The No. 22 Boise State football team improved to 3-0 on Friday night at Albertsons Stadium.
The Broncos scored 31 consecutive points to blow past the Portland State Vikings 45-10. Backup quarterback Chase Cord had one touchdown run and two touchdown passes, STUD end Curtis Weaver tied a school record with four sacks and senior wide receiver John Hightower returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown in the blowout.
Starting quarterback Hank Bachmeier threw for 238 yards and two touchdowns but also had an interception and took a bunch of hits. Bachmeier only played one series in the second half.
PSU — Cody Williams 26 field goal, 10:27. Key plays: Quarterback Davis Alexander hit wide receiver Mataio Talalemotu for 8 yards on third-and-8 and made a late option pitch to Beau Kelly for a 52-yard gain. The Vikings stalled in part because of two false starts after getting first-and-goal. Drive: 8 plays, 61 yards, 4:33. Portland State 3, Boise State 0
BSU — John Hightower 98 kickoff return (Eric Sachse kick), 10:12. Boise State 7, Portland State 3
BSU — Chase Cord 7 run (Sachse kick), 4:13. Key plays: Starting tailback Robert Mahone returned to action with runs of 25 and 28 yards after missing time last week against Marshall. Quarterback Hank Bachmeier scrambled for 7 yards on third-and-7 and the Broncos confused the Vikings with pre-snap movement when backup quarterback Cord came into the game for a red-zone play. Drive: 7 plays, 86 yards, 3:16. Boise State 14, Portland State 3
PSU — Talalemotu 52 pass from Alexander (Williams kick), 2:25. Key plays: Alexander found Kelly for 12 yards on third-and-10 and Talalemotu burned nickel Kekaula Kaniho with a double move for the touchdown on another third-and-10. Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards, 1:48. Boise State 14, Portland State 10
BSU — Hightower 23 pass from Bachmeier (Sachse kick), 6:18. Key plays: Bachmeier got hot with a 25-yard back-shoulder throw to Khalil Shakir, a 22-yard strike to Akilian Butler with a defender on the quarterback’s back and the TD to Hightower just before a defender hit Bachmeier in the chin. Drive: 5 plays, 77 yards, 2:15. Boise State 21, Portland State 10
BSU — CT Thomas 9 pass from Bachmeier (Sachse kick), :29. Key plays: Bachmeier hit Butler for 16 and 20 yards, both on third down, and Shakir for 12 yards on third-and-10. Linebacker Anthony Adams got his hands on the touchdown throw but couldn’t catch it and Thomas grabbed the deflection. Drive: 12 plays, 56 yards, 1:45. Boise State 28, Portland State 10
BSU — Thomas 33 pass from Cord (Sachse kick), 8:53. Key plays: True freshman tailback George Holani ran up the middle for 14 yards, then hurdled a defender at the end of a 12-yard reception. Cord floated a perfect pass to Thomas down the left sideline for the score. Drive: 4 plays, 63 yards, 1:45. Boise State 35, Portland State 10
BSU — Sachse 33 field goal, 5:56. Key plays: Cord escaped a pass rusher and scrambled for 29 yards on third-and-10. However, he threw incompletions on the next three plays. Drive: 7 plays, 29 yards, 2:10. Boise State 38, Portland State 10
BSU — Stefan Cobbs 44 pass from Cord (Sachse kick), 12:30. Key plays: Holani busted a 15-yard run and Cobbs took a short throw and broke free for a TD on his first college catch. Drive: 4 plays, 73 yards, 1:46. Boise State 45, Portland State 10
NEWS AND NOTES
Both offensive tackles out
Boise State junior left tackle Ezra Cleveland didn’t play against Portland State because of an injury. He had a protective boot on his right foot Saturday night and appeared to be favoring that leg during the previous game against Marshall. Cleveland had started the first 29 games of his career.
Cleveland joined sophomore right tackle John Ojukwu on the bench. Ojukwu sustained a leg injury in the season opener and had a sleeve on his right knee Saturday.
The Broncos also inserted two first-time starters into the offensive line: redshirt freshman Garrett Curran at right tackle and redshirt freshman Kekaniokoa Holomalia-Gonzalez at left guard. Senior John Molchon started at left tackle — his third starting spot of the season. The other two spots were filled by regulars Garrett Larson at center and Eric Quevedo at right guard.
Molchon started at left guard, his usual spot, against Florida State and moved to right tackle when Ojukwu got hurt. He started at right tackle against Marshall.
Starting safety DeAndre Pierce, who also was injured against Florida State, missed his second straight game as well.
Running back Robert Mahone and wide receiver CT Thomas, both starters, returned to action. Mahone injured a shoulder against Marshall and Thomas missed the Marshall game.
Weaver moves up
Curtis Weaver sacked Portland State quarterback Davis Alexander for a 6-yard loss on the second play of the game for his third sack of the season. He added another sack in the second quarter and two in the third to tie the school record for sacks in a game with four.
The 6-foot-3, 265-pound junior now has 26.5 career sacks, which moves him into third place in Boise State history. He entered the game tied for fourth with Shawn Anderson (1988-91) at 22.5 and passed Anderson and Greg Sabala (23.0, 1990-93) with the early takedown.
Weaver also is the FBS’ active career leader in sacks. He is four ahead of second-place Joe Gaziano of Northwestern and has done so in 12 fewer games.
Chris Wing (1994-96) owns the No. 2 spot in program history with 32 sacks.
Hightower to the house
Boise State senior wide receiver John Hightower showed off his blazing speed on Portland State’s first kickoff of the game, racing all the way across the field from right to left and then down the sideline for a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. That tied for the fifth-longest kickoff return in school history.
Hightower’s return was also the first TD return on a deep kickoff in coach Bryan Harsin’s six-year tenure. Avery Williams returned an onside kick for a touchdown last year. The previous TD on a deep kick was 100 yards by Bryan Douglas in 2013.
Portland State defender ejected
Portland State senior safety Romeo Gunt was ejected for targeting in the second quarter. His helmet struck Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier in the jaw area as Bachmeier completed a touchdown pass to Hightower.
Gunt led the team with 19 tackles in the first two games.
The Broncos wore all orange for the orange out in the stands. ... Sophomore wide receiver Khalil Shakir was the single-game captain. ... Redshirt freshman Dylan Herberg of Timberline High carried the Hammer. ... Portland State won the coin toss and took the ball. ... Boise State’s kickoff-return for a touchdown in the first quarter gave the Broncos a first-half lead for the first time this season. ... Punter Joel Velazquez, who has a stronger leg than starting kicker Eric Sachse, missed a 51-yard field-goal attempt wide right in the second quarter.