Boise State University’s football team has had a long time to ponder a rare defeat and the arrival of the Miami RedHawks.
The Broncos kicked off the season with a 17-13 loss at Michigan State on Aug. 31. Their home opener is Saturday afternoon against Miami (1-1).
“It seems like it’s been forever since we played,” Boise coach Chris Petersen said by phone Monday. “It’s not ideal for us. Once you start, you want to go play and really work out some kinks and see what you’ve got.”
Has the time off been productive?
“It’s always hard to know, just because practice is so different from the games,” Petersen said. “There’s nothing like that game speed, that game intensity.”
The Broncos, ranked 26th in this week’s Associated Press poll, will be heavily favored playing on their blue turf at Bronco Stadium. BSU is an incredible 74-3 at home since 2000, and that 96.1 winning percentage leads the nation.
Redshirt junior quarterback Joe Southwick completed 15-of-31 passes for 169 yards while Boise rushed for just 37 yards on 24 carries against Michigan State.
“We just did nothing there. That was disappointing,” Petersen said of the Broncos’ running game. “They’re good on defense, but we had a chance to make a couple plays and couldn’t do it. I don’t even think our backs got a chance to do much.”
BSU still has the best overall record (157-34) in the Football Bowl Subdivision since 1997. Petersen is 73-7 in six-plus seasons.
“Boise State is a team that we aspire to be in terms of how they have built their situation to become a national program,” Miami coach Don Treadwell said. “They’ve done a tremendous job from the ground up. For any team that looks to model someone, I have always been very appreciative of how Boise has done that.”
Asked to give some reasons for the Broncos’ high level of success, Petersen replied, “First and foremost, we’ve got some really good players that have been underestimated by people out there. You don’t win a lot of games without really good players.”
He said national success doesn’t necessarily make recruiting easier. He thinks it’s actually harder.
“There’s just more competition,” Petersen said. “If we recruit a guy that’s under-recruited, as soon as we start recruiting him, then he’s not under-recruited anymore.”
Miami injury update: Wide receiver Nick Harwell was in a yellow jersey and wore a soft knee brace at Monday night’s practice.
“It’s just a little irritated, a little swollen, that’s it,” Harwell said. “I landed on it funny (Saturday against Southern Illinois). Nothing too serious.”
O-lineman Matt Kennedy was on crutches Monday and said he suffered a high ankle sprain Saturday. Treadwell said he’s questionable for this weekend.