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Watch: Boise State head coach Andy Avalos and Broncos players react to 21-20 loss to Oklahoma State

Early in the game, Boise State looked poised to dominate the Cowboys but a series of unfortunate events derailed the Broncos' lead.

BOISE, Idaho — On Saturday night, the Boise State football team dropped to 1-2 on the season after a 21-20 loss to Oklahoma State University.

With the Broncos' third game of the 2021 season in the books, Boise State head coach Andy Avalos will hold a press conference, along with several Broncos players and/or coaches, after the game to discuss the team's loss over Oklahoma State on Saturday night.

Watch Boise State's post-game press conference in this article or on KTVB's YouTube Channel. Scroll down to find the press conference video.

The Cowboys improve to 3-0 on the season after becoming the first Big 12 Conference team to beat the Broncos on The Blue.

The Broncos' loss wasn't due to a lack of effort as Boise State was able to match the Cowboys blow for blow throughout the game.

"It (the loss) really hurts, especially at home on The Blue," Boise State nickel Kekaula Kaniho said following the game. "We as a team take pride in defending The Blue. So we're gonna remember this feeling and take everything that we learned from this point forward to the rest of our season, we got a lot of football left to play. and you know we're excited for those opportunities."

If the football gods were to bless both Bronco Nation and Oklahoma State faithful, Boise State would join the Big 12 Conference so this matchup can continue in the future as a conference game.

Early in the game, Boise State looked poised to dominate the Cowboys but a series of unfortunate events derailed the Broncos' lead.

With just over five minutes in the first quarter, Boise State held a 0-10 lead after the offense was able to march down the field against the Cowboys' defense. Following a 40-yard field goal from Meridian native kicker Johan Dalmas, the Broncos scored their first touchdown of the evening on a 28-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Hank Bachmeier and tight end Davis Koetter.

However, the Cowboys displayed what Power 5 football looks like when Oklahoma State running back Jaylen Warren scored on a 75-yard rush to bring the score to 7-10.

Boise State in the second quarter responded with a 5-yard rushing touchdown by Oregon Duck transfer running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio, his first as a Bronco.

With a 10-20 lead with minutes left in the half, the Broncos' luck seemed to turn on them. The Cowboys found their offense and went 75 yards on ten plays to score on another rushing touchdown by running back Warren.

Then, Boise State running back George Holani fumbled the ball and the Cowboys recovered it on the Broncos' 21-yard line, which Oklahoma State capitalized with a one-yard rushing scamper by quarterback Spencer Sanders.

The Cowboys' 21-20 lead over the Broncos held well into the fourth quarter as the game became a defensive showcase, with big hits coming from both teams. The Broncos' offense once again struggled in the second half, producing zero points after halftime.

Oklahoma State appeared to have put the dagger in the Broncos' heart and seal their win when they intercepted quarterback Hank Bachmeier with 4:51 left in the game after he took a deep shot downfield to tight end Davis Koetter.

Thankfully for Bronco Nation, the Boise State defense was able to get the ball back to the offense with just over three minutes to go. After that, many in Bronco Nation had concerningly high blood pressure for the rest of the game as the offense attempted to launch a last-minute comeback win. 

Then, with 2:05 left in the game, Boise State kicker Dalmas missed wide right a 36-yard field goal, which would have taken the lead for the Broncos. He had made a 40 yard and a 36-yard field earlier in the game. The score would stay at 21-20, which would continue through to the final whistle.

According to Andy Avalos, an Oklahoma State defender was able to break through the left side of the offensive line to get a hand on the ball and block Dalmas' kick.

"We're gonna have to go back and make sure that we look at that and clean that up in a critical situation like that, we've got to be better with our protection," head coach Andy Avalos said during the Broncos' post-game press conference.

The silver lining for the Broncos is how strong their defense held against the firepower of a Big 12 passing offense. Cowboys' Spencer Sanders went six of 13 for 87 yards.

However, the Broncos' rush defense still leaves much to be desired. The Cowboys' gashed the Broncos' defense for 260 rushing yards, with Utah State Aggies transfer running back Jaylen Warren tallying 218 yards, a career-high, and two touchdowns on 32 carries. Quarterback Spencer Sanders ran for 39 yards and touchdown on 14 carries.

"We came out in the third quarter and we made some adjustments defensively to be able to slow down the rushing attack, some of the things that we're doing to attack the fronts and where we're losing leverage, we got to be able to make those adjustments earlier on in the first half," Avalos said.

Boise State's own run game struggle, with 61 total rushing yards on 35 carries, with Holani leading the stable with 28 yards on 12 carries. Habibi-Likio finished with 27 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.

Quarterback Hank Bachmeier went 22 of 34 for 242 yards, one touchdown and an interception. The Broncos' wide receiving corps was led by Khalil Shakir, who finished with 78 yards on eight receptions.

Khalil surprisingly followed on the stat sheet by tight end Davis Koetter, who had 56 yards and a touchdown on four receptions in his career start at Boise State. Davis Koetter is the son of former Boise State head coach Dirk Koetter, who was one of the 36,702 fans in attendance at Albertsons Stadium.

The Boise State Broncos are now 1-2, 0-0 on the season after their 21-20 loss. Without a strong rush defense or any rushing attack on offense, head coach Andy Avalos's first season at the reigns of the Broncos' football program has gotten off to a less than ideal start.

Thankfully for Boise State, the Broncos' schedule now turns to conference play as Boise State will travel to Logan, UT to take on Utah State University next Saturday morning. Then, on Oct. 2, the Broncos will return to defend The Blue against the Nevada Wolfpack in another Mountain West Conference game.

"I mean it to come down to the wire like this, and not to be able to finish and we pride ourselves on being able to finish and so we've got to do a better job as coaches, number one, starting and creating mechanisms to help us be able to finish these games at the end here, and through these two losses early on, we've obviously we're going to learn a ton that's going to carry us forward as we start to move into conference play," Avalos said.

Editor's Note: To never miss a beat of Boise State football news this season, make sure to download the KTVB app for the latest updates, stories and scores.

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