Boise State Opens 2016 In Lafayette
Aug. 30, 2016
BOISE, Idaho - The Boise State football team begins its 2016 campaign with a road game at Louisiana, scheduled for Sept. 3 (Saturday) at Cajun Field in Lafayette, La. Kickoff is set for 10 a.m. (MT), and the game will be nationally televised by ESPN3.
THE SERIES: In the only previous meeting against Louisiana, Boise State defeated the Ragin' Cajuns 34-9 in Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Sept. 20, 2014.
STREAK OF WINNING SEASONS: Boise State enters 2016 having posted 18-straight winning seasons, the nation's second-longest active streak and the 23rd-longest all-time. Virginia Tech has the longest streak in the country (22).
SEASON OPENERS: Boise State is 33-15 all-time in season openers, including a mark of 9-7 when opening in its opponent's stadium. The Broncos have dropped each of their last four season openers, the last win coming at New Mexico (31-14), Sept. 2, 2000. Boise State fell at South Carolina in 2001 (32-13), at Georgia in 2005 (48-13), at Michigan State in 2012 (17-13) and at Washington in 2013 (38-6).
Since that last true road victory, the Broncos also opened seasons at neutral sites on three occasions, going 2-1. The Broncos knocked off seventh-ranked Virginia Tech (33-30) in 2010 at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., defeated 19th-ranked Georgia (35-21) in 2011 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and fell to 18th-ranked Ole Miss (35-13) in 2014, a game that was also played at the Georgia Dome.
RECORD VS SUN BELT: Boise State is a perfect 5-0 against teams in the Sun Belt Conference at the time of the game, defeating Idaho four times (2001-04) and Louisiana in 2014 (34-9).
PRIMETIME PROGRAM: Over the last three seasons, the Boise State football team has grown accustomed to playing under the lights on national television. Of the 40 games from 2013-15, 34 kicked at 5 p.m. or later, and 17 kicked at 8 p.m. or later (all times Mountain).
Boise State's kick time against Louisiana is the earliest since also kicking at 10 a.m. MT against Connecticut, Sept. 13, 2014. The game against Louisiana is one of only two on the docket in 2016 with a set time that kicks before 5 p.m.
IT'S COOL, GUYS: Boise State did not open the 2016 season ranked in either the AP or Coaches Polls. However, historically, that seems to bode well for the Broncos. Over the course of the previous 14 seasons, Boise State did not open the season ranked in the preseason polls on six occasions. Each year - 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2014 - the Broncos finished ranked in the top 25. In two of those seasons (2006 and 2014), the Broncos capped their season with wins in the Fiesta Bowl.
THE HARSIN ERA: The Broncos are entering their third year under head coach Bryan Harsin, a former Bronco quarterback and assistant coach. Harsin led the Broncos to a record of 12-2 in his debut season, which included the school's first outright Mountain West Championship since joining the league in 2011 and the school's third victory in the Fiesta Bowl. For his efforts in year one, Harsin was named a finalist for the Paul "Bear" Bryant National Coach of the Year Award, the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award and the Dodd Trophy, given annually by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation.
In year two, the Broncos went 9-4 and defeated Northern Illinois 55-7 in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. And for the second-straight season, Harsin was named a midseason finalist for the Dodd Trophy, the only one from a non-Resource Five school.
COACHING CHANGES: The Broncos have a different offensive coordinator for the fourth time in as many seasons, but this time around, multiple people will handle the responsibilities. Offensive line coach Scott Huff and quarterbacks coach Zak Hill will serve as co-offensive coordinators, and head coach Bryan Harsin will call the plays. The Broncos also have a new defensive coordinator, as linebackers coach Andy Avalos takes over the defense in 2016.
Hill is entering his fi rst season with the Broncos, as are defensive backs/cornerbacks coach Ashley Ambrose and safeties coach Gabe Franklin. Hill spent the last seven seasons at Eastern Washington, where he helped lead the Eagles to the 2010 FCS National Championship. Ambrose, a former All-Pro cornerback in the NFL, was at Texas State in 2015. Franklin, a three-time all-league honoree for Boise State, spent the last five seasons at UTEP.
AMONG THE GREATEST: Boise State begins the 2016 season with the third-best all-time winning percentage among the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Broncos' all-time record at the four-year level entering the season was 417-159-2 (.723). Notre Dame is first (892-313-42; .732) on the all-time list, and Michigan is second (925-331-36; .729).
ESTABLISHING A LEGACY: The Broncos are the winningest football program in the country since 2000, with an overall record of 176-32 (.846). Ohio State (170-37; .821), Oklahoma (172-41; .808), LSU (160-48; .769) and TCU (153-48; .761) round out the top five.
OUT OF THE NORM: The Broncos went 9-4 in 2015, missing double-digit victories for just the second time in the last decade. Boise State has won 10-or-more games in 13 of the last 17 seasons, including 12-or-more in six of the last 10.
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