Boise State defensive coordinator Marcel Yates got home in the early-morning hours Sunday after the Broncos’ win Saturday night at Colorado State and the airplane ride home.
He couldn’t sleep. His wife said he should be tired.
“I don’t have time to be tired,” Yates replied.
The clock will work against the No. 21 Broncos all week as they prepare for a key Mountain West Mountain Division contest Friday night at Utah State (7 p.m., CBS Sports Network).
Never miss a local story.
The turnaround is complicated by the opponents. Coach Bryan Harsin said Colorado State was one of the most physical teams the Broncos have faced and he expects Utah State to top that.
“Bye weeks usually happen right about now and we don’t have it until (after) week nine,” said Harsin, whose team will have a home game against Wyoming and a trip to UNLV before getting a break. “... We’re going to have to find ways to be creative to keep our guys healthy and have them ready to play. But we also knew what we were getting into before we started. How we handle it, I don’t know yet.”
The Broncos took their day off Sunday and will practice Monday-Wednesday, moving the schedule up one day. They bus to Logan, Utah, on Thursday and home after the game.
They sacrificed some of their time to enjoy the victory and analyze the video to turn quickly to Utah State preparation.
The program usually has a “24-hour rule” for digesting the previous game.
“That’s over now,” junior nickel Chanceller James said about 16 hours after the game. “It’s not 24 hours this week.”
Offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz watched the game video on the trip home and spent the last 45 minutes of the flight explaining what he saw to players.
“One thing about the culture of this place is our guys understand they’re responsible for their own growth,” Drinkwitz said. “They’ve already watched the tape. Our coaches do a good job of leaving notes and comments on the film. They coach themselves up.”
James and senior wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes downplayed the quick turnaround.
“It’s all about going out and executing when you play,” Williams-Rhodes said.
Yates, Drinkwitz and their assistants got an early start on the game plan Sunday morning to get ready in time for Monday’s practice.
“There’s still plenty of time,” Drinkwitz said. “The biggest thing is don’t cut corners. Don’t try to say you’re squeezed for time and not do your due diligence. ... This is definitely one of the top defenses we’ve played this year so we’re going to have to be prepared.”
Utah State has opened Mountain West play with a pair of wins and is tied for first in the Mountain with Boise State and Air Force. The Aggies were the team expected to challenge the Broncos for the division title going into the season.
Boise State ranks fifth in the nation in yards allowed (259.5 per game). Utah State is 18th in the nation and second in the MW at 297.4.
“They’re trying to attack,” Harsin said.
McNichols’ status in doubt
Boise State starting tailback Jeremy McNichols left the game Saturday night after taking a hit to the helmet on a 1-yard touchdown run.
He was “looked at” for a possible concussion, Harsin said. The coach didn’t provide any update on McNichols’ status for this week.
McNichols was wearing sweats when the game ended at Colorado State.
“Not coming (back) in, that’s a problem,” Harsin said Saturday night.
McNichols leads the nation with 14 touchdowns in six games. He has scored at least two touchdowns in every game.
He has more than twice as many carries (100) and rushing yards (485) as any other player on the team. He also ranks third on the team with 20 receptions and fourth with 196 receiving yards.
The Broncos’ players of the game: wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck and McNichols (offense), cornerback Jonathan Moxey (defense), Deayon (special teams), right guard Steven Baggett (O-line) and tackle Justin Taimatuia (D-line). ... James on playing defense: “If we let offenses get into a rhythm, it’s like a song — it just keeps going. It’s terrible.”