BOISE, Idaho – No. 19 Boise State hopes to change its recent trend of uneven play when it hosts struggling New Mexico in Saturday's Mountain West contest. The Broncos dropped a game to BYU, allowed 42 points in a shaky win over San Jose State and escaped in overtime against Wyoming over the past three games.
TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2. LINE: Boise State -28.
Boise State coach Brian Harsin is peeved about criticism directed at his team and said that the opinions of boosters matter but not those that come from fans who may or may not attend games. "Any idiot can say anything they want and they usually do and they're negative," Harsin said during a press conference. "When people want to make comments on other things, it's pretty pathetic at the end of the day. ... I'm not going to listen to opinions unless they matter." While Harsin complains about trivial things, New Mexico has lost six straight games and will be taking the field for the first time since the death of 21-year-old defensive end Nahje Flowers on Nov. 5. "We all know there should be many, many more chapters to Nahje's story," Lobos coach Bob Davie told reporters. "But with that said you see young men deal with adversity, deal with tragedy and become men. It's sad, but it's what life is and how you respond to things and how you respond to adversity is part of the growing experience."
ABOUT NEW MEXICO (2-7, 0-5 Mountain West)
The Lobos had their Nov. 9 contest against Air Force moved back two weeks due to Flowers’ death and are in action for the first time since a 21-10 loss to Nevada on Nov. 2. Senior running back Ahmari Davis has been superb for New Mexico with 823 yards and seven touchdowns and he rushed for a career-high 200 yards on just 16 carries against Hawaii on Oct. 26. A porous defense allows averages of 35.8 points and 490.1 yards but junior linebacker Jacobi Hearn has played well and has six of the team’s 20 sacks.
ABOUT BOISE STATE (8-1, 5-0)
Freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier has missed two of the past three games - he apparently missed the Wyoming game with a shoulder injury - but it hasn’t yet been revealed if he will play against New Mexico. Sophomore backup Chase Cord had his throwing hand worked on by trainers late in regulation against Wyoming but he finished the contest and will be the starter if Bachmeier is unavailable. Junior pass rusher Curtis Weaver has 12.5 sacks this season and 33 in his career for second place in school history, surpassing Chris Wing (32 from 1994-96).
1. Boise State is 9-1 all-time against New Mexico and has scored 45 or more points in five of the 10 meetings.
2. Broncos sophomore WR Khalil Shakir had seven receptions against Wyoming, his third outing of at least seven catches this season.
3. Only three schools have a worse turnover margin than the Lobos (minus-12).
PREDICTION: Boise State 48, New Mexico 21