Hank Bachmeier01.JPG

Boise State offensive coordinator Tim Plough watches as quarterback Hank Bachmeier (19) passes a ball during drills at Albertsons Stadium on April 8, 2021.

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The Idaho Press is counting down the 25 biggest questions facing the Boise State football team during the 2021 season. Next up is No. 6: What will Tim Plough’s new offense look like?

New offensive coordinator Tim Plough excited Boise State fans during his introductory press conference in June when he said one of his biggest goals would be to try and score at least 50 points a game.

“Expectations are high,” Plough said. “I’ve had a saying for a long time that we’re not even going to look at the scoreboard until we have half-a-hundred. Hash tag half-a-hundred.”

And he knows Boise State fans will hold him to it.

“I’ve had some fans telling me half-a-hundred may not be enough. They expect more than half-a-hundred and I totally get that,” Plough said. “We’re going to do our best to put as many points up there as we can.”

Plough was a relatively unknown name by most Boise State fans when he was announced as the offensive coordinator for new coach Andy Avalos. But he’s not unknown in the coaching world – and he’s received strong recommendations from former Boise State coaches Dan Hawkins and Chris Petersen.

Plough led one of the top offenses in the FCS the last three seasons at UC Davis under Hawkins. A year ago he was reportedly a finalist for the offensive coordinator position at Baylor.

But the timing was right and he’s landed in Boise – and the Broncos are hoping to reap the benefits.

The offense under Plough figures to be faster and more no-huddle than the Broncos have used in the past. Each play features multiple reads for the quarterback, including several in which he can either hand the ball off to a running back or keep it and throw a pass depending on what the defense is doing.

It won’t be as fast as the old Oregon offenses that ran to the line of scrimmage and hiked it as fast as they could, but it figures to be a change from what the Broncos have done the past few years.

There also will be less substituting between plays, which will allow the offense to go faster and not give the defense a chance to make its own substitutions.

“It’s ‘we’re going’ – regardless of what personnel (is in there),” Avalos described.

The key words repeated throughout the spring were ‘more up-tempo’, ‘aggressive’, ‘explosive’ and according to Plough, an ‘exciting brand for everyone to watch.’

It all sounds great, but how it translates to the field with Boise State’s offensive players remains to be seen. Plough is trying to improve an offense that finished 98th in total offense in 2020 at just 349.0 yards per game.

It’s a complex offense that took much of the spring to install, which is why there wasn’t a huge offensive explosion in the spring game. Boise State’s quarterbacks had plenty on their plate, so the hope is they will be more precise and efficient when fall camp starts after more time this summer to study and work on it.

Boise State is the highest scoring team in the nation since 2000. It sounds like Plough and the Broncos have no plan to change that.

What exactly will the offense look like and how many points can they put up? It’s a big question fans are eager to see answered come Sept. 2 against UCF.

B.J. Rains has covered Boise State athletics for the Idaho Press since 2013 and is a three-time winner of the NSMA Idaho Sportswriter of the Year Award. He appears on KTIK 93.1 FM The Ticket every Friday at 4 p.m. for the Blue Turf Sports report.

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