Hank Bachmeier walked gingerly between two athletic trainers as he returned to the sideline to watch his Boise State football team finish off Hawaii, 59-37, on Saturday night at Albertsons Stadium.
As bad as it may have looked, the Broncos’ true freshman quarterback is going to be OK.
“It’s not going to be season ending or anything like that. It’s a hip pointer or whatever, something along those lines,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said during his postgame press conference in the Bleymaier Football Center.
“He was back out there and he was right in front of me, we were kind of going through the fans and high-fiving (after the game). ... Hank’s a tough player.”
Bachmeier was injured in the second quarter when he tried to run for a first down on third-and-3 from the Hawaii 22-yard line. But Hawaii linebacker Kana’i Picanco met Bachmeier with force and knocked the football from his hands. The fumble was recovered by Hawaii defensive end Manly Williams.
Bachmeier went to the ground after the hit, attempted to stand up and then went back to one knee. He was helped off the field by two trainers and taken to the medical tent with 10:58 to play before halftime and Boise State leading 17-7.
Bachmeier later went to the Idaho Sports Medicine Institute in the southeast corner of Albertsons Stadium and was seen walking to the locker room without his pads on. ESPN2 cameras showed him wincing several times as he walked, apparently bothered by pain on the left side of his body.
On the play, Picanco hit Bachmeier with his shoulder pads in the left side and lower back.
“He got hit in the side, and then he was out,” Harsin said. “He was not going to come back in.”
A hip pointer is a deep bruise to the ridge of the bone on the upper side of the hip, according to UPMC Sports Medicine. Typical healing time is one to three weeks.
“Hank’s going to be fine moving forward,” Harsin said.
After Bachmeier went down, redshirt sophomore Chase Cord took over at quarterback for the Broncos, and the offense kept rolling.
Cord found sophomore receiver Khalil Shakir for a 33-yard touchdown pass with 5:52 left in the second quarter. He threw two more TD passes in the third quarter. The first was a 42-yarder to John Hightower and the second an 8-yard toss to George Holani. Cord finished 12-for-18 passing for a career-high 175 yards and a QB rating of 203.3.
“He’s got good command. He’s got a good feel,” Harsin said of Cord. “The one that he flipped to Holani, it might have been the fifth read in the progression. You hardly ever get past two, but he just has the awareness.”
Reserve Jaylon Henderson also saw time at QB for the Broncos, even before Bachmeier’s injury. Henderson added a TD pass of his own on a 25-yarder to Holani with 8:24 remaining in the third quarter that put the Broncos up 45-14. Henderson was 6-for-10 passing for a career-best 82 yards.
It marked the first time Boise State has had three different players throw TD passes in a game since Nov. 8, 2008. In that 49-14 win over Utah State, quarterbacks Kellen Moore and Mike Coughlin and wide receivers Tanyon Bissell and Vinny Perretta each threw for a score.
“We’ve got confidence in all our quarterbacks,” Hightower said. “No matter who’s back there, we know that they can get the job done.”
Before he exited against Hawaii, Bachmeier had completed 3-of-9 passes for 58 yards and one touchdown while rushing three times for 28 yards. He threw a 26-yard TD pass to Hightower with 8:20 left in the first quarter. For the season, Bachmeier is 109-for-176 passing for 1,547 yards and nine touchdowns with three interceptions. He also has one rushing TD.
Bachmeier had led the Broncos to a 5-0 start and No. 14 ranking to begin the season. He beat out Cord for the starting job. Cord also was the backup last year until a torn anterior cruciate ligament ended his season in October.
Boise State once had an enviable streak of healthy starting quarterbacks. But Bachmeier’s injury is at least the fourth to a Boise State starting QB in the past six years, joining Joe Southwick (2013, broken ankle), Ryan Finley (2015, broken ankle) and Brett Rypien (2017, concussion).