The Washington State punt that rolled off the back of Boise State cornerback Reid Harrison-Ducros set up the Cougars’ game-tying drive in regulation.
But Broncos head coach Bryan Harsin made one thing clear during his press conference Monday following a 47-44 triple-overtime loss to No. 20 WSU.
“He didn’t do anything incorrectly,” Harsin said of Harrison-Ducros.
Chalk it up to a simple case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“The kick happened to go 33 yards. It came from a left-footed punter that went to the right,” Harsin said. “... You go back and look at it, really the ball was kicked and (Harrison-Ducros) was in pretty good position and it hit him. Bottom line.”
Harsin said the Broncos — leading by seven points with about 3 minutes left — were in safe punt return, which means they kept their defense on the field for the special teams play to prevent a fake.
It was a tactic that led to Boise State’s longest punt return of the 2016 season — a 73-yarder by Cedrick Wilson against UNLV.
“As far as what we can do, you can really just get everybody out of the picture is really the only answer in that situation,” Harsin said. “And if you’re doing that, all you’re gonna do is fair-catch it. You’re gonna fair-catch it, or you’re going to let the ball bounce and you’re just gonna take wherever it ends up.
“That’s not necessarily the approach that we want to have. We want to try to create some type of field position.”
While there’s no changing what happened against the Cougars, Harsin said the team has learned all it can from the play.
“We just have to do a better job of communicating and moving,” Harsin said. “We move two feet and it changes everything, the ball bounces and it’s a different story.”