out of 27 (59%) for 170 yards, three touchdown passes, one interception and a 141.4 passer rating against New Mexico. 

“Hank is a great guy, a great teammate and we know Hank will get the work done,” sixth-year linebacker Ezekiel Noa said. “We all make mistakes and Hank was the first one to really own up to his mistakes and it showed today in the game and in the preparation he had throughout the week.”

The team played Green for one snap but did not record any stats. 

[Tweet from Idaho Press Boise State sports reporter Jordan Kaye (@jordankaye_23).]

Despite naming Bachmeier as the starter, fans made it clear that they believe Green should have been given more in-game opportunities.

[Tweet from Broncos fan Andrew Feraci (@andrew_feraci).]

Boise State will play its first home game this weekend against UT-Martin with Bachmeier as their starting quarterback. Whether the Broncos decide to play Bachmeier, Green or both throughout the season remains to be seen.

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