Boise State loses on the blue turf about as often as Hawaii wins on the road. Not a good recipe for the Rainbow Warriors in tonight’s Mountain West Conference opener for both football teams.
Boise State struck early and often to win 55-0 at Albertsons Stadium on a crisp, fall night in Idaho. It was the 16th straight conference-opening win for the Broncos, who are 3-1 this season. Hawaii drops to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in conference action as the Rainbow Warriors return home to host San Diego State. It was the third shutout in five games for UH.
Hawaii senior quarterback Max Wittek played only one half and was out of uniform for all of the second, battling knee issues. He hit only seven of 24 passes for 66 yards and could be seen on the bench with a swollen left knee. Backup Ikaika Woolsey struggled as well, completing one of seven passes in the third quarter for no yards. He finished 4-for-14 for 22 yards and one pick.
Such was not the case for the Boise State counterpart.
Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien hit 19 of 25 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns to build an insurmountable lead in the first half. Boise State scored seven unanswered touchdowns in the opening 30 minutes and got the ball first to start the second half, adding a 23-yard field goal by Tyler Rausa that would be the only points of the period.
A fumble by Hawaii early in the fourth quarter gave the Broncos the ball at the UH 19 and led to another field goal by Rausa. The 37-yarder with 12:17 left in the fourth was good to extend the Broncos’ lead to 55-0.
There was a lot more action in the first half.
Hawaii’s offense produced a pair of three-and-outs to open the game that led to the Broncos starting their second drive at their own 46. Rypien faked a handoff, then dropped back and found wideout Chaz Anderson alone for a 54-yard touchdown strike. Rausa added the PAT to make it 7-0 with 10:25 left in the opening quarter.
Wittek got off to a slow start, going 0-for-8, including an interception by Donte Deayon that resulted in no points for the Broncos.
Such was not the case on the next drive, as they went 65 yards on six plays to score again. The final play was a 13-yard scoring jaunt by running back Jeremy McNIchols. He rushed for 108 yards and two scores on 20 carries. Rausa hit the PAT to extend Boise’s advantage to 14-0 with 5:11 remaining in the first quarter.
Boise State made it 21-0 on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Rypien to Thomas Sperbeck, who made a great catch. Rausa converted the PAT to make it 21-0 Boise State with 14:36 left in the second quarter.
The Broncos used a little trickery for their fourth touchdown of the night. Facing fourth-and-short, Rypien faked out the entire stadium by pretending to fall down, then popped up and hit a wide-open Holden Huff for a 24-yard touchdown. Rausa knocked through his fourth PAT to make it 28-0 Boise State with 9:44 left in the half.
Wittek compounded UH’s problems with his second interception of the game, this time by Darian Thompson, who jumped the route and gave Boise State the ball at the UH 13. Two plays later on the jet sweep by Akillian Butler, the Broncos scored again from 10 yards out to give Boise a 35-0 lead with 6:46 remaining in the third quarter.
And the Broncos weren’t done yet after managing their sixth touchdown of the half about as easily as the first. Kelsey Young scored from 9 yards away with 1:59 left in the second quarter to culminate a nine-play, 59-yard drive as Rausa was true again with the PAT to make it 42-0.
Boise State scored once more, this time on a nice 15-yard run by McNichols, with Rausa making it 49-0 with four seconds left in the opening half. The seventh touchdown drive was 61 yards on six plays as fans at the packed stadium enjoyed this blowout.