Printed on: September 07, 2013

BSU looks to regroup vs. Tenn.-Martin

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
Associated Press

BOISE -- Boise State suffered its worst loss in eight seasons on the opening weekend, and the Broncos are looking to rebound during their home opener against Tennessee-Martin today.

The FCS Skyhawks (1-0) don't figure to pose as big a challenge as Washington, which crushed Boise State 38-6 last weekend, knocking the Broncos from the Top 25.

"It was definitely a wake-up call," Boise State linebacker Blake Renaud said. "We are realizing what it takes to be a winning Division I football team."

"We've got to get better," he said.

But this is still Boise State, the winningest football program in the country since 2000.

"Teams can have great seasons with two losses, one loss," Renaud said. "It's time to grow up."

Wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn, who had eight catches in the season opener, said practices have been energetic this week.

"There's a lot of stuff to fix, but I think we'll start off with a lot of energy and stay positive," he said. "I think we'll bounce back."

Boise State (0-1) was ranked No. 19 in the preseason poll but fell out after suffering its biggest loss since a 48-13 drubbing by Georgia in 2005.

Boise State coach Chris Petersen is taking the long view when it comes to last week's loss. The Broncos typically schedule a tough opponent to open the season, he said.

"You open up every year like we open up, you're going to get your nose bloodied," Petersen said. "It's just a matter of time."

Petersen changed the offense after last season, when the normally high-flying Broncos slumped to 54th in the nation in scoring. He installed a no-huddle, pistol-heavy offense that debuted in the loss at Washington.

"We are 100 percent confident that this will work," offensive coordinator Robert Prince said. "Unfortunately, it didn't work Saturday. And so we've had a chance to study the film and see what we needed to tweak, and we feel good with it."

Tennessee-Martin beat Tennessee-Chattanooga in its season opener.

Five things to watch when Tennessee-Martin plays at Boise State:

OFFENSIVE OFFENSE: The Boise State offense had trouble getting untracked at Washington, scoring its fewest points since 1997. Quarterback Joe Southwick completed 25 of 40 passes but for only 152 yards and an interception, his first in 133 attempts dating to last season. Jay Ajayi rushed for a team-best 93 yards on 23 attempts.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Skyhawks face a stiff challenge on the blue turf of Bronco Stadium, as Boise State has won 95.2 percent of its home games since the 2000 season.

HELLO, STRANGER: This is the first time the Broncos will play Tennessee-Martin, a member of the Ohio Valley Conference. The 1,820-mile trip to Boise is the longest in the history of the program and the farthest west they have ever played.

MOVING ON UP: The Skyhawks have played FBS teams 15 times in their history, with their first win coming last season over Memphis. They play Memphis again later this season.

RUNNING IT UP: Tennessee-Martin piled up 289 rushing yards in beating Chattanooga, with DJ McNeil accounting for 134 of those and Trent Garland 116.