BOISE, Idaho — The Boise State Broncos picked up their first win of the season in impressive fashion as they pummeled UTEP 54-13 in front of a packed house at Albertsons Stadium.
It was the first time in nearly two years that fans were able to cheer on the Broncos in person and they helped energize the team on the blue. This was the most attended home opening game since 2016, with a total of 35,518 fans attending the game at the Albertsons Stadium; this compared to 36,163 fans attending the Broncos opener against Washington State back in 2016.
"When you are on that field and there is that type of energy in that stadium and how loud that crowd was when the defense was on the field was awesome," said Avalos. "That's a home-field advantage."
The Broncos blew the lid off the stadium early on with a special teams touchdown as Stefan Cobbs took a punt 81-yards to give Boise State a 10-3 lead, Cobbs got the edge after a terrific block Rodney Robinson sent two UTEP players to the ground.
Cobbs had a big day that also included a 61-yard touchdown pass from Hank Bachmeier, the junior quarterback was 17-24 for 340 yards two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Khalil Shakir also had a big game that started with a magnificent one-handed grab, the two-time all Mountain West receiver caught seven passes for 166 yards.
"I don't make those plays without the o-line and Hank getting me the ball," said Shakir. "Shout out to those guys really appreciate them and really appreciate Hank trusting me to make those plays."
The defense also dominated as they forced six turnovers with three interceptions and three fumble recoveries including a strip-sack by Shane Irwin that would be recovered by Scott Matlock leading to an easy score and the rout was on.
"It's really fun because last year we didn't have many turnovers so it just shows that when we emphasize that as a whole unit," said safety JL Skinner. "I just really love it."
Boise State did mandate that fans wear masks inside Albertsons Stadium, but it looked like only around ten percent of the fans actually wore masks.
It will be interesting to see how this develops as the Broncos welcome the Oklahoma State Cowboys to the blue for a Saturday night showdown.