Moore, Burks, Huff, Linehan, Horn out
Boise State played without four receivers who figure prominently in the passing game senior wide receivers Kirby Moore and Aaron Burks, senior tight end Gabe Linehan and sophomore tight end Holden Huff. All have been dealing with injuries. Moore, the teams second-leading receiver, missed his first game, Burks and Linehan missed their second and Huff missed his third.
Junior starting defensive tackle Tyler Horn, the second-leading tackler, also sat with an injury. It was his first missed game of the season. Sophomore defensive tackle Armand Nance made his first start in Horns place.
Coach Chris Petersen did not provide any updates.
Its frustrating that we seem to be getting that many guys injured, Petersen said. They just kind of run in batches a little bit. Hopefully well get some guys back over the bye. Nobody cares about your injuries, except for me and the coaching staff, but some young guys did a good job stepping up.
Baltazar, Odhiambo get hurt
True freshman tailback Aaron Baltazar opened as the primary tailback for the first time. He replaced sophomore Jay Ajayi last week at Fresno State after Ajayi lost his second fumble in as many games. Baltazar didnt actually start because of a funky formation (wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes at tailback) but was on the field for the next two plays.
Baltazar rushed four times for 36 yards before leaving the game with an injury
Aaron got dinged so well know more about him (later), Petersen said.
Sophomore right tackle Rees Odhiambo also left the game with an injury. He was replaced by senior Jake Broyles.
True freshman cornerback Jonathan Moxey made his first start in a three-cornerback alignment. His role has been increasing throughout the first month of the season. Moxey replaced strong-side linebacker Corey Bell.
Big mistake for Hedrick
Junior backup quarterback Grant Hedrick entered, perhaps to run a drive, at the start of the second quarter. But on the first play, he fumbled the snap and Southern Miss recovered at the Boise State 8. That led to a Golden Eagles touchdown.
Im not sure what the sequence was going to be, Petersen said.
Hedrick took advantage of his playing time in the second half. He was 3-for-3 for 45 yards and he rushed five times for 29 yards and a touchdown.
Another Wish moment
Boise State hosted an out-of-state Make-A-Wish child for the third time in four seasons. Shane Swanson, 12, of Minnesota led the team onto the field and was an honorary captain for the coin toss.
Offensive lineman Charles Leno Jr. pushed Shanes wheelchair out of the tunnel. Shane held a small version of the Hammer and held hands with safety Taylor Loffler, who carried the Broncos full-sized Hammer.
Shane has Spina Bifida.
Our players love it, Petersen said. Our players did a great job with Shane the last two days. We just feel so honored when somebody like that wants to come out and spend a wish with us. That was so awesome how the crowd reacted to him. It was probably the biggest cheer of the night and rightly so.
Kickoff pushed back
ESPN pushed back the kickoff by 6 minutes, to 8:21 p.m., because the Florida-Kentucky game that preceded it on ESPNU was running late.
Boise State wore black pants, black helmets and gray jerseys. Boise States captains were wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn, defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, safety Dillon Lukehart and offensive guard Marcus Henry. The coaches for both teams wore the Coach to Cure MD patches, an annual event to raise awareness of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Boise States honorary captains were Jim Brekke (tight end, 1995-98) and linebacker/defensive end Nic Stranberg (2001-03). Southern Miss won the coin toss and deferred. Boise State has scored at least 40 points in four straight games, the longest streak since 2010. The Broncos scored the last 50 points. Boldewijn and junior wide receiver Matt Miller each topped 100 receiving yards, the first tandem for the Broncos since 2010. Boise State recorded four sacks, more than in the previous four games combined (three).