by Jeff Caves
By naming Hank Bachmeier the starting QB at Boise State, Head Coach Bryan Harsin is going deep. He sees a 1 on 1 match up and he’s launching a deep throw on first down early in the game. Sure, he could have literally limped into Jacksonville behind Chase Cord and played it safe. But, he saw the hitch in Cord’s giddy up, and maybe the look in his eye, and decided to go for broke. Harsin is gambling on a true freshman.
From up in the stands, I could see Cord favoring his repaired knee during the Fan Fest practice. From on the field, coaches can see his facial expressions and movements even better. I bet Cord is still learning how to trust his knee. Dropping or cutting back in traffic is a whole different thing when the game is live. And, the game is much faster vs Florida Freaking State. One wrong move there and Cord is looking at a lifetime of knee problems. Maybe you risk Cord vs Portland State, not Florida Freaking State.
But, Bachmeier won this job fair and square Harsin reminded us. I like the gamble. Bachmeier is a longer-term investment in recruiting the best talent for Boise. Harsin can go into the recruiting battlefield and go look for the best QB he can find every 3or 4 years and tell him he can play right away, like Rypien and Bachmeier. If this works out, this could be a game-changer in recruiting.
If it doesn’t?
Well, you may lose to Florida State, tear down some of Bachmeier and the teams’ confidence and have an up and down year. Losses to Florida State, an Air Force or Wyoming, BYU or Utah State could easily happen at home or on the road with a freshman QB finding his consistency. Harsin is all in on Bachmeier and going deep. I think he has the playmakers around him at WR and a veteran offensive line to lighten the load. If Boise State can run the ball and get Bachmeier to 3rd and 5 or less consistently, life will much easier for Bachmeier. Then, Harsin can play it safe.