The decision to start Hank Bachmeier and stick with him while he struggled through the Vegas Bowl first half was not easy. Coach Harsin probably felt like he had to play for the future and do some damage control for the 2020 season. It was this moment that could define the Harsin-Bachmeier relationship. Harsin could have gone all-in and played a departing transfer QB to win the Vegas Bowl, finish Top 20 and embarrass his mentor. The off-season questions about Bachmeier would persist, his confidence could suffer and he would have a 50-50 shot of getting him to recover.
Harsin threw deep.
He decided to try for the same results with Hank AND go into 2020 as a Top 20 team. The ball was way overthrown.
Hank showed rust, pressed or just didn’t play well. Take your pick.
The play that illustrates best where Hank is at mentally was the interception he threw on the first drive. After a great start and moving the ball to midfield, on 1st and 10 mind you, Bachmeier escaped a sack, put his head down and regained his balance, and heaved a no-look pass into a triple covered receiver. It was an ugly interception. That was an act of a QB who is pressing. A guy who is trying to prove he can do the incredible and doesn’t want to get benched. Hank wanted to prove he is the Qb for Boise State. We all saw the result of this kind of self-induced pressure.
Harsin sees that as well.
And he wants to do something about it.
By starting Bachmeier and sticking with him, even too long into the 3rd quarter, Harsin threw all his chips behind Bachmeier. I admire that. He didn’t worry about the mistakes but as coaches can only say, they will be better for the long haul. Did Harsin trade in a more competitive Vegas Bowl for a New Years’ 6 game down the road?
I think we will find out. As the song says if you love him be proud of him. Bachmeier is the future and Harsin stood by his man.