LOGAN, UTAH — It wasn’t some brilliant idea by coach Andy Avalos or another coach to have offensive coordinator Tim Plough on the sidelines for Saturday’s game at Utah State.
It was a request from the players.
A group of veteran offensive players asked Avalos earlier this week if Plough could coach from the sidelines. The Broncos gave it a shot, and the offense put up 435 yards in an impressive 27-3 road win.
“They came to coach Avalos,” Plough said. “One of the things they said was they really wanted me on the sideline and wanted me to be down there with them. That was a really cool moment for me, just being a newer coach and trying to earn the respect of the players and let them know I care about them and for them to say that, how could I say no? I was all about it.”
Tight ends coach Kent Riddle moved up to the box with Plough coming down to the sidelines.
Most offensive coordinators prefer to be in the box so they can have a better view of the defense. Some head coaches that call plays, such as UCF coach Gus Malzahn, do it from the sidelines.
Plough is also the quarterbacks coach, so being on the sidelines made it easier for him to talk with Hank Bachmeier and other members of the offense in between drives.
“Sometimes it’s easier if I’m just down there to relay those answers right away to the guy,” Plough said. “I think they wanted the presence of that down there, and I do get a little fired up, so maybe they just wanted me to bring a little more energy down there.
“It was a great honor that it came from them and one of my prouder moments being here so far that those guys cared enough that they wanted me down there. Obviously I’m glad it turned out with a win.”
Bachmeier passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns and Khalil Shakir had seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown.
It was Plough’s most creative game plan in four games as Boise State’s offensive coordinator, but who knows how much of that had to do with him being on the field.
The Broncos ran several plays out of the wildcat formation — eight snaps were taken by players other than Bachmeier — and several others ended up as wide receiver runs on jet sweeps. CT Thomas even ran the ball once on a reverse.
In all, the Broncos had 87 yards rushing from non-running backs. Even Bachmeier got in the mix with his legs, rushing for 44 yards on seven carries.
Boise State rushed for a season-high 148 yards.
“You look at our run game and what we’ve been trying to accomplish, and we just felt like we had a bunch of guys on our team that needed to touch the ball,” Plough said. “Maybe the best way to do that is to get them involved in the run game and create some more explosives.
“It’s still not a finished product by any means ... but we wanted to stay more consistent and have less negative runs.”
DEFENSE DOES IT AGAIN
Boise State’s defense had three more takeaways Saturday to give the Broncos 11 in just four games. The Broncos had just three total turnovers on defense in seven games last season.
Tyreque Jones and Tyric LeBeauf each had interceptions to give the Broncos seven interceptions on the season. Jackson Cravens forced a fumble and Demitri Washington recovered it in the fourth quarter for Boise State’s fourth fumble recovery in four games.
The Broncos allowed 443 yards to Utah State, but held the Aggies to three points. The Aggies went just 6 of 17 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down and scored points on just one of four trips to the red zone.
Boise State’s defense has allowed just three points in the second half of the past three games, and just 25 second-half points in four games.
JL Skinner led the Broncos onto the field with The Hammer. ... Jonah Dalmas connected on a 32-yard field goal in the fourth quarter after previously missing a 50-yard attempt in the first half. Counting his miss at the end of the Oklahoma State game, it’s the first time in Dalmas’ two-year Boise State career that he missed consecutive field goal attempts. ... Boise State outscored Utah State 17-3 in the second half. ... At least four true freshmen saw snaps for the first time Saturday including defensive tackle Ahmed Hassanein, kicker Will Ferrin, safety Zion Washington and quarterback Taylen Green.