BOISE, Idaho — The undefeated Boise State football team will face what could be its toughest test of the season when it welcomes Hawai'i to the Blue for the Broncos' annual homecoming game.
It will be the premier matchup in the Mountain West Conference this weekend, featuring a showdown of the top two teams in the conference.
Boise State (5-0, 2-0 MWC) moved up to No. 14 in both the AP Top 25 and the Amway Coaches Poll following its 38-13 win over UNLV in Las Vegas last weekend. While unranked, Hawai'i (4-1, 1-0 MWC) sits atop the Mountain West's West Division and is receiving votes in the Coaches Poll.
Saturday night's tilt - the Broncos' only home game in October - will feature two of the top passing attacks in the nation. The Rainbow Warriors rank fourth with 356.8 passing yards per game, while the Broncos are eighth at 323.0 yards per game.
Hawai'i boasts two wins over Pac-12 schools - Arizona and Oregon State - and is coming off a 54-3 beatdown of the Nevada Wolfpack in Reno on Sept. 28. UH's lone loss was a 52-20 drubbing by then-No. 23 Washington on Sept. 14.
With a prolific quarterback in junior Cole McDonald, who has thrown for 1,629 yards and 17 touchdowns against nine interceptions, the Warriors also have several star receivers, led by Cedric Byrd II, whose nine touchdown catches this season are second-most in the country.
Games between these two teams have been notably lopsided over the last decade - with an average score of 50-9 in favor of the Broncos - but by all appearances, this year's Warriors team is different. At his Monday press conference, Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said he's impressed by what he's seen of this week's opponent.
"We've got, in our opinion, the best football team we've played all year long," Harsin said. "Hawai'i seems to show that from the film we've watched. Coach [Nick] Rolovich has done a really good job with this group offensively. They are firing on all cylinders."
For their part, the Warriors know they have a steep challenge in facing the Broncos on the blue turf of Albertsons Stadium. In fact, Boise State has won six-straight games against Hawai'i and has never lost a contest between the two programs at home. But if the Warriors are nervous about the trip to Boise, they're not showing it.
"They're not scared of ghosts, they're not scared of Christmas past," Rolovich said of his team. "They're very here-and-now, and they've really taken that approach all off-season."
"A lot of people talk about 'this happened in the past, this is a tough game for us, a rivalry,'" quarterback Cole McDonald said. "But for me it's just another game on the schedule, whether it's snowing, raining, cold; the field is blue, purple, yellow, whatever the case may be, we're going there and we're gonna play ball regardless."
Added defensive lineman Kaimana Padello: "This whole season we're trying to win the championship. And to win it, you gotta beat the best. Right now, Boise State, they've been doing a great job so this is a great challenge for us."
Hawai'i at Boise State
- Saturday, Oct. 12
- Albertsons Stadium, Boise
- Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. MT
- Weather: Partly cloudy, 53 degrees at kickoff
The game will be televised on ESPN2 (Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer, Lauren Sisler), which can be found on the following channels:
- Sparklight (formerly Cable One): Channel 134 / 1134 (HD)
- DirecTV: Channel 209
- Dish Network: Channel 143
- Cox: Channel 33 / 1033 (HD)
ON THE RADIO
Fans can listen to the game on the Bronco Radio Network (Bob Behler, Pete Cavender), which can be found online or on the following stations in the Boise area:
- KBOI 670 AM in Boise
- KTIK 93.1 FM in Boise
- KDZY 98.3 FM in McCall
- KSNQ 98.3 FM in Twin Falls
Here is a list of Bronco Radio Network stations outside the Boise area.
The game will stream live on the WatchESPN app, available in Apple and Android app stores. The service is only available to subscribers of participating cable and satellite television providers (including Cable One, Dish Network, and DirecTV).
BRONCO ROUNDUP GAMEDAY
This week, there'll be two parts of KTVB's Bronco Roundup Gameday show. Instead of the News at 5 on KTVB Idaho News Channel 7 on Saturday, Oct. 12, there will be a half-hour Gameday Show from 5 to 5:30 p.m., live from the KTVB studio.
Jay Tust and Will Hall will then be live from Albertsons Stadium before the game from 7 to 8 p.m. on KTVB.COM, KTVB's YouTube Channel, and in the Bronco Roundup app.
Also, make sure to check out KTVB's YouTube Channel for highlights from the Bronco Roundup Gameday show during the game.
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POST-GAME PRESS CONFERENCE
KTVB will live stream the post-game press conference on KTVB.COM and on the Bronco Roundup app.
Interviews with coach Bryan Harsin and players will be posted online soon after the press conference ends, so you can watch the press conference whenever and wherever you want.
Stay tuned to KTVB.COM after the game for a game recap, highlights, and slideshow from the game.
BLUE-ORANGE COLOR SCHEME
Broncos fans attending the game are encouraged to wear blue or orange at Albertsons Stadium on Saturday night, depending on which section you'll be sitting in. Fans in the lower decks, as well as the student section and the North End Zone will all wear blue, while those in the upper decks are asked to wear orange.
Here's a closer look at this season's color schemes.
As part of Boise State's homecoming festivities, the Broncos will honor the 2009 squad that went 14-0, beat TCU 17-10 in the Fiesta Bowl, and ended the season ranked No. 4 in both the AP and Coaches polls.
More than 40 members of the team are expected to be in attendance for Saturday's game. There will also be a special honor for a member of that team: Fullback Dan Paul, who passed over the summer. KTVB sports analyst Tom Scott explains:
"Boise State is doing something really cool, renaming the “Hammer” the “Dan Paul Hammer” in honor of the popular Bronco fullback who passed away this summer. Paul will be remembered “for both the way he played the game and the way he lived his life.” Members of Paul’s family will serve as honorary captains for the coin toss."
Following last weekend's 38-13 drubbing of UNLV, the Broncos checked in at No. 14 in both major college football polls, moving up two spots in the AP Top 15 and up one spot in the Coaches Poll.
The No. ranking is the highest in each poll since checking in at No. 13 in both polls on Oct. 23, 2016.
Boise State is the top-ranked team from a so-called Group of 5 conference, but has several American Athletic Conference teams breathing down its neck. SMU (5-0) is ranked No. 21, Memphis (5-0) made its first Top 25 appearance at No. 23, and Cincinnati (4-1) came in at No. 25 after beating previously 18th-ranked UCF 27-24.
The top-ranked Group of 5 conference champion at the end of the season will earn an automatic bid to one of the New Years Six bowl games. This year, the Cotton Bowl will host the G5 champ on Saturday, Dec. 28.
With multiple teams still in contention for Cotton Bowl bid, the Broncos will likely need to win the rest of their games to be selected.
Junior STUD Curtis Weaver turned in an historic performance against UNLV, registering three sacks to become the Mountain West Conference's all-time leader with 29.5 career sacks. He now has nine sacks this season, leading the nation, and is the only player in the FBS with nine or more sacks in each of the last three seasons.
"Curtis has prepared himself every single week to go out there and do that," Harsin said on Monday. "He's not out there loafing, he's not out there just going through the motions.
"He's been a great teammate," Harsin added. "He's worked extremely hard in practice, then his hard work doesn't go unnoticed on the field, that's why he's in the position he's in."
His efforts have been noticed on a national scale as well. On Wednesday, Weaver was named a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which recognizes the player who makes the biggest impact on his team both on and off the field. The winner will be announced on Dec. 15.
Boise State leads the all-time series 12-3 against Hawai'i, and has won the last six meetings between the teams since a 39-27 defeat in Honolulu back in 2007.
Prior to the the loss 12 years ago, the Broncos won six straight as conference foes in the WAC.
The other two losses came in 1996 (20-14) and 1999 (34-19), both in Honolulu. The Broncos have never lost at home against the Warriors, going a perfect 6-0. The last meeting between the teams was a 52-16 Broncos win on the island.
Boise State's all-time record against Hawai'i:
- Nov. 12, 2016 - W - 52-16 (Honolulu)
- Oct. 3, 2015 - W - 55-0 (Boise)
- Nov. 10, 2012 - W - 49-14 (Honolulu)
- Nov. 6, 2010 - W - 42-7 (Boise)
- Oct. 24, 2009 - W - 54-9 (Honolulu)
- Oct. 17, 2008 - W - 27-7 (Boise)
- Nov. 23, 2007 - L - 39-27) (Honolulu)
- Sept. 23, 2006 - W - 41-34 (Boise)
- Oct. 1, 2005 - W - 44-41 (Honolulu)
- Oct. 29, 2004 - W - 69-3 (Boise)
- Dec. 6, 2003 - W - 45-28 (Honolulu)
- Oct. 5, 2002 - W - 58-31 (Boise)
- Nov. 10, 2001 - W - 28-21 (Honolulu)
- Sept. 18, 1999 - L - 34-19 (Honolulu)
- Sept. 21, 1996 - L - 20-14 (Honolulu)
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ENTRY TO THE GAME
Bronco fans should arrive early. Those whose seats are not in the Stueckle Sky Center may enter the stadium through any gate. Fans are encouraged — but not required — to leave their bags at home or in the car. For faster entry into the stadium, bring a clear bag or no bag to the game. Prior to entry, fans will pass through metal detectors, and any bags carried in will be subject to search. Remember to leave prohibited items behind, including all weapons, alcohol, glass, and coolers.
BRONCO BASH AT THE ALUMNI AND FRIENDS CENTER
The Bronco Bash at the Alumni and Friends Center is open to Broncos fans three hours prior to every home football game and closes 30 minutes prior to kickoff. The event features a family-friendly atmosphere with live music and activities for all ages.
Returning this year is the Bronco Bash Cash Dash, a series of one-minute challenges, that guests can play to compete for time in the Mountain America Credit Union cash machine, Boise State merchandise and other prizes. Find out more about the Bronco Bash here.
DECHEVRIEUX FIELD OPEN FOR TAILGATING
Boise State's partnership with Blockparty, a fan-focused hospitality and entertainment company, continues this season with pre-game festivities at the Ford Tailgate Zone at DeChevrieux Field.
The Tailgate Zone will include a Kids Zone, complete with a climbing wall and other entertainment geared toward the younger fans. It will also include huge televisions featuring top games, food trucks, and a "tailgate village" all on the Broncos' grass practice field adjacent to Albertsons Stadium.
The tailgate party is free for fans, but if you want an upgraded experience with your own tent, TV and other amenities. VIP packages are available for purchase and cost between $400 and $2000.
DeChevrieux Field opens for tailgating three hours before kickoff on home football game days.
Here's a chance for you to high-five your favorite players and coaches as they walk to the football center for pre-game preparations. The "Bronco Walk" will start when the team leaves the Student Union Building about two and a half hours before kickoff. The team will walk from the Student Union Building, through the Ford Tailgate Zone at DeChevrieux Field, past the Varsity Center, straight into the east stadium parking lot and ending at the Bleymaier Football Center.
10 TO 10 ZONE
The 10 to 10 Zone remains in place for home games this season. It specifies areas off-campus where people age 21 or older may consume alcoholic beverages from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Boise State home football game days only.
Alcoholic beverages are allowed in opaque plastic cups within the zone. Glass containers, beer cans, and type of liquor bottle and cups with alcoholic labeling are not allowed.
The "Zone" begins at Broadway Avenue and Myrtle Street, extends south down Broadway to Beacon, turns west along Beacon, north up Oakland Avenue, west on Potter Drive, north again up South Joyce Street, and then west along University Drive all the way to Capitol Boulevard. The boundary extends north along Capitol and turns east onto Cesar Chavez Lane, crosses Friendship Bridge north, and leads into Julia Davis Park. In the park, the "10 to 10 Zone" boundary is the area east of Zoo Boise to Broadway Avenue, and south of the Julia Davis pond.
TRAFFIC, PARKING & FREE SHUTTLES
Expect increased traffic on all roads surrounding Boise State before and after the game. University Drive, from Capitol Boulevard to Broadway Avenue, will be congested throughout the morning and afternoon. Because of limited public parking on-campus, fans are encouraged to park off-campus and walk/bike or use a shuttle to get to the game.
Lots & Garages on Campus:
The Albertsons Stadium parking lot will open eight hours prior to game time on Saturdays and four hours prior to every game during weekdays.
Boise State’s bike corral will be available near Christ Chapel on the corner of Broadway Avenue and Cesar Chavez Lane.
Spaces will be available for a $10 fee in the following lots and garages:
- Plaza East and West lots
- Brady Street Garage and Lincoln Avenue Garage
Handicap accessible spaces will be available for a $10 fee in the West and East Stadium lots, the Engineering and Technology reserved lot and on the ground floor of the Lincoln Avenue Garage.
Vehicles parked in accessible spaces must display an ADA license plate or placard and the placard/license plate registrant must be an occupant in the vehicle in order to purchase game day accessible parking.
Parking in Boise Parks:
Parking is allowed in designated parking spots within Julia Davis Park, Ann Morrison Park, Riverside Park, and Kristin Armstrong Municipal Park. Parking for Boise State home games is free on a first-come, first-served basis.
Towing will be delayed at those parks until 3 a.m. the following morning regardless of kickoff time.
Overnight parking is prohibited.
The Downtown Boise Association coordinates free shuttle buses from five convenient downtown locations to Bronco Stadium.
These shuttles run every 15 minutes starting two hours prior to game time, and immediately after the game for one hour.
- 6th & Grove (Bardenay)
- 8th & Main
- 8th between Idaho & Bannock (Red Feather/Bittercreek)
- 8th & Broad (Solid Grill & Bar)
- River Street between 12th & Ash (Payette Brewing)