Boise State Football

Final: Boise State 38, UNLV 13; Broncos stay unbeaten in 2019

In a sloppy game for the No. 16 Boise State football team, the Broncos hurt themselves with 10 penalties for 130 yards.

It was the most for the Broncos since racking up 142 yards in penalties against Louisiana Tech in 1997.

Despite the self-inflicted wounds, Boise State rolled past UNLV 38-13 on Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium to improve to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in Mountain West action.

Freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier completed 19-of-30 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns. Khalil Shakir and John Hightower each surpassed the 100-yard mark receiving with 111 and 105 yards, respectively.

Freshman George Holani led the Broncos’ ground game with 80 yards on nine carries, including a 46-yard run in the fourth quarter that set up the Broncos’ second-to-last touchdown.

With three sacks against UNLV, Curtis Weaver now has 29.5 career sacks, which is a Mountain West record.

[Related: ‘It wasn’t pretty’ but Broncos win; Boise State ‘sputters’ too much for a major bowl contender; Weaver sets Mountain West record; Instant Analysis: Broncos show little improvement]

Check out the scoring, tweets about the game and our news and notes below:


First quarter

BSU — Garrett Collingham 2 pass from Hank Bachmeier (Eric Sachse kick), 11:33. Key plays: Wide receiver Octavius Evans made a leaping catch for a 14-yard gain on second-and-12, then wide receiver John Hightower dashed 16 and 35 yards on consecutive running plays. Drive: 5 plays, 70 yards, 2:04. Boise State 7, UNLV 0

Second quarter

BSU — Hightower 76 pass from Bachmeier (Sachse kick), 13:38. Key play: Hightower broke wide open on the deep ball down the left side of the field. Drive: 1 play, 76 yards, :11. Boise State 14, UNLV 0

BSU — Joel Velazquez 52 field goal, :00. Key plays: The Broncos only had 32 seconds left when they got the ball at their own 12-yard line, but Bachmeier hit Khalil Shakir for 21 yards, Hightower for 6 and Shakir again for 26 to set up the field goal. Drive: 5 plays, 53 yards, :32. Boise State 17, UNLV 0

Third quarter

BSU — Akilian Butler 23 run (Sachse kick), 6:40. Key plays: Hightower drew a pair of pass-interference penalties, including one on third-and-10. The touchdown came on a quick reverse that featured handoffs from Hightower, who was the quarterback, to tailback Robert Mahone to Butler. Drive: 4 plays, 59 yards, 1:05. Boise State 24, UNLV 0

UNLV — Mekhi Stevenson 11 pass from Kenyon Oblad (Daniel Gutierrez kick), 2:33. Key plays: Cornerback Jalen Walker was flagged for a personal foul and STUD end Curtis Weaver for unsportsmanlike conduct on the drive. Oblad made a pretty throw to Stevenson to beat cornerback Avery Williams on a fade. Drive: 8 plays, 65 yards, 4:01. Boise State 24, UNLV 7

Fourth quarter

BSU — Shakir 24 pass from Chase Cord (Sachse kick), 5:31. Key plays: A Kekoa Nawahine interception got the Broncos the ball back. Freshman running back George Holani then started the drive with a 46-yard run to get the Broncos down to the UNLV 24-yard line. Drive: 2 plays, 70 yards, 0:37. Boise State 31, UNLV 7

UNLV — Darren Woods Jr. 12 pass from Oblad (Gutierrez kick failed), 1:23. Key play: On third-and-6 from the BSU 45, Oblad found Steve Jenkins for a 33-yard pass. Drive: 4 plays, 49 yards, 1:01. Boise State 31, UNLV 13

BSU — Andrew Van Buren 6 run (Sachse kick), 1:07. Key play: Avery Williams grabbed the Rebels’ onside kick and nearly returned it for a score, marching 39 yards to the UNLV 6-yard line. Drive: 1 play, 6 yards, :05. Boise State 38, UNLV 13


One Boise State starter returns

Boise State safety DeAndre Pierce and right tackle John Ojukwu, starters who were injured in the season opener at Florida State, are available to play Saturday night at UNLV. Ojukwu started but Pierce didn’t play. Pierce will play next week, coach Bryan Harsin said after the game.

Ojukwu’s return allowed the Broncos to start their usual five linemen for the first time since the opener. They used four different lineups in the first four games.

Boise State breaks through in first

The Broncos opened October by scoring first for the first time this season. UNLV went three and out on its opening drive and the Broncos zipped 70 yards in just over 2 minutes for a touchdown on their opening drive.

The Broncos entered the game having been outscored 38-20 in the first quarter this season.

Bachmeier’s dad attends

Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier’s dad, Michael, was able to attend the UNLV game. Michael had brain surgery in August and the season opener marked the first time he had missed one of his son’s games. Bachmeier, who is from Southern California, had 33 people in Las Vegas for the game.

Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier, far left, and his dad, Michael, far right. Courtesy of Bachmeier family/Boise State

Velazquez delivers big kick

Boise State junior punter Joel Velazquez struggled with consistency through the first four games but he had a few minutes late in the first half against UNLV that should boost his confidence.

First, Velazquez booted a 49-yard punt that was fair caught at the UNLV 5-yard line. Then he hammered a 52-yard field goal on the final play of the first half — coming in for starter Eric Sachse because Velazquez has a much stronger leg.

Velazquez had missed a 51-yarder against Portland State but showed he had plenty of leg for it. This one was true — and it was the first made field goal of Velazquez’s career. He also is the kickoff specialist and has competed for the kicker job during his career.

The 52-yarder tied for the sixth-longest in school history and was the longest since Kyle Brotzman made a 52-yarder in 2010 against Utah State.

Quick hits

Boise State wore all white. ... Center Garrett Larson was Boise State’s single-game captain. ... This is UNLV’s last season at Sam Boyd Stadium. The Rebels move into the new home of the Oakland Raiders next season. ... Cornerback Avery Williams carried the Hammer. ... Boise State won the coin toss and deferred. ... Boise State didn’t allow a point in the first half for the first time since the 2018 Wyoming game. It was the Broncos’ fourth half shutout this season, joining the three second halves to open the season. ... The crowd of 24,681 was the largest at home for UNLV since UCLA visited on Sept. 12, 2015. Most of the fans on the east side of the stadium were wearing blue and orange.


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