Boise St Florida St Football

Boise State running back Andrew Van Buren fumbles the ball as he is hit by Florida State defensive back Hamsah Nasirildeen during the first half on Aug. 31 in Tallahassee, Fla.

BOISE — Few college football teams have fumbled the ball more times than the Boise State football team has through two games this season.

The Broncos have coughed it up eight times already, though they’ve recovered five of them. The three lost fumbles still ranks 106th in the FBS.

“We’re not disciplined enough with the football, and that’s concerning,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said Monday. “We have signs in here that say, ‘it’s all about the ball,’ and that’s not what we’re doing.

“Those don’t mean anything right now until we start doing it.”

Boise State fumbled 16 times all of last season, and only lost five of them. At their current pace, the Broncos pass those numbers in two weeks.

The Broncos are tied for 126th in the FBS with eight fumbles. Only Georgia State and Kent State have put the ball on the ground more.

“That’s upsetting,” Harsin said. “You put the ball on the ground that many times … it’s guys taking care of it. ... If we hold onto it like we’re supposed to, we have a better chance to not put the ball on the ground. We’re putting the ball in harm’s way is what we’re doing, and that’s just undisciplined football in my opinion.”

Harsin noted that the Broncos almost had another fumble in a key spot when quarterback Hank Bachmeier lost the ball and it was recovered by a Marshall player in the fourth quarter. The play was ruled an incomplete pass, but would have given Marshall the ball with a chance to tie the game had it been called a fumble.

“They could have called that both ways,” Harsin said.

Bachmeier has fumbled three times already and the Broncos have lost two of them. Andrew Van Buren has fumbled twice on 10 carries, while George Holani and Akilian Butler both have fumbled. The team also was credited with a fumble on a bad snap.

To compare, the Broncos fumbled 27 times in 27 games the last two years and lost 11 of them. Their current pace through two games is roughly four times that.

“We’ve done well in the past and we’ve kind of used a formula to take care of the football and I believe in what we’ve done, but at the same time, if it’s not working right now, we need to change it,” Harsin said. “We’re not going to sit there and say, ’well it’s supposed to work like this.’ We’ll go figure out a better way to do it.”


Boise State moved up two spots to No. 22 in both the Associated Press and coaches polls following last week’s win against Marshall. The Broncos started the year unranked but were No. 24 in both polls last week after the season-opening win at Florida State.

The Broncos got as high as No. 17 last season.

Central Florida, Boise State’s main competition for the Group of Five spot in the Cotton Bowl, is ranked No. 17 this week. The Knights (2-0) host Stanford at 1:30 p.m. MDT Saturday on ESPN.

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.