— By David Walsh
BOISE, Id. — Two games into his career, freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier is forming quite a bond with Boise State fans.
Bachmeier rushed for a touchdown and threw a TD pass to rally the No. 24 Broncos to a 14-7 victory over Marshall in college football Friday night in front of 31,951 fans at Albertsons Stadium and televised nationally on ESPN2.
A week ago, Bachmeier made his debut in grand style, throwing for more than 400 yards to rally Boise State to a 36-31 win against Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla.
In his first home start, Bachmeier hit 22-of-34 passes for 282 yards and a TD as the Broncos recorded their 18th straight win in home openers.
“Hank has shown his toughness and competitiveness in these two games,” Broncos coach Bryan Harsin said. “There’s been no back down. He wants to go out there and succeed.”
Marshall, which had 600-plus yards in offense last week in a 56-17 win over FCS membrer VMI, managed just 172 total yards in this contest. In the win at Florida State, the Broncos held the Seminoles scoreless in the second half and allowed just four first downs. They did a repeat against the Herd as its second-half stat line read: 14 plays, 0 yards, four punts, no first downs and an interception.
“That’s a relentless defense, to out there and do what they did in the second half,” Harsin said. “If we win games with defense like that, I’m all about it.”
“Our defense played well, but our offense needs to make more plays,” Marshall coach Doc Holliday said. “I’m proud of the way we played, but not proud that we didn’t win the game.”
Herd quarterback Isaiah Green was held to 56 yards through the air on 10-of-17 passes. Marshall had 116 yards rushing for 172 total yards to 437 for Boise State.
Marshall (1-1) returns home next week to take on Ohio University at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Game time Saturday is 6:30 p.m.
The Thundering Herd scored in the first period, but generated little offense after intermission against the Mountain West Conference favorite. Brenden Knox put the Herd ahead 7-0 on a 13-yard TD run with 1:02 left in the first period. It was all Boise State from that point on.
Bachmeier led the Broncos on an 83-yard TD drive right before halftime. He scored on a 1-yard run with 10 seconds left in the half and the home team out of timeouts. On the drive, Bachmeier connected with Khalil Shakir for 42 yards and tight end John Bates for 27. Two players before his TD, Andrew Van Buren fumbled at the 2, but the Broncos recovered.
Bachmeier started fast in the second half, connecting with John Hightower on a 47-yard touchdown strike with 13:27 left in the third period. The Broncos went 72 yards in four plays.
Boise State drove deep into Marshall territory late in the period, but Herd linebacker Amari Cobb tipped a Bachmeier pass near the line of scrimmage and latched onto it for the interception. Later, Silva got a sack on Bachmeier, he fumbled and the Herd recovered.