- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

Brett Rypien’s first start for Boise State immediately brought comparisons to a former Broncos quarterback who made an impression as a freshman.

All those comparison between Rypien and what Kellen Moore accomplished as a freshman came from outside sources. Those inside the Boise State program found room for Rypien to improve.

“Overall, I thought he played well. He prepared well for that game and he needs to continue that for this week,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “Overall, he graded out fairly well.”

Rypien gets the spotlight of his first home start when the Broncos (3-1) open Mountain West Conference play on Saturday night hosting Hawaii. Boise State should get a chance to return to the Top 25 in the coming weeks as long as it keeps winning, with upcoming road games at Colorado State and Utah State.

Most of the attention will be on Rypien, who became the first true freshman to start a game for Boise State since 1993 when he led the Broncos to a 56-14 rout of Virginia last week. Rypien was 24 of 35 for 321 yards and three touchdowns. It was the most yards passing in a first start by any Boise State quarterback in school history, topping Moore’s debut in 2008 when he threw for 274 yards.

“For him it was a great opportunity getting in there and playing, and playing the way he did,” Harsin said. “That’s got to carry over to this week.”

After falling 28-0 to Wisconsin, the Warriors (2-2) returned to Honolulu on Sunday, only to have a Thursday return flight to the mainland. The combined round trip air miles for the trip to Wisconsin and Boise in consecutive weeks: 13,988.

“When you play good teams you cannot make mistakes and we made too many (against Wisconsin) and hopefully we’ll learn from that because we will continue to play good teams,” Hawaii coach Norm Chow said.

Here are things to watch when the Broncos and Warriors meet in Boise for the first time since 2010:

TOUCHDOWN JEREMY: Jeremy McNichols is on pace to break Boise State records that were set just a season ago by Jay Ajayi. McNichols had two touchdowns last week against Virginia and now has 10 total touchdowns - including eight rushing - through four games. That puts McNichols on pace to break the school record of 32 total touchdowns in a season shared by Ajayi and Brock Forsey.

OFFENSIVE PUNCH: Even with a veteran quarterback in USC transfer Max Wittek, the Hawaii offense has yet to get going. The Warriors rank 121st in the country in scoring offense at just 18.8 points per game. They’re 93rd in passing offense and 121st running the ball at just 97 yards per game on the ground.

NEXT UP: Boise State safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner suffered a broken ankle against Virginia and had surgery earlier this week to repair the fracture. He’s expected to return later in the season, but had started the first four games. With Sumner-Gardner out, his high school teammate Kam Miles will start against Hawaii. Miles had a forced fumble against Virginia.

RETURN HOME: The game in Boise will be a homecoming for Hawaii offensive coordinator Don Bailey and defensive coordinator Tom Mason. Bailey and Mason were part of Pokey Allen’s coaching staff with the Broncos beginning in 1993. Bailey was the Broncos’ wide receivers coach while Mason was the defensive coordinator. The duo remained with the Broncos through the 1996 season and Mason was the Broncos’ interim head coach in 1996. Both are in their first seasons at Hawaii.

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