BOISE, Idaho — Boise State head football coach Bryan Harsin is optimistic that this Saturday's game at Hawaii will go off as scheduled despite the coronavirus having an impact on his players.
Much of his weekly press conference centered on how the Broncos are dealing with COVID-19 as the prepare to travel to Honolulu on Friday to take on the Rainbow Warriors in a Mountain Conference game.
Each week, the virus poses new challenges for Harsin, his coaching staff and the players.
"I think right now we're good. But we are still have a couple more tests throughout the week, and you're right, last week, the challenge, we got to a point when you're using an offensive lineman to play defensive line," Harsin said.
He admits one of the hardest things is having to wait three times a week to get those COVID-19 test results for players and staff back.
The Broncos are coming off a 52-21 win against Colorado State at Albertsons Stadium last Thursday night. There were 14 Broncos out of that game due to COVID-19 protocols. Nine of them tested positive for the virus.
Harsin says what his team looks like at the beginning of the week may be a lot different than who takes the field on Saturday.
"It's challenging when it comes to numbers, but I think every single week it's somewhat in jeopardy of just based on testing. One or two guys can wipe out seven to ten right. And that's just not our team, that's every team," he said.
It is a six-hour flight to the Hawaii, a state with among the strictest COVID-19 guidelines for travelers. Harsin says this visit to the islands will be different than in years past. This time around the Broncos will be spending a lot of time in the hotel.
"We're going to be respectful of what they are asking for us to do, just basically show up, play the game and leave," Harsin said.
The Rainbow Warriors are 2-2 in conference and 1-0 at Aloha Stadium, having beaten New Mexico 39-33 in their only home game of the season.
Hawaii has a new head coach this year. Todd Graham takes over for Nick Rolovich who moved on to take the top job at Washington State.
Last season, the Broncos defeated the Rainbow Warriors twice on the blue. The first game was a shootout on Oct. 12 with Boise State coming out on top 59-37. Then, the two teams met in the Mountain Conference championship on Dec. 7. BSU also won the rematch 31-10.
Bronco fans may want to take a nap before kick-off before this week's game. The BSU-Hawaii game starts at 9 p.m. MT. The game is being broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
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