Posted on: Sunday, December 7, 2003
Boise State's depth proved too much
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Broncos' Dinwiddie leaves no doubt who's the best QB
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
|UH coach June Jones embraces senior UH defensive tackle Isa'ako Sopoaga during the postgame ceremony for seniors.
Eugene Tanner The Honolulu Advertiser
Junior running back Donny Heck made his first collegiate start by rushing for 87 yards and doubling his season touchdown total with four touchdowns. With David Mikell nursing an ankle injury that limited his practice time, Heck did not miss a beat.
"Donny stepped up real big today," said Mikell, who was limited to six carries for 18 yards and a 7-yard TD run. "He had the game of his life."
Heck scored on runs of 7, 8, 2 and 13 yards.
"He's a special kid," BSU coach Dan Hawkins said. "He's been a real blue-collar player for us all year long. We knew that Dave was a little dinged up this week. We were going to see how his ankle came around. We felt like Donny deserved a shot and he came through."
Mikell was an integral part of the Broncos' offense. He entered the game with 1,062 yards and 11 rushing TDs, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.
Heck was told before the game he would get the majority of carries, even though Mikell was available.
"I've been waiting a long time to get in the driver's seat," Heck said. "The O-line and defense played well today, gave me opportunities to score."
Also noticeably missing was wide receiver Tim Gilligan, who leads Boise State with 66 catches for 1,164 yards and is tied for the team lead with six TD receptions. Gilligan said his knees have been hurting all week. "They were about 80 percent (healthy)," he said.
Still, quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie spread his passes around to seven different players for 329 yards. Ironically, none went for TDs. He entered the game with 28 touchdowns.
Hawkins said because there were enough capable receivers available, he decided not to risk Gilligan before the Broncos' meeting with TCU in the Dec. 23 Fort Worth (Texas) Bowl.
"If we didn't have so many other guys, yeah (I would have used him)," Hawkins said. "But I think he felt he'd be doing the team a disservice if he wasn't at a 100 percent and the other guys were."
Mikell said Heck's performance and the other receivers' play was a credit to the team's depth.
"That's how potent our offense is, that our guys can go down Gilligan didn't play tonight and we still came out and played well," he said. "It shows how potent this team is and how everyone can step up."
Heck's second TD run, which came in the third quarter cushioned the Broncos' lead to 31-21 and his third TD that came in the fourth quarter made it 38-21. It provided a comfortable margin that wasn't there early in the third quarter when UH trailed 24-21.
Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-8042.