After much anticipation, Boise State football is back this Saturday.
The Broncos will open the shortened eight-game season against Utah State at 5 p.m. Saturday at Albertsons Stadium. While the Broncos will make their return to the field, fans will not be making a return to the field — yet.
Boise State Athletics announced Oct. 9 no fans will be permitted into Albertsons Stadium this season after conversations with local health authorities. BSU will monitor the coronavirus situation in the Treasure Valley throughout the season, according to BSU athletics.
Without the usual non-conference games to open the season, BSU will jump-start the season against Mountain West competition.
"This one's been challenging to try to prepare...to see what we think Utah State's going to do," BSU Head Coach Bryan Harsin said during a news conference Monday.
Getting back out on the field as a team is something Harsin said he and his team are all looking forward to.
"Being on that practice field when I'm out there that's the best feeling of my entire day," Harsin said. "Being with those guys on the practice field and I know on Saturday for four hours that going to be the best thing that entire week."
Although fans will not be allowed in the stands, Bronco fans can purchase a cardboard cutout and upload a photo of themselves to fill the stadium this year. Cutouts can be purchased online for $50 a cutout to secure your spot in Albertsons Stadium. The funds raised from the cutouts will go toward supporting BSU student-athletes and Elevate the Blue. Fans will also have the chance to pickup their cutout at the end of the season.
As the Broncos prepare for their season opener, one Mountain West matchup has already been canceled due to coronavirus spread. The conference announced New Mexico at Colorado State has been canceled due to a high number of cases in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. Due to state guidelines, New Mexico is ineligible to participate in the game, which was set for Oct. 24 at CSU.
The Broncos will kickoff against the Aggies at 5:10 p.m. and will be nationally televised on Fox Sports 1. All Mountain West and Boise State football games will be broadcasted on one of the FOX networks, including FOX, FS1 or FS2, according to BSU Athletics.