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QB Cord to lead No. 14 Boise State at BYU

Field Level Media

October 16, 2019 at 4:12 am.

Chase Cord had been viewed as the favorite to be Boise State’s starting quarterback last spring.

He’ll finally earn the call Saturday night when the No. 14 Broncos (6-0) visit BYU (2-4) in a nonconference affair in Provo, Utah.

True freshman Hank Bachmeier is expected to miss at least this game with a hip injury. Boise State refused to divulge details or a timetable for the quarterback’s injury, which occurred during last Saturday’s win over Hawaii.

All Broncos coach Bryan Harsin will say is that Bachmeier’s injury isn’t season-ending.

It was Bachmeier’s stellar August training camp performance that prevented Cord from being the starter. But the sophomore has played well in his cameos, completing 20 of 35 passes for 295 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions.

After replacing Bachmeier against Hawaii, Cord was 12-of-18 passing for 175 yards and three touchdowns.

“Chase showed what he is capable of doing when he came in and played,” Harsin said during a press conference. “Chase didn’t take as many reps as Hank did during the week. He showed his preparation and he showed his maturity. He has been in this system for a while, and how he can handle himself on the field, I don’t think there was any doubt about that.”

BYU is dealing with its own quarterback uncertainty after redshirt freshman Jaren Hall suffered a concussion in last Saturday’s 27-23 loss to South Florida. Hall must clear the protocol to play against the Broncos.

Hall, who was promoted to replace injured sophomore Zach Wilson (broken thumb), was 15 of 23 for 148 yards and one touchdown in his first career start.

If Hall can’t play, BYU likely will turn to third-stringer Baylor Romney. The redshirt freshman was 6 of 10 for 73 yards in his college debut against South Florida.

“I thought he came into the game with great poise,” Cougars coach Kalani Sitake said of Romney. “We can work with guys that have a lot of confidence and put him in the positions that are working for his strengths.”

Whoever is at quarterback will be trying to help the Cougars end a three-game slide. The South Florida defeat followed losses to Toledo and Washington.

Sitake is taking responsibility for the skid, while also promising the team will give an inspired effort against the Broncos.

“No one on this team is going to quit,” Sitake said. “So we’re looking forward to playing a ranked team in our house, and we’re excited for that moment.”

Also working against BYU is its 2-7 record against Boise State. But the two wins did come at home earlier this decade (2013 and 2015).

The Cougars allow an average of 30.5 points per game as they attempt to figure out how to slow a Boise State averaging 37.0 per game.

Even though Bachmeier departed four minutes into the second quarter against Hawaii, the Broncos posted a season-high point total in a 59-37 victory.

The offense didn’t miss a beat with Cord or senior Jaylon Henderson (82 yards, one TD against Hawaii) behind center.

“It’s tough to see somebody go down but we have been preparing, and all the quarterbacks are prepared and know what they are doing,” senior receiver John Hightower told reporters. “They are all capable of doing what they do.”

Hightower caught seven passes for a season-best 141 yards and two touchdowns against Hawaii. He has topped 100 in back-to-back games and leads the team in receiving yardage (444) and scoring catches (five) while making 24 receptions.

The Boise State defense allowed its most points of the season against the Rainbow Warriors. The Broncos are giving up 19.5 per game.

Junior pass rusher Curtis Weaver (nine sacks) is the unit’s top player.