BOISE - The last time Boise State lost a home opener was way back in 2001. Their opponent for that game was none other than Washington State.
As the Broncos and Cougars prepare to meet on the Blue for the first time in 15 years, coaches and players are keeping that loss in mind. In fact, defensive coordinator Andy Avalos and assistant coaches Scott Huff and Gabe Franklin all played in that game.
"It got brought to our attention, but we don't really like to talk about that much," Avalos joked about the loss during the team's weekly press conference on Tuesday.
And while the home loss all those years ago may still sting for those who played in the game, this year's team is squarely focused on the Cougars that will take field on Saturday night.
"You see and know what Washington State is capable of on offense, so we've got a big challenge ahead of us," Avalos said.
DEFENDING THE AIR RAID
Washington State, led by quarterback Luke Falk, features an Air Raid attack that has led the nation in passing the last two years, averaging over 380 yards passing per game. Falk threw for over 4,500 yards and 38 touchdowns last season.
The Broncos know that limiting big plays will be paramount on Saturday night.
"We don't want to give up explosive plays," Avalos said. "You want to make the offense work for it, (and) we've got to do a good job of making tackles in the open field, because there's going to be a lot of open space."
LEACH ON THE BLUE
Wazzu coach Mike Leach, making his first trip to the Albertsons Stadium on Saturday, was asked by reporters in Pullman what he thinks about Boise State's blue turf. In his typically-wry delivery, Leach brought up two myths every Broncos fan is familiar with.
"I think that secretly those... coaches at Boise would rather watch their guys practice on grass so there's more contrast with them running around than on blue turf," he said. "And I'm not sure about it, but I think we've got to look into the animal watch groups and what-not to make sure they keep that covered so ducks don't break their necks trying to land on the sucker, that's what I think."
GAME DAY GUIDE: Boise State vs. Washington State
Boise State and Washington State kick off at 8:15 p.m. Saturday.
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