Bachmeier takes encore as Boise State hosts Marshall

Field Level Media

September 03, 2019 at 10:46 am.

Hank Bachmeier didn’t play like a novice in his college debut.

The true freshman quarterback aims to make it two straight stellar performances when No. 24 Boise State hosts Marshall on Friday night.

Bachmeier was 30-of-51 passing for 407 yards and helped the Broncos (1-0) rally from an 18-point deficit to post a 36-31 win over host Florida State last Saturday.

Boise State coach Bryan Harsin witnessed poise and toughness while Bachmeier was throwing for the most yards in a Broncos quarterback’s first start since the school became a major-college program in 1996. But he also saw blemishes.

“He was under duress but he stood in there, and his eyes were downfield,” Harsin said during a press conference. “Hank showed toughness, and that was part of it. We’ll take the experience factor out and go back and evaluate the quarterback position. We need to make improvements in some areas and he knows that. …

“We will see how he responds this week. Will his focus be laser like Florida State?”

Marshall (1-0) trounced visiting VMI 56-17 on Saturday.

Sophomore quarterback Isaiah Green passed for a career-best four touchdown passes, while redshirt freshman Talik Keaton sparked the team with a 67-yard punt return.

But coach Doc Holliday doesn’t need to be reminded that Boise State represents a major challenge, especially on the famed blue turf.

“To have the opportunity to play on national television against a team of that caliber is tremendous,” Holliday said. “We sit around the hotel every Friday watching everyone else play. This time, they’ll watch us play against an excellent team. Any time you can go on the road and get a marquee win, it’s huge for your program.”

Holliday was impressed with Bachmeier — “He doesn’t look like a freshman out there,” Holliday said — along with the rally the Broncos put together in the stadium of an ACC program.

“They’re down 18 points and were able to come back,” Holliday said. “It just shows the kind of leadership and toughness that they have on that team that they were never out of it. They kept playing and didn’t look at the scoreboard. At the end of the day, they found a way to win it, and that’s what good teams do.”

Harsin hopes the hoopla associated with his program doesn’t pose problems during the preparations for Marshall.

Winning at Florida State during a period of chaos leading up to the game was an impressive feat. Hurricane Dorian caused the game to be moved from Jacksonville to Tallahassee, with the decision made about 48 hours before game time.

That was a big win for a Mountain West program, but Harsin doesn’t want the victory overshadowing the rest of the schedule.

“If everything banks off one game, we might well as quit right now and not play anymore,” he said.

Bachmeier wasn’t the only new Boise State offensive starter making an impact. Junior running back Robert Mahone gained a career-high 142 rushing yards with two touchdowns and wasn’t once tackled for a loss in 24 carries.

The Broncos also regularly excel in their home openers, having won 17 straight since losing to Washington State in 2001.

Boise State won the lone previous meeting against Marshall, 28-24 on Dec. 1, 1994, when both programs were part of Division I-AA. The contest was a semifinal playoff game, with the Broncos losing the following week to Youngstown State in the national title game.