BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Hank Bachmeier threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns, George Holani rushed for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and Boise State defeated Utah State 42-13 Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.
Boise State won its home opener for the 11th straight time and hasn’t dropped a conference opener since 1999.
Utah State continued its abysmal record against the Broncos, losing for the 17th time in the last 18 matchups.
Despite the game taking place in an empty stadium with less atmosphere than a spring game, Boise State brought plenty of intensity on defense and sprinkled in its trademark pizzazz on offense.
The Broncos held Utah State to 45 total yards in the first half, keeping Utah State quarterback Jason Shelley under constant duress.
Meanwhile, Bachmeier shined in his return after an injury-mired 2019 season. He utilized his full complement of receivers, completing passes to eight different players. Khalil Shakir led the corps with seven receptions and a pair of touchdowns, including a 52-yard scoring strike.
Utah State: After watching quarterback Jordan Love go to Green Bay in the first round of the NFL draft, the Aggies were hoping Utah transfer Jason Shelley would provide immediate help at the position. But after his lackluster performance against the Broncos, Utah State coach Gary Anderson should prepare for an adjustment period that might last longer than he would like.
Boise State: Despite losing all four starters along their defensive front, the Broncos managed to trot out another formidable unit in the opener. Even without fifth-round NFL draft pick Curtis Weaver, Boise State pressured the quarterback along with making it difficult for Utah State to run between the tackles.
Boise State implemented strict COVID-19 protocols, ensuring that Albertsons Stadium was virus free. Aside from an environment devoid of fans, all game-day personnel, athletes, coaches, and media members admitted to the stadium had to procure a negative COVID-19 test. The only fans shown in the stands on the televised broadcast were players who didn’t dress out.
Utah State will host San Diego State next Saturday.
Boise State travels to Air Force on Saturday.