The Boise State football team will be without two notable offensive players when they kick off in the First Responder Bowl on Wednesday.
Both wide receiver John Hightower and running back Robert Mahone will not play against Boston College due to academics, according to a school spokesperson.
Hightower, a junior college transfer in his first year with the Broncos, averaged a team-best 16.26 yards per catch this season. He also ranked tied for second on the team in rushing yards (163), was third in touchdown catches (6), and finished fourth in receptions (31) and receiving yards (504).
The junior also played a pivotal role in the Broncos' 48-38 win at Air Force. Hightower hauled in a career-high eight catches for 182 yards and three touchdowns.
Mahone has been listed as Boise State's No. 2 running back all season long. He appeared in all 13 games and logged 128 yards on 32 carries.
The redshirt sophomore also contributed in the passing game, recording 12 catches for 86 yards.
Without Mahone in the lineup, it likely means that true freshman Andrew Van Buren will now be the top backup to junior Alexander Mattison.
Van Buren played in 12 of 13 games and finished tied for second on the team in both rushing yards (163) and rushing touchdowns (2).
Despite the news, Boise State has had great success in the classroom lately. They recorded an Academic Progress Rate (APR) score of 976 in 2017, which ranked near the top of the country. They also had a NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 89 percent last year. That was tied for the 11th best in the FBS.