Boise State looks to hold off newly confident Air Force

Boise State has yet to give up a point in the second half while winning three straight games.

Sep 14, 2019; Boulder, CO, USA; Air Force Falcons running back Kadin Remsberg (24) runs the first play of overtime against the Colorado Buffaloes into the end zone for a touchdown at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports

A highly confident Air Force squad hopes to end that impressive feat when it visits the No. 20 Broncos on Friday night in the Mountain West opener for both teams.

Boise State (3-0) and Wisconsin (2-0) are the lone teams nationally to not allow a second-half point. The efforts helped the Broncos rally to beat Florida State, hold on to defeat pesky Marshall and finish skating past FCS Portland State.

The Falcons (2-0) routed Colgate in their opener and then delivered a 30-23 overtime win at Colorado last week. That triumph left Air Force chirping about how good the players feel they are.

“We have so much talent,” standout junior running back Kadin Remsberg told reporters. “People, I think, discredit us because we’re an academy, but we have guys that can ball. We’re going to show the Mountain West this year.”

Junior quarterback Donald Hammond III took it up another notch with his assessment.

“Nobody in this nation can stop us except for ourselves,” Hammond said.

Notching an upset will be quite a task as Boise State is looking to win its 20th consecutive conference opener. The Broncos’ last such loss came in 1999 when they were defeated 17-10 by North Texas as members of the Big West.

Boise State also owns the best home record (115-9) this century.

But Air Force did score one of those few victories on the blue turf -- 37-30 in 2015 -- so Broncos coach Bryan Harsin is on full alert when it comes to the Falcons’ tricky offensive attack.

“It’s not just triple option,” Harsin said at a press conference. “They actually are very creative in their formations, they are creative in how they attack each team ... and their quarterback is playing really well. He can throw the ball well.”

Hammond passed for a career-high 155 yards against Colorado and one of his touchdown passes was an 81-yarder to senior receiver Ben Waters, tied for the fourth-longest passing score in school history.

Air Force still prefers to run the ball and Remsburg responded with a career-best 146 yards in the win over the Buffaloes.

The Falcons will be looking to keep Broncos pass rusher Curtis Weaver out of the backfield. The junior linebacker leads the nation with six sacks after matching the school record of four in last Saturday’s win over Portland State.

“It’s good, but we have to keep moving forward,” said Weaver, who ranks third in program history with 26.5 career sacks. “We’re going into Mountain West play now, so it’s still our goal to get that ring.”

The Boise State offense has been clicking behind true freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier, who has passed for 927 yards and four touchdowns.

True freshman George Holani (216 yards) and junior Robert Mahone (215) have split the ball-carrying duties, while sophomore Khalil Shakir is the top wideout with 17 catches for 237 yards.

Air Force junior cornerback Milton Bugg III has two interceptions and senior safety Jeremey Fejedelem is coming off a career-best effort with 14 tackles against Colorado in his seventh career double-digit performance.

While the Falcons expect to give the Broncos a game, so does Harsin.

“Their players are disciplined, they are tough,” Harsin said. “It shows up every time I watch them play.”

Boise State leads the all-time series 4-3. The Broncos won 48-38 last season at Air Force.

--Field Level Media