University of Hawaii defensive coordinator Tom Mason was an assistant and later the interim head coach at Boise State in the mid 1990s. Current Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin was a walk-on quarterback back then, and Mason was the guy to give him a scholarship.
The Hawaii-Boise State ties don't end there. UH offensive coordinator Don Bailey was also an assistant for the Broncos at the same time. Harsin recalls that Bailey, a former quarterback himself, had the strongest arm he had ever seen in person.
Current BSU defensive coordinator Marcel Yates also played for Mason. The 'Bows DC will try to avoid losing to his former players on Saturday.
"You still got in the back of your mind that you'd like to beat the kids that played for you," Mason said. "They are not quite ready to take on the old mentors or something, but yeah, it's going to be fun. That's competition and that's what football is all about, and that's some of the side stuff that's fun in this game."
Playing on the blue turf in Boise is something that seems to give a lot of teams trouble. Bailey, perhaps, can make that adjustment easier for his current team.
"I'm very comfortable there, and I understand that the fans are great there," Bailey said. "It doesn't matter who we play, we are going to give them our best shot. All that stuff is great, but they are all enemies on Saturday at 8:15 pm."
Hawaii and Boise State open Mountain West Conference play against each other Saturday at 4:15 pm HST.
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