Bronco Beat

Boise State's 2017 football schedule (mostly) set — with two 6 p.m. home games

The Mountain West announced its national television broadcast slate for the 2017 football season Wednesday, locking in dates for Boise State’s schedule.

Boise State gets, by its standard, an early kickoff on Thursday, Sept. 14 when it takes on New Mexico at Albertsons Stadium at 6 p.m. That game was previously slated for a Saturday. The Broncos will have three non-Saturday games, and only one quick turnaround, the five days between playing at Washington State and hosting New Mexico.

Two of the three September games at Albertsons Stadium will have 6 p.m. kickoffs, with the Sept. 2 home opener still to be determined. That kickoff time is expected in June.

“It was important for us to have some games at Albertsons Stadium kick at a time that got our fans home before midnight,” Boise State Athletic Director Curt Apsey said in a statement. “We have been working with both the Mountain West and its national television partners since last season, and I am extremely pleased they were able to accommodate our request.

“Boise State is obviously a brand that draws eyes across the nation, and we are fortunate for the exposure national television broadcasts have provided. However, consistently kicking after 8 p.m. has made things difficult on our fans. I’m hopeful that today’s announcement makes it easier on them and their families, and that we see them in the stands throughout the 2017 season.”

All four of Boise State’s Mountain West road games will be played on Saturdays and televised by CBS Sports Network. As of now, three games are guaranteed to be on ESPN or ESPN2 in the first five weeks.

Football coach Bryan Harsin met with the media Wednesday and discussed scheduling a bit.

“The more Saturday games, the better, the less Thursday and Friday games,” Harsin said, noting how those games tend to alter the team’s routine. “... We’ve had five and six non-Saturday games the last two seasons.”

One of the Friday games, Oct. 6 at BYU, comes after a bye, which Harsin said was fine with him. Kickoff times are not yet set for five games.

“We have some 6 o’clock kickoffs, which are good, and hopefully we have one that will be an earlier game than that,” Harsin said. “If we can get 12:30 or 1:30 kickoff, in late October, November, that’s probably one of the best times to go out there and play here.”

The turnaround from playing on the road against pass-heavy Washington State (No. 3 nationally in passing offense in 2016), then hosting a triple option team in New Mexico (No. 1 in rushing) five days later may prove to be the toughest part of the slate. Last season, the Broncos played Colorado State at home on Oct. 15, then hosted BYU on Oct. 20. Harsin said “that was one of the most difficult weeks we’ve had.”

Boise State 2017 football schedule

Saturday, Sept. 2: vs. Troy (ESPN networks)

Saturday, Sept. 9: at Washington State

Thursday, Sept. 14: vs. New Mexico, (6 p.m. ESPN)

Friday, Sept. 22: vs. Virginia (6 p.m., ESPN or ESPN2)

Friday, Oct. 6: at BYU (8:15 p.m., ESPN)

Saturday, Oct. 14: at San Diego State (8:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network)

Saturday, Oct. 21: vs. Wyoming (ESPN networks)

Saturday, Oct. 28: at Utah State (8 p.m., CBS Sports Network)

Saturday, Nov. 4: vs. Nevada (ESPN networks)

Saturday, Nov. 11: at Colorado State (8:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network)

Saturday, Nov. 18: vs. Air Force (ESPN networks)

Saturday, Nov. 25: at Fresno State (1:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network)

Dave Southorn: 208-377-6420, @davesouthorn