BOISE — It had been roughly 10 minutes into his media session with reporters on Zoom Tuesday and Hank Bachmeier’s crucial interception in the final minutes at UCF had yet to be brought up.
So Bachmeier did it himself.
Speaking for the first time since his ill-advised throw in the final seconds cost the Broncos a chance at a dramatic comeback win, Bachmeier responded to a question about how he played against UTEP by going back to the UCF game.
“I haven’t really addressed this with you guys,” Bachmeier said. “But that interception — it hurt me really bad. I made a really bad mistake there and I take ownership of that and obviously I’m going to learn from it.
“That fricking sucked. I didn’t get very nice messages after that game, as expected. I didn’t make a great decision there.”
But the reason Bachmeier brought it up was to say up until that point he was pleased with how he and the offense had played. Sure that one play potentially cost the Broncos the game, but he instead wanted to build on the positives as he moved ahead into the UTEP game.
And he wanted his teammates to know he planned to not let it happen again.
“I think before that decision I was playing really well,” Bachmeier said. “I think the offense was playing really well and like I said we were able to distribute the ball to different guys that first game.
“I think that’s a game we should have won. I take ownership of that play and I told the guys I just wanted to prove to them that I’m not going to let them down and I’m going to do my best for them. It hurt but I learned from it and I have to grow from it.”
Bachmeier was 25 of 39 for 263 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener at UCF, but he had the game-changing interception. He followed it up last week with one of his best games at Boise State, completing 17 of 24 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns in a 54-13 blowout win.
He entered the year with a 15-8 touchdown to interception ratio, but he has a 4-1 mark in two games in 2021.
“This past game I wanted to give them everything I had,” Bachmeier said. “I went back to my preparation and I think my plan pre-snap is a lot better and having that pre-snap process and checklist before the play even happens, I’ve almost mastered it and I’m continuing to grow at it.
“Just making quick decisions, I think I’ve gotten better at that from coach (Tim) Plough and I think in this last game as an overall unit it showed what we’re capable of.”
The Broncos had just 283 yards of offense against UCF but improved to 461 yards against UTEP.
Boise State scored 54 points despite scoring just five touchdowns on 14 drives. The Broncos had four field goals, a lost fumble, two punts and a turnover on downs.
“We pushed tempo really well,” Bachmeier said. “I honestly think we could have scored more. We got in the red zone a few times and kicked field goals and had a fourth-and-1 turnover. I think we could have put up more points as an offense to be honest.”
Bachmeier said he’s continuing to improve with his decision-making within the new RPO (run-pass option) offense implemented by Plough, the Broncos’ new offensive coordinator. The repeated runs up the middle in the third quarter of the UCF game were decisions by Bachmeier to hand the ball off instead of passing it.
“I’d say I struggled with it early on because it’s the first time I’ve done RPOs in my life,” Bachmeier said. “It was a big adjustment for me, but I think it’s finally clicking for us and myself. I think it’s such a great weapon to use in this offense with the playmakers we have.”
The 340 passing yards against UTEP were the second-most in Bachmeier’s career.
In two games he’s basically made one mistake, but it might be the difference in the Broncos being 2-0 instead of 1-1.
“You have to make mistakes to move forward sometimes,” Boise State coach Andy Avalos said. “That’s the bottom line. He’ll be a much better player for everything he’s gone through not only this year but the last couple years here. You learn form your past experiences and have to be able to apply them to your future to get the outcomes you want.”
Boise State hosts Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. Saturday on FOX Sports 1. Limited tickets still remain at BroncoSports.com.