Boise State quarterback Jaylon Henderson continues to be serving the Broncos offense well as he got the start once again for the Mountain West Mountain Division champions on Friday at Colorado State. Behind a couple of touchdown passes, the Broncos own a 21-14 lead on Colorado State in the regular-season finale in snowy Fort Collins.
Colorado State opened the game with a touchdown drive to take an early lead on the Broncos. Jaylen Thomas ended the drive with a short touchdown run for the early score and lead. The Rams did all of their damage on the drive on first and second downs and did not face a third down the entire drive.
Boise State tied the game up on a touchdown drive that was given new life thanks to a penalty on the Colorado State special teams unit. After the defense held the Broncos to a supposed three-and-out, a running into the kicker penalty on the Rams gave the Broncos a free first down. Boise State took its first lead of the game following an interception by Tyreque Jones, the first mistake of the game by Rams quarterback Patrick O’Brien on the first play of the ensuing possession. Henderson, who started at quarterback for Boise State once again in place of Hank Bachmeier, completed a five-tard pass to CT Thomas for the go-ahead score.
Colorado State tied the game on their next possession with a 12-play drive spanning 81 yards. O’Brien tossed the game-tying touchdown to Warren Jackson to even the score at 14-14, but the Broncos had an answer on the offense’s next time on the field. A 14-play drive was capped by a second touchdown pass by Henderson, this time to Tyreque Jones from three yards out. Boise State defensive star Curtis Weaver picked off a pass he tipped at the line of scrimmage late in the first half to give the offense a chance to tack on an extra score before halftime. The Broncos had to settle for a field goal by Eric Sachse for a 10-point lead.
The crowd is rather sparse for this game. On top of Colorado State not being able to qualify for a bowl game, it being the day after Thanksgiving, and 15 inches snow filling a majority of the stands in Canvas Stadium, there isn’t much of a home-field advantage in place as Colorado State looks for a significant upset in the Group of Five picture. But the Rams are still hanging with the Broncos and will have a shot in the second half.
For one half, it looked as though Florida State (0-1) might be able to get their season started on a strong note, but the Boise State Broncos (1-0) added another power conference school to their list of defeated teams on Saturday. Boise State came back from a 31-13 deficit to top the Seminoles in Doak Campbell Stadium Saturday afternoon. Boise State’s 33-31 victory included a shutout by the defense in the second half.
Boise State freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier showed how tough he can be by taking a good number of hits from the Florida State defense early on in the game. He never got too rattled though and ended the day with 407 passing yards and a touchdown. Perhaps the most significant pass was when he found a wide-open receiver down the right sideline on a third-and-long to keep a pivotal possession alive late in the fourth quarter. Bachmeier and Boise state maximized their use of the clock as well, thus draining the energy of the Florida State defense as the game played on. The Broncos held the football for nearly 40 minutes. Boise State rushed for 227 yards against the Noles too, with Robert Mahone racking up 142 of those yards with a pair of touchdowns. His short touchdown run from the one-yard line early in the fourth quarter gave Boise State its first lead of the day.
Florida State got off to a good start to the game with three first-quarter touchdowns as Boise State couldn’t finish drives or hold on to the football. James Blackman ended his day with 314 passing yards but that damage was largely done in the first half. Once Florida State jumped out to their big lead, Boise State calmed down and started to change the tempo of the game in their favor. Florida State had just one possession that lasted more than four plays after halftime, and that one six-play drive traveled just nine yards. On Florida State’s final possession of the game, a fourth-down conversion by Blackman was called back for a holding penalty. Florida State was called for another penalty on the very next play, which was declined by Boise State and resulted in a turnover on downs. The Broncos could then work the clock with Florida State had just two timeouts to use.
Florida State clearly is still a program in need of getting better, and perhaps that work is even more loaded than anticipated for Willie Taggart in Year 2. Boise State racked up 627 yards of offense, showing Florida State’s defense absolutely has room for improvement. The offense going flat after the first quarter is not an encouraging sign either for the Florida State faithful. Meanwhile, Boise State will take a road victory against an ACC team and run with it.
The game was played in Florida State’s stadium after being relocated from Jacksonville with a hurricane on the move into the region. Florida State’s first official home opener will be next week against Louisiana-Monroe. Boise State will also be home next week for a game against Marshall.