BOISE, Idaho – No. 22 Boise State looks to step up its performance when it faces FCS program Portland State on Saturday. The Broncos rallied to defeat Florida State 36-31 in their opener and were lethargic in the follow-up win as they got by visiting Marshall 14-7.
TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2. LINE: Boise State -31.5
Boise State coach Bryan Harsin sees eight fumbles (three lost) and only four red-zone touchdowns (in 12 possessions) on the ledger, and that leaves him with a sour taste despite a 2-0 start. "I don't think anybody's happy with the performances that we've had," Harsin said at a news conference. "I don't think anybody's sitting here saying, 'Hey, that's what it is. We've got it figured out.' By no means is that the case. Our standards are much higher. We have higher expectations of ourselves, and this week it needs to start." The Broncos haven't allowed a point in the second half of their two wins and were especially stout against Marshall when they gave up zero yards on 14 plays. Portland State put up a good road effort against FBS opponent Arkansas in its season opener before falling 20-13 and then rebounded to whip Division II Simon Fraser 70-7.
ABOUT PORTLAND STATE (1-1)
The Vikings had a 646-113 yardage edge in the rout of Simon Fraser while reaching the 70-point mark for the first time since a 77-10 win over Idaho State in 2012. Junior quarterback Davis Alexander is completing 60.9 percent of his passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns while being intercepted twice and receiver Davis Koetter -- son of Dirk Koetter, who coached Boise State from 1998-2000 and is currently offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons -- has two of the team's four touchdown receptions. Senior safety Romeo Gunt has a team-best 19 tackles with 15 of them coming in the close loss to Arkansas.
ABOUT BOISE STATE (2-0)
Two true freshmen have been standouts for the offense as quarterback Hank Bachmeier has passed for 689 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions and George Holani has 173 rushing yards after gaining 103 against Marshall. Bachmeier opened eyes with a 407-yard outing against Florida State in his college debut and has quickly displayed there won't be much drop-off from the departure of former starter Brett Rypien to the NFL. Junior pass rusher Curtis Weaver has two sacks to move into a fourth-place tie with Shawn Anderson (22.5 from 1988-91) and the Broncos have seven overall.
1. Boise State is 6-1 against the Vikings with Portland State's win occurring in 1992 (51-26 in Boise) when it was a Division II program and Boise State was part of the I-AA ranks.
2. The Vikings are 4-39 all-time against FBS programs.
3. The Broncos have allowed 68 total yards and four first downs in the second half this season.
PREDICTION: Boise State 44, Portland State 13