The Boise State football team’s “difference-maker” returned to the offensive line for the past two games, and his impact was evident.
Junior left tackle Rees Odhiambo got a break during last week’s bye and says he’s ready to finish the season.
He started Oct. 24 against BYU for the first time since he was injured Sept. 6. He also played about half of the Fresno State game on Oct. 17.
“After fall camp and you go through the first two games, you have a nice little rhythm going,” Odhiambo said. “After that, it’s completely gone. You have to start from scratch. The first game, I felt like I was a little slow on some things. As the game went on, I got a lot better and it got easier to get in that flow and rhythm and know what I was doing.”
Odhiambo is one of two Broncos linemen who started regularly last year. The other is junior center Marcus Henry.
With Odhiambo in the lineup for a full game, the Broncos rushed for 135 yards (3.6 per carry) against Ole Miss and 227 yards (4.7 per carry) against BYU.
Ole Miss ranks 33rd in the nation in rush defense and allows 3.5 yards per carry. BYU is 13th and allows 3.1 yards per carry.
“He’s a difference-maker when he’s in there,” offensive line coach Scott Huff said before the BYU game.
Odhiambo declined to say what his injury was. Several times, coach Bryan Harsin said he was hopeful Odhiambo would play but he wasn’t out there on game day.
“It was really challenging,” Odhiambo said. “ It was more, ‘I think I can go,’ but I wasn’t cleared yet. It felt great to get going again.”
Being out, and seeing more serious injuries occur to players on TV, helped Odhiambo appreciate the opportunity he has now.
“I’ve really enjoyed playing,” he said. “I feel like it’s an opportunity most people don’t get. You just have to enjoy the process and every moment you get to play.”
He said the offensive line has played a key role in the Broncos’ offensive resurgence. They have scored 143 points in the past three games (47.7 per game) while averaging 566.3 yards per game.
“It’s been mostly just the offensive line has been clicking on a lot of things,” Odhiambo said. “When (quarterback Grant Hedrick) feels comfortable back there, he can throw the ball wherever he needs to without worrying about getting hit. Once we fixed that, everything else was just good to go.”
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