Game 13 | Boise State knocks off Warriors
Dec. 6 at Aloha Stadium Boise State 45, UH 28
As the night progressed and 17th-ranked Boise State moved closer to what would become a 45-28 victory over Hawai'i, one question gained more weight:
Who the heck is Donny Heck?
"He's the man!" BSU coach Dan Hawkins yelled.
In his first collegiate start, Heck, a junior from Meridian, Idaho, rushed for four touchdowns to dim the Warriors' Senior Night.
Heck started in place of David Mikell, who entered as the Western Athletic Conference's fifth-leading rusher with 1,024 yards. But Mikell has been bothered by an ankle injury in recent weeks. Before the Broncos boarded a flight to Honolulu, two days before the game, Heck was told he would start.
"I was excited," Heck said. "(Mikell) was dinged up a little. They said he was about 75 percent coming into this game, so I knew I was going to get the majority of the carries. Our (offensive line) did a great job."
Adding further insult to injury, the Broncos were without Tim Gilligan, their leading receiver and punt returner. BSU officials said Gilligan was suffering from leg injuries.
But the cast changes and the Warriors' recent strong defensive play could not slow the WAC's most productive offense, which entered averaging 43.6 points and 494.8 yards per game.
The Broncos mixed a controlled passing attack (329 yards) with a deceptive running game (100 yards) to win their 18th consecutive conference game dating to November 2001.
While the Broncos are headed for the Fort Worth Bowl, to play Texas Christian on Dec. 23, the Warriors (8-5 overall, 5-3 WAC) will host Houston in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl on Christmas Day. It is then, sophomore offensive tackle Brandon Eaton promised, the underclassmen will pay back the 20 UH seniors.
"I wish we could have let the seniors go out with a win, but it didn't happen," Eaton said. "We're looking to the bowl game. We have to send the seniors off with a win. They're going to get a present from us on Christmas Day. We'll give them a present."
BOISE STATE 7 17 7 14 45
HAWAI'I 7 7 7 7 28
UHJeremiah Cockheran 4 pass from Jason Whieldon
(Nolan Miranda kick)
BSULee Marks 30 run (Tyler Jones kick)
BSUDonny Heck 7 run (Jones kick)
BSU FG Jones 20
UHBritton Komine 2 pass from Whieldon (Miranda kick) BSUDavid Mikell 7 run (Jones kick)
UHMike Bass 17 run (Miranda kick)
BSUHeck 8 run (Jones kick)
BSUHeck 2 run (Jones kick)
UHChad Owens 14 pass from Tim Chang (Miranda kick)
BSUHeck 13 run (Jones kick)
RUSHING: Boise StateHeck 25-87, Marks 2-26, Mikell 6-17; Lawrence Bady 1-2, Legedu Naanee 1-(minus 1), Team 1-(minus 1), Ryan Dinwiddie 7-(minus 30). HawaiiWhieldon 7-44, Bass 6-36, John West 2-27, Michael Brewster 1-5, Omega Hogan 1-(minus 2), Team 1-(minus 7).
PASSING: Boise StateRyan Dinwiddie 20-31-1-329. HawaiiWhieldon 23-44-2-195, Chang 10-19-1-110.
RECEIVING: Boise StateT.J. Acree 5-75, Lawrence Bady 3-85, Jerry Smith 3-79, Tony McPherson 3-50, Kevin Louwsma 2-16, Mikell 2-14, Brett Ralph 2-10. HawaiiCockheran 7-64, Owens 6-83, Komine 6-45, Se'e Poumele 5-52, Jason Rivers 4-32, Gerald Welch 3-16, Michael Miyashiro 2-13.