1.) Cure the Hangover: We all know what happened last week. As much as fans think it hurts them, it hurts the players and coaches even more. Losing is never easy, and with a young, beaten, and battered team it could be very costly. Hawaii is a bad football team, and really on paper should pose no threat to Boise State. However, coming off of a devastating loss at home means Boise State has two choices come Saturday. Choice one: wallow in self-pity, play like the season is over and possibly get upset by Hawaii. Choice two: be Broncos, play with pride and tenacity and go out and blow Hawaii out like you are expected to. I expect nothing less than choice two.
2.) Get Back to What Works: A loss can often get a team to go looking for answers. Teams often try to change things up, and find new ways to win. The pedigree for this Boise State team though is simple: run the ball, pass in high percentage situations, and play great defense. Joe Southwick is a bus driver type of quarterback, not a win you the game type of player – at least not yet. That means Boise State needs to continue to run the ball to set up the pass, while relying on their defense to put them in easy field positions to score points. Hawaii’s defense is nothing short of awful so far this year, giving up 42.6 points a game. Boise State will have opportunities to score points in this game, hopefully they seize those opportunities.
3.) Overcome the Island: You have a three-hour time difference. The humidity is high, and the travel is rough. Traveling to Hawaii – unless you are going on vacation – is not the easiest thing to deal with. With a young team, many of whom are making their first trip to the island, it can be even more difficult. It will be very important for Boise State players to stay hydrated and focused on the game. The football team Hawaii has might not be very good this year, but the home-field advantage they have is very real. In fact, it maybe the biggest strength they have this year.
4.) Start Fast: Putting this game away early would be nice. Simply starting off quickly though will do. We saw last week how starting fast can help a team. In this case, it would be preferable if that team was Boise State. This defense has been masterful at causing turnovers this year. In this game, an early interception or fumble recovery could go a long ways in helping Boise State win. Just as affective would a break-away run, or deep ball. However it happens, an early big play might help Boise State wake up out of whatever hangover they may have from the San Diego State loss.
5.) Southwick has to get better: Joe has been consistent, he has been – as I mentioned above – a “bus driver” this year. He has not however been dynamic. Ten touchdowns in nine games is not the kind of consistency that you hope for out of your quarterback this far into the season . Don’t get me wrong, Joe has done some good things. He has been an accurate passer completing 65% of his passes, and he has only thrown seven interceptions this season. That being said, we just haven’t seen the “it” factor yet. He hasn’t had that game or drive that makes you say that is our guy. Joe doesn’t have to be, nor will he ever be Kellen Moore. Joe does need to get the ball in the end zone more often. And he does need to complete more passes down the field when they are open. Joe just needs to get a little bit better, and show everyone why he is the starting quarterback at Boise State. If Southwick can turn that corner, Boise State will make huge gains as they head toward the end of this season. Gains that will lead to more wins, and a huge boost towards the next year. And more importantly, a win against Hawaii.
Score: Boise State 42 Hawaii 13
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