It was a game that Boise State was supposed to win, and win big. They did.
On Saturday, the Broncos rolled into Aloha Stadium and ran up a 49-14 win over the Warriors. They did it in typical 2012 Boise State fashion. The defense held Hawaii to 240 total yards, and Demarcus Lawrence got the defense on the board with a 25-yard run after scooping up a fumble.
On the day, Boise State accumulated 411 yards of offense with 256 yards passing and 155 yards rushing. Several players got involved, including a few backups late in the game. In total, nine players caught passes and seven players ran the ball.
It was a good game for the Broncos, but there were a few struggles. Let's take a look.
1. And that's another Bronco...third down!
Third-down conversions have been a struggle for Boise State nearly all season. That continued on Saturday against Hawaii.
Boise State converted just 4-of-16 third-down attempts. However, for the second week in a row, those same Broncos looked great on fourth down, converting 4-of-5.
The third-down conversion issue has many folks scratching their heads, probably none more than coaches and players.
2. Found it!
So it looks like the Boise State offense found the long ball this week against Hawaii. On several occasions, Joe Southwick was able to let it fly. While he was right on the money most of the time, there were some dropped passes.
Still, it had to be refreshing for Bronco fans to see their team stretching the field. They will need to continue that kind of play-calling next week against Colorado and then when they face Nevada in December.
3. A redshirt gone.
Donte Deayon was slated to be a redshirt this season. However, plans changed when the Broncos got thin in the defensive secondary.
The true freshman cornerback out of Rialto, Calif. came to Boise and made a great first year impression. So good, that when coach Chris Petersen and his staff needed a go-to guy, Deayon was the one who got his number called.
It had to be nice for the young player as he got his first career interception against the Warriors on Saturday. If you watched the game, you could tell how excited he was, but it was nice to see how excited his teammates were for him.
4. Trevor Harman, the running back?
On one of those "rugby style" (not to be confused with "gangnam style") punts, Trevor Harman decided he was going to just take off. It's a read that is usually there for him to make, but most the time it is covered by the defense.
However, on Saturday, the Hawaii defense turned its back when Harman rolled out on a 4th-and-3. So, the junior punter did what he should have done, he took off running.
It was 21 yards later when Harman would simply run out of bounds, but not before he had gotten a Boise State first down—and then some.
5. Plus-five isn't a boy band.
Boise State continued its defensive domination with a plus-five performance on Saturday. Hawaii lost three fumbles and threw two interceptions. As noted in the introduction, Demarcus Lawrence was able to scoop one of those fumbles up and run it back for a touchdown.
Jerrell Gavins had an interception on the day, and that was his second on the season.
For the year, Boise State is now plus-16 on turnover margin.
6. Thought it was a rerun.
When Mike Edwards took a first-quarter kickoff 100 yards for a Hawaii touchdown, it had to feel like deja vu all over again for Bronco fans. Or at least Yogi Berra might say so.
With some key injuries and suspensions, it seems Boise State's special teams is suffering a bit. Colorado State and then a bye week should help that.
7. The Mountain West title still in reach.
Boise State is still tied with San Diego State and Fresno State for the MWC title. At this point, it looks like if the Broncos win out they will share the title with one or both of those teams.
Not exactly what Boise State wanted at the beginning of the season, but better than not being part of the title at all.
8. A glimpse into the future.
If you watched the Boise State game on NBC Sports, you probably noticed that they are doing a pretty decent job. In fact, on Saturday, Mountain West Conference games ran back-to-back-to-back-to-back. San Diego State vs. Air Force, Boise State vs. Hawaii and Fresno State vs. Nevada were in the lineup.
It may be a preview of things to come.
If the Big East lands a deal with NBC Sports, Bronco fans may be seeing that kind of broadcast day for Big East games next season.
After all they lost from last year's team. After all they have been through this season. With all the criticism, critiquing, crying and crud this 2012 squad has had to face, they are still standing.
With all the injuries, suspensions, challenges and heart breaks, the 2012 Boise State Broncos are 8-2 and poised for another possible double-digit winning record.
Bronco Nation is truly blessed, and fans should be amazed at what Coach Petersen, his staff and his players have accomplished.