Tuesday, August 15, 2017.
Kellen Moore is the talk of Dallas right now (for better or for worse). At least for a day on Sunday, his brother was the talk of Fresno. That’s because Kirby Moore, who has settled in as wide receivers coach at Fresno State, was featured in a column by the Fresno Bee’s Marek Warzawski. The younger Moore, who caught passes from his brother at Boise State for two seasons, told Warzawski his closet has been cleaned out. “I might have a Boise sweatshirt–that’s about it,” Moore said with a laugh. “We don’t need sweatshirts here in Fresno, so I’m good.”
Kirby worked last year with new Bulldogs coach Jeff Tedford, who was an offensive consultant on Chris Petersen’s Washington staff. Moore, who was a graduate assistant, wore purple then—he doesn’t feel weird wearing red now. “Shoot no,” Moore said. “When (coach Tedford) talked to me about this opportunity, I was all about it. I’ve seen what this place can be.”
Moore faced Fresno State in 2013, one of only two seasons in the new century that has seen the Bulldogs beat the Broncos. He recalled with Warzawski that during the first half, he caught a bubble screen when a Fresno State defender came down on his ankle. The injury would keep him out for six games, but not the rest of this one. It was Moore who was the target of Joe Southwick’s fourth-down throw in the final minute with Boise State trailing 41-40. The pass was batted away. Writes Warzawski: “Four years later, Moore still frowns at the memory. ‘I’m always big on hands catching,’ he says, wistfully. ‘Well, that last play I tried to body catch a little bit instead, and you saw what happened. It’s one of those things.’” After that, while injured, Kirby became a student-coach of sorts for Petersen, and that got his juices going.
Two players who need to have breakthrough seasons if Boise State is going to do what it wants to do appear to be headed that way. Coach Bryan Harsin singled out offensive linemen Ezra Cleveland and Garrett Larson as guys who have impressed during fall camp. Cleveland’s reputation from his redshirt season precedes him—he was the team’s 2016 Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year. Larson is part of the Broncos’ Fruitland connection, although only one fellow Grizzly is left (tight end Alec Dhaenens). Larson, now a sophomore, is primed to step in as starting left guard after appearing in four games last season.
Not only did Billy Winn see his 2017 NFL season end over the weekend with a torn ACL, Chanceller James did, too. Winn was a veteran, a one-time sixth-round draft pick now playing for Denver. James was an undrafted free agent coming off an eventful week. The former Boise State safety was injured in San Francisco’s 27-17 win at Kansas City Saturday night. If James isn’t claimed off waivers, he will revert to injured reserve with the Niners. Says fan site NinersNation.com: “It’s a disappointing loss because he had done some solid work through the first two weeks of training camp. He was a bubble candidate for the 53-man roster.” It was James who was involved in the accidental but frightening collision last week with teammate Donavin Newsom.
It was a topic during the Mountain West Football Media Summit three weeks ago, and the conference has made it official with a release. In an effort to reduce the length of games, which last year reached three hours, 24 minutes in the NCAA, halftime will be a maximum of 20 minutes (as it was intended to be), whereas in the past exceptions were granted that extended halftime to 25 minutes. The halftime clock will begin as soon as the second quarter ends—when the head official ensure there are no delays. And the second half is to kick off as soon as the halftime clock expires. “Also during the offseason,” the release says, “the NCAA officiating committee identified more ways to speed up the game, including getting in and out of commercial breaks and placing the ball for play more quickly. Oh those commercial breaks.
Idaho’s first scrimmage of fall camp is in the books. There weren’t any stats released from the Saturday session, but Aaron Duckworth and Isaiah Saunders shared an equal number of reps at running back. If the Vandals are going to sustain their success from last year, the running game is the key. It would seem they took a quantum leap on the ground last year in rolling up a 9-4 season, especially with Saunders’ performance down the stretch. But Idaho averaged 147.8 yards rushing per game last season, with 24 touchdowns and 3.9 yards per carry. In 2015 it was 147.3 yards per game, 23 TDs, and an identical 3.9 yards per attempt.
The Boise Hawks let one get away last night, blowing an 8-5 lead going into the seventh inning and falling 9-8 to Everett at Memorial Stadium. The loss spoiled a 4-for-5 night by Bret Boswell that included three RBIs. The bullpen let the Hawks down, with the usually-reliable Mike Bunal giving up a solo home run, the ultimate winning run, with two outs in the top of the ninth. Boise is back below .500 now at 28-29.
Boise State’s Brian Humphreys was even after 11 holes in the first round of stroke play at the US Amateur yesterday. But the rest of Humphreys’ back nine was disastrous at the famed Riviera Golf & Country Club in Pacific Palisades, CA. The 2017 Mountain West individual champion absorbed two bogeys and two double-bogeys and finished with a six-over 76. Humphreys will play the second round today at Bel Air in Los Angeles. The top 64 golfers at the end of play today will advance to match play tomorrow. Humphreys is tied for 183rd.
This Day In Sports…August 15, 2012, five years ago today:
Felix Hernandez, with his hat slightly askew as usual, pitches the first perfect game in Seattle Mariners history, blanking the Tampa Bay Rays, 1-0. While it was only the 23rd perfect game in big league history, it was the third perfecto of the season in the majors, an all-time record. It was also the second perfect game of the year at Safeco Field—Chicago White Sox hurler Philip Humber had tossed one in April. Furthermore, it was the second no-hitter of the season thrown by the Mariners, as six Seattle pitchers had combined to no-hit the Dodgers in June.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)