Boise St UNLV Football

Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier throws a pass against UNLV during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, in Las Vegas.

BOISE — Players and coaches on the Boise State football team got to mingle with family and friends a little bit longer than usual outside Sam Boyd Stadium last Saturday night after a 38-13 win at UNLV.

There won’t be much free time the next two weeks.

The schedule ramps up for the 14th-ranked Broncos beginning with a home matchup Saturday night against Hawaii. The Broncos then head to BYU a week later. It’s a critical two-game stretch for the Broncos before the second and final bye week of the year on Oct. 26

The Rainbow Warriors are 4-1 and getting votes in the coaches poll. They own wins over a pair of Pac-12 teams in Arizona and Oregon State, and last time out, won 54-3 at Nevada before enjoying an open date on the schedule last week.

“Hawaii is a really good football team,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said Monday. “We’ve got, in our opinion, the best football team we’ve played all year long, and the film seems to show that from the film we’ve watched.”

Hawaii boasts one of the top offenses in the FBS, ranking 22nd with an average of 480.6 yards per game and No. 25 with an average of 37.0 points per game.

Quarterback Cole McDonald leads the Mountain West Conference with an average of 325.8 yards passing per game. His 17 passing touchdowns are also more than double than any other Mountain West quarterback.

Wide receiver Cedric Byrd already has 40 catches for 498 yards and nine touchdowns and is easily the top statistical receiver in the league.

“Offensively, they are firing on all cylinders,” Harsin said. “They’ve got a lot of fire power.”

It’s the first matchup between Boise State and Hawaii since 2016 due to the unbalanced Mountain West schedule. The Broncos play at Hawaii next season.

“We’ve had some good battles with Hawaii over the years,” Harsin said. “There’s a lot of history between these teams. Our guys are looking forward to it. They know who Hawaii is. Hawaii has had their attention for a while.”


Tickets for Saturday’s game against Hawaii are going fast, but some do remain at The game is expected to be close to a sellout by kickoff on Saturday. … The annual Homecoming Parade will start at 5 p.m. Saturday, and the Broncos will finish the parade with their ‘Bronco Walk’ into Albertsons Stadium at 5:45 p.m. … The Boise State men’s basketball team will hold a dunk contest and scrimmage for fans on Saturday at 6 p.m. inside Bronco Gym. … Boise State’s road game at BYU on Oct. 19 will kick off at 8:15 p.m. and air nationally on ESPN2, the Mountain West announced Monday.

B.J. Rains is the Boise State beat writer for the Idaho Press and a two-time winner of the NSMA Idaho Sports Writer of the Year Award. Follow him on Twitter @BJRains.