As good as the Boise State football team has been the first two games, the Broncos have not been with their full complement of starters.
That likely will change this week as a trio of key players who did not play in last Saturday’s 62-7 thrashing of UConn may be available for Saturday’s nonconference matchup at No. 24 Oklahoma State.
Sophomore wide receiver Octavius Evans and senior defensive tackle David Moa have not played this season, while junior middle linebacker Tyson Maeva did not play against UConn. All three appear to be probable to face the Cowboys.
“Good chance on all those guys,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “Anticipate Evans being ready to go, anticipate Moa being ready to go, Tyson will be ready to go.”
For Evans and Moa, they’ve at least suited up for both games, but seemed to be only needed in an emergency. Making sure they were in tip-top shape for Oklahoma State has been the idea in recent weeks.
“That’s kind of been the plan, to hopefully have them back this week,” Harsin said.
Harsin also noted that redshirt freshman linebacker Zeke Noa, who had a minor surgery just before the Troy game Sept. 1, will be available. Sophomore offensive lineman Austin Dixon had pneumonia and didn’t play against UConn, while sophomore safety Jordan Happle also had a minor procedure.
“We should be at full strength ... none of those guys have injuries that would not allow them right now to play,” Harsin said. “How effective they are, I don’t know that yet.”
Boise State’s wide receiver corps has been very impressive, and that’s minus Evans, who may have the most potential in the group. Harsin said Monday, “we need him in the rotation.” Moa’s spot has been filled by juniors Matt Locher and Chase Hatada, but defensive coordinator Andy Avalos said before the season “we’re a different defense without David Moa.”
“Davey hasn’t gone yet, every time I look at him over there, he’s working hard — when we’re blessed to get Davey back, it’s going to be good for the Broncos,” Avalos said Monday.
RYPIEN EARNS MW WEEKLY HONOR
Boise State senior quarterback Brett Rypien, who completed 21-of-28 passes for 362 yards and three touchdowns, earned his second career player of the week honor for the performance against UConn. He also won it Oct. 10, 2016.
In two games this season, Rypien is 41-of-56 passing for 667 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions. His 333.5 yards passing per game ranks 11th in the FBS. The Broncos’ Tyler Horton won the defensive player of the week award following the opener at Troy.
NEWS AND NOTES
Boise State’s 818-193 advantage (plus-625) in total yardage against UConn was the largest in a game between two FBS schools since 2000. It beat the previous mark of 621 — set by the Broncos against Northern Illinois in the 2015 Poinsettia Bowl. ... Oklahoma State wide receivers coach Kasey Dunn played for Idaho from 1987 to 1991 and is the Vandals’ all-time leading receiver (3,847 yards). ... Harsin and Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy are among the 22 FBS coaches who coach at their alma mater. ... Boise State is the first ranked nonconference opponent to visit Stillwater since No. 13 Georgia on Sept. 5, 2009. ... The Cowboys are 30-5 in their last 35 nonconference games.
No. 17 BOISE STATE AT No. 24 OKLAHOMA STATE
When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Boone-Pickens Stadium (60,000; artificial turf)
TV: ESPN (Adam Amin, Rod Gilmore, Quint Kessenich)
Radio: KBOI 670 AM/KTIK 93.1 FM (Bob Behler, Pete Cavender)
Records: BSU 2-0 (beat UConn 62-7 on Saturday); Oklahoma State 2-0 (beat South Alabama 55-13 on Saturday)
Series: First meeting (first regular season game for BSU vs. Big 12, 2-1 in bowls)
Vegas line: Oklahoma State by 3
Weather: Mid 80s, mostly sunny, 60 percent humidity