BOISE, Idaho — For the first time in school history, Boise State will play a Big 12 school at home as they welcome the Oklahoma State Cowboys to town for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff on Saturday night.
"It is an unbelievable opportunity for Bronco Nation to be able to get games like this in our stadium and this type of opponent with the history and the tradition," said head coach Andy Avalos.
Three years ago Boise State played the Cowboys in Stillwater and Oklahoma State got the best of the matchup winning 44-21, but this year the Cowboys haven't gotten off to a good start as they beat Missouri State and Tulsa by only a combined 12 points.
Boise State is 1-1 as they lost their first game at UCF with quarterback Hank Bachmeier's interception seeling BSU's fate, however, the Broncos returned home and had an impressive showing in a route over UTEP 54-13.
The defense forced six turnovers in the game and they looked like they did back when Avalos was the defensive coordinator.
Now Spencer Danielson is the defensive coordinator and he looks forward to this game as Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy told the media he wants to be able to gain 4.5 yards a carry on the ground to take the pressure off his young wide receivers.
"I have tons of respect for their offense and tons of respect for the athletes they have," said Danielson. "We are fired up for this challenge."
Offensively Boise State running back George Holani will not be limited on snaps for the first time this year.
Also, Hank Bachmeier looks forward to continuing his development in this new offense that includes run-pass options and a new scheme with first-year offensive coordinator Tim Plough orchestrating the calls.
"He talks about a partnership and I think it is huge for me to be able to have that relationship with my offensive coordinator," said Bachmeier. "To be able to ask him questions and communicate with him and have him bounce ideas off of me, I haven't really had that before."
Idaho has implemented crisis standards of care as the pandemic continues to get worse across the state, BSU mandates that masks need to be worn in the stadium, but during last week's game fans didn't comply.
This week Boise State is offering an onsite vaccine site and prizes for fans that wear masks, last week's attendance was 35,518 and it would be difficult to enforce masks so fans need to know that if they go to the game they will likely be going into an unsafe environment.
But on the other side of the coin, there is no doubt that a packed house and all that energy from the fans provide Boise State with an advantage on the blue.
“I think that energy is special and I think that is what makes the blue so intimidating for opponents is the fact that is such an incredible atmosphere," said Bachmeier.