BOISE — What appeared likely for several days became official Friday: Hank Bachmeier is Boise State's starting quarterback.
Boise State coach Andy Avalos made the announcement Friday afternoon while holding a virtual press conference with reporters on Zoom.
The Broncos held their second scrimmage of fall camp earlier in the day. Both Bachmeier and USC transfer Jack Sears were competing for the starting spot.
"They really battled it out this week," Avalos said. "But at the end of the day, the consistency of which Hank has played over the course of this week and really the last two, three days and in this scrimmage ... Hank was the more consistent quarterback."
Boise State opens the season in less than two weeks on Sept. 2 at UCF in a Thursday night primetime game at 5 p.m. MDT on ESPN.
Bachmeier is 11-2 as Boise State's starter the past two seasons, but he missed six games due to a pair of injuries in 2019 and two games last year due to COVID.
Sears started in place of Bachmeier last year at Air Force and was very impressive, passing for 282 yards and three touchdowns. But he was injured early in the following game against BYU and didn't play the rest of the season.
The difference appeared to be Bachmeier's steady play — as well as an injury to Sears that kept him out for part of camp.
"In this scrimmage Hank moved the offense up and down the field today with either the first team and or the second team and was extremely efficient in his decision making both in the pre-snap and getting us into the right protections and the right running plays," Avalos said. "His biggest improvement is his final decision making, keeping himself on time within the progressions and that final decision.
"How consistent he's been with that has allowed him to operate efficiently and get the ball to all players in the offense and in terms here the last couple days was able to really move the ball up and down the field."
Sears missed time on two different occasions during the first part of fall camp due to a leg injury, but he returned in time to participate in Friday's scrimmage.
"Obviously it was a hard conversation, not only for him but for us," Avalos said of informing Sears he'd start the season at No. 2 on the depth chart. "Because of how well Jack has done and how much he's grown and how much we care about him and we want to continue to see him not only grow but have fun doing it and you could see how much joy he was having out there competing."
Avalos said he "looked forward to having him involved," but didn't say whether they would have a package of plays for Sears to get him into the game plan.
Bachmeier, who is scheduled to meet with the media on Sunday, was 96 for 156 (61.5%) for 1,150 yards in five games last season with six touchdowns and two interceptions.
Many expected Bachmeier to ultimately win the job, and he became an even bigger favorite when news surfaced of Sears' injury. While previous coach Bryan Harsin may have waited to announce the starter until the Broncos took the field against UCF, Avalos made it public the day it became official.
Making the decision now gives Bachmeier two weeks to prepare with the No. 1 offense for the season opener.
OTHER STARTERS DECIDED
Avalos said Markel Reed and Tyric LeBeauf will start at cornerback against UCF.
"Those guys have been the most consistent," Avalos said.
At right tackle, Ben Dooley beat out Uzo Osuji for the starting spot.
"He's done a solid job," Avalos said. "What he did today was impressive. He rose to the challenge today. This was the week people were going to separate themselves and he had to battle this week."
Avalos said the offense had nine 'explosive plays' in Friday's scrimmage, including four in the running game. ... The defense had four takeaways in the scrimmage, and also blocked a field goal. ... With the depth chart set and two grueling weeks of fall camp in the books, the Broncos will transition into starting preparations for UCF. Boise State will go through a modified 'game week' with classes starting Monday. The actual game week will begin on Aug. 26 with the game on a Thursday — two days earlier than normal.