In 1986, Pete Kwiatkowski was a junior linebacker at Boise State when the school, looking to attract attention, decided to rip up its green AstroTurf and replace it with a bright blue surface. He was among the first to play on what has become one of college football’s iconic fields.
“I thought it would be cool,” said Kwiatkowski, now in his second season Washington’s defensive coordinator. “It was a novelty and it was like, OK, let’s do it.”
In their first game on the new surface, Kwiatkowski and the Broncos, then a Division I AA team in the Big Sky Conference, held Division II Humboldt State to 35 total yards in a 74 0 victory before a crowd of 17,465. wholesale nfl jerseys from china It remains the largest margin of victory in school history; it was just the beginning of the Broncos dominance.
Over the past decade, the Broncos’ success has reached new heights on “The Blue,” as it’s now known around Boise. PT, ESPN). The Broncos, ranked No. 23 in the AP preseason poll, are a 12 point favorite.
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Since 2006, the Broncos have a 55 2 record at home. The blue field has become part of the identity of the program, so much so that a few years ago it was granted a federal trademark registration for any “non green field.” That means, yes, even Eastern Washington has to get a license from Boise State for its red playing surface.
Echoing sentiments from Petersen, Kwiatkowski says the mystique of Boise’s playing surface isn’t about the playing surface at all.
“The blue turf doesn’t beat anybody it’s the players in those jerseys,” Kwiatkowski said.
But he also said that there is a feeling among the Boise State team of a decided advantage of playing on that blue turf.
“I think that (is true), and not only for the players but the coach included,” Broncos coach Bryan Harsin said. “Boise State’s different. I think we’re unique in a lot of ways. We have a blue field and just the way we do things here is different. There’s not an understandable way of explaining than, when you’re in it, you know.
Kwiatkowski knows, and he’s been trying to tell the Huskies all about it in the buildup to Friday’s game. He told his players that they should expect the stadium, with a sold out crowd of more than 36,000 expected, to be as loud as any they’ve played in.
“It’s going to be different, for sure,” he said. “It’s also going to be exciting different, going back there, going into the lion’s den as an opponent. I’m excited for it and I know those fans are very supportive; it’s going to be loud and it’s going to be electric.”