Coming off their bye week in their first road conference game of the 2019 season, the No. 16 Broncos handily defeated the UNLV Rebels 38-13 on Saturday, Oct. 5 in Las Vegas.
In a game that proved to be no match for Boise State, the Broncos proved why they are sitting atop the Mountain West Conference.
For the first time all season, Boise State was able to capitalize early by putting up the first score of the game. After UNLV went three and out on their opening drive, the Broncos marched 70 yards down the field. The efficient drive was capped off by a two-yard touchdown pass from true freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier to tight end Garrett Collingham.
After their opening drive touchdown, the Broncos had trouble moving the ball for the remainder of the first quarter, later translating to more struggles during their first drive of the second quarter.
To kick off the second quarter, Boise State gave the Rebels new life when running back Andrew Van Buren was stopped on fourth and inches by the UNLV defense.
Despite the early mishap, on their next drive, Bachmeier was able to connect with wide receiver John Hightower down the left sideline for a 76-yard touchdown, in which Hightower displayed his tremendous breakaway speed.
“I just play my part,” Hightower said to the Idaho Press. “If they call my play, I do my business and I do what I can.”
To conclude the first half, Boise State extended their lead to 17-0 after Joel Velasquez booted a 52-yard field goal, the longest by a Boise State kicker since 1997.
In the second half, the Boise State offense turned on the jets and never looked back.
With a 17-point lead, the Broncos decided to dive in to their old bag of tricks when wide receiver Akilian Butler raced 23 yards on an inside reverse to push the lead to 24-0.
Bachmeier proved once again why he is Harsin’s “QB1.” Bachmeier finished the night throwing for 299 yards and two touchdowns, his third straight game in which he has thrown for two or more touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, STUD Curtis Weaver shined once again, making three sacks and constantly wreaking havoc in the UNLV backfield all night long. With the addition of these three sacks, Weaver has now set the Mountain West all-time career record with 29.5 sacks.
“We just kept attacking,” Weaver said to the Idaho Press. “[UNLV] showed us some looks but at the end of the day we’re just going to keep attacking, play by play, and things will open up.
Despite being penalized 10 times for 130 yards, the Boise State defense continued its impressive play, finishing with five sacks, 11 tackles for loss and one interception.
After giving up 13 points to the Rebels in the second half, Boise State has now given up just 22 points in the second half so far this season, a major confidence booster that Boise State was looking for from the defense this season.
In a game that featured five different Boise State players scoring touchdowns, the Broncos improved to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in Mountain West Conference play.
Boise State (5-0, 2-0) returns to The Blue for Homecoming against Hawaii (4-1, 1-0) on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 8:15 p.m. The Broncos will look to extend their winning streak, as well as their quest for a New Year’s Six Bowl.
“We’ll get back to work on Sunday,” said head coach Bryan Harsin to the Idaho Press. “Hawaii’s going to be the best football team we play and I hope we’re the best football team we can be.”