POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 7, 2010
BOISE, Idaho » A sign of respect in the football world is when a team changes a part of its identity to try to offset the strength of its opponent.
No. 2 Boise State, with the nation's second-ranked scoring offense, did just that, partly because the Broncos needed a way to slow down a Hawaii defense that had been allowing just 340.6 yards per game.
Boise State's offensive coaches broke out a no-huddle attack, one the team hadn't used much this season. The result was a school-record performance of 737 yards and a 42-7 win against a Warriors team that was on a serious roll coming into Bronco Stadium.
"I think Hawaii does such a good job of mixing up looks," Boise State offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said. "They do such a good job of giving you a variety."
The no-huddle, in theory, would prevent Hawaii from using that variety, and limit substitutions.
"The tempo helps get the defense into more base coverages and base defenses," Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore said. "They don't have time to throw in their unique blitzes and things like that when they only have a short few seconds to call plays."
Moore passed for 507 yards and three touchdowns. He did throw two interceptions, including one in the end zone.
"Probably it was closer, because we did win the turnover battle," Hawaii coach Greg McMackin said. "Shoot, they could have had a lot more points."
McMackin said he thought his team adjusted well to the no-huddle. It just had no answer for Moore or his receiver corps. Boise State had a pair of 100-yard receivers in Austin Pettis (122) and Tyler Shoemaker (117). Titus Young had 99 receiving yards, including an 83-yard scoring bomb from Moore.
"The quarterback was hot. The receivers are great," McMackin said. "The offensive line is the toughest we've faced."
And believe it or not, Boise State's defense might have done an even better job than its offense.
Boise State limited Hawaii to 196 yards of total offense — the Rainbow Warriors' lowest output since 1998. Boise State recorded seven sacks and didn't allow Hawaii to score until the fourth quarter.
"We knew they would get yards coming in here," Boise State defensive end Shea McClellin said. "We just had to not let them score. That was our main thing."
Turns out, the Broncos didn't even give Hawaii its usual yardage. It entered the game with the nation's top passing attack at 395.4 yards per game.
"Nobody has shut us down like that," McMackin said.
"They did their homework," Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz said. "They made it hard to get to our slots. They disguised their pressures very well and noise was a big factor."
Boise State coach Chris Petersen said his team delivered the complete performance that it needed to beat a very good Hawaii team.
"We have tremendous respect for Hawaii — they are playing great," Petersen said. "We just happened to be hitting on all cylinders today, and I'm glad, because we need to do that to do what we want to do."