Boise State will be without seven players — one more than last week — when the Broncos take the field against Air Force (7 p.m., FS1), a spokesperson for the program announced about 45 minutes before kickoff.
The Broncos will face the Falcons without their top two running backs, George Holani and Cyrus Habibi-Likio.
Holani will miss his third game of the season. He was sidelined for Boise State’s season opener at UCF because of a leg injury and didn’t play last week at BYU after aggravating the same injury in the Broncos’ loss to Nevada.
Habibi-Likio led Boise State with 75 yards at BYU last Saturday, but he left the game early in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury and didn’t return.
Senior Andrew Van Buren will carry the load Saturday, and he’ll be backed up by former walk-on Tyler Crowe and junior college transfer Taequan Tyler.
Cornerback Tyric LeBeauf will miss his second straight game, and guard Garrett Curran is sidelined for the third week in a row.
Backup cornerback Damon Cole is also out, which may mean redshirt freshman Kaonohi Kaniho will make his first career start.
Sixth-year senior Jake Stetz likely will replace Curran at left guard again, while Ben Dooley fills in at right guard after beginning the season at right tackle.
Nose tackle Jackson Cravens is also out for undisclosed reasons, and center Kekaniokoa Holomalia-Gonzalez will miss his seventh straight game.
The Broncos also remain without nose tackle Scale Igiehon, who took a leave of absence in September for personal reasons, and defensive end Aisa Kelemete, who medically retired.
Boise State does not have any players out because of COVID-19.
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Air Force enters Saturday’s Mountain West game against Boise State riding its best start since 2010.
Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Albertsons Stadium.
The Falcons are 5-1 following a 24-14 home win over Wyoming last week, and they are receiving votes in both national polls. Air Force has not started 6-1 since 2002.
Air Force ranks among the nation’s leaders on both offense and defense. The Falcons have the top-ranked rushing average, at 341.3 yards per game, and are tied for 12th in scoring defense (16.2 ppg).
BSU — Stefan Cobbs 8 pass from Hank Bachmeier (Jonah Dalmas kick), 11:15. Key play: A deep ball from Bachmeier to Cobbs on third-and-7 from the Air Force 46-yard line put the Broncos in striking distance on the 7. Drive: 11 plays, 75 yards, 3:45. Boise State 7, Air Force 0
AF — Brad Roberts 4 run (Anthony Rodriguez kick), 4:29. Key plays: The Falcons had five runs of 5 or more yards on this drive. But the most pivotal play came on first-and-10 from the BSU 19-yard line when QB Haaziq Daniels attempted what was either an incomplete pass or fumbled pitch to Micah Davis. BSU’s Riley Whimpey recovered the fumble. The call on the field was a forward pass, and it was confirmed after an official review, extending the Falcons’ drive. Drive: 14 plays, 75 yards, 6:46. Boise State 7, Air Force 7
WHERE TO FIND THE TV BROADCAST
AIR FORCE AT BOISE STATE
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Albertsons Stadium (36,387, turf), Boise
TV: FS1 (Cory Provus, Mark Helfrich).
Radio: KBOI 670 AM/KTIK 93.1 FM (Bob Behler, Pete Cavender)
Records: Boise State 3-3, 1-1 MW; Air Force 5-1, 2-1
Series: Boise State is 6-3 all-time against Air Force, and the Broncos have won four in a row.
Vegas line: Boise State by 3.5
Weather: 65 degrees at kickoff, 0% chance of rain, 9 mph winds
NEWS & NOTES
The Broncos wore blue jerseys, blue pants and blue helmets. ... Team captains Khalil Shakir and Kekaula Kaniho were joined by linebacker Riley Whimpey and running back Andrew Van Buren as game captains. ... Boise State won the coin toss and elected to receive. ... Boise State was led onto the field by safety Alexander Teubner, who carried the Dan Paul Hammer. ... Center Will Farrar carried the American flag and defensive tackle Scott Matlock carried the Bleed Blue flag.