Since Boise State’s trick-play-infused, overtime win against Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, fans have come to expect a little gadgetry from the Broncos.
First-year offensive coordinator Zak Hill described his playcalling last week against New Mexico as “safe,” but that mentality may be about to change.
The Broncos rank 108th in total offense (340.7 yards per game) and 60th in scoring (32.0 ppg) heading into Friday’s home game against Virginia (6 p.m., ESPN2). Both numbers are uncharacteristic of the Broncos, who finished the 2016 season 21st in total offense (472.8) and 38th in scoring (33.8).
“Looking back at that game, the last one here, I definitely felt like we called it a little safe,” said Hill, who called just 19 passing plays and 32 running plays against the Lobos. “... There’s definitely more room for some gadgets, and some funk and some tricks and things like that. It’s just kind of the feeling of the game and finding the right times for those as well.”
Hill found the right time for a bit of the unexpected at the start of the fourth quarter against New Mexico, and the play may be a sign of further creativity to come from the coordinator’s playbook.
Senior Jake Roh — who plays tight end — lined up at quarterback in the wildcat and scored from 6 yards out for a 21-7 Boise State lead. It was the first rushing touchdown (and carry) of Roh’s college career.
“I’m sure (the Lobos) were kind of feeling it out a little bit,” Hill said. “That’s what you hope as a coach when you’re putting some guys in different positions where the defense is trying to figure it out and they’re playing slow.”
The key to making those kinds of plays work, Hill said, starts with a savvy playmaker.
“We thought (Roh) was going to be a good wrinkle — and it happened to be — so it was fun,” Hill said.
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Roh’s touchdown is our Boise State play of the week (watch the video above).
Previous plays of the week: