Monday, January 28, 2013.
It sounds so elementary and always has: get back on defense. Boise State did not Saturday, and it paid the price as Nevada pulled away from a 75-59 victory in Reno. The Broncos had to get back again and again, thanks to 39 missed shots. Seventeen of those were three-point attempts, and the Wolf Pack pounced on open-court rebounds to get their transition game going. Boise State couldn’t keep up, as it didn’t expect to go down to Lawlor Events Center and register their lowest shooting percentages of the season—36 percent from the field and 19 from three-point range. Mikey Thompson is the one mainly charged with picking up the scoring slack while Jeff Elorriaga’s gone; Thompson was just 5-of-16 from the field.
The Broncos can’t use the absence of Elorriaga as an excuse anymore for their lapses on defense, and sophomore Anthony Drmic doesn’t want to. On the KBOI postgame show Saturday, Drmic redirected any conversation about offense (he led Boise State with 23 points) to the other end of the court. “You’ve got to play defense,” said Drmic. “You’ve got to play defense.” The Australian sounds like he’s ready to lead by example on the defensive end the way Elorriaga does. Because now, oh boy. The Broncos go to Colorado State, where the Rams have won 24 games in a row on their home court. CSU is the forgotten Mountain West contender.
If Boise State thought it had an offensively-challenged day, how do you think New Mexico feels? The No. 15 team in the country was upset by San Diego State—but then, in the Mountain West is that really an upset? The 55-34 score was certainly a shot to the Lobos’ pride, though. It was New Mexico’s fewest point total in the shot clock era and its 25 percent night from the field was the worst for the school since at least 1965. So do the Lobos fall all the way out of the polls today? Does San Diego State get back in? Or does the Mountain West, despite having the No. 3 RPI among Division I conferences, get unjustifiably shut out?
The budding football rivalry between Boise State and BYU just got some more juice. Tanner Shipley, a wide receiver from Wilsonville, OR, had committed to the Cougars in November. But Shipley also received an offer from the Broncos and took his official visit to Boise this weekend. He then flipped his verbal to Boise State, according to Scout.com. This quote from Shipley kind of magnifies how long the Broncos’ Golden Era has been going on: “I’ve liked Boise State since I was a little kid.” National Letter of Intent Day is nine days away.
The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta ran an online poll over the weekend asking which of the Seattle sports teams’ season openers fans are most excited about over the next year. It wasn’t the Mariners, nor the wildly popular Sounders (soccer), nor the potentially relocated NBA team. It wasn’t even the Seahawks, one of the big stories in the NFL this season. The ‘Hawks were nosed out by the Washington Huskies’ football opener August 31 against Boise State. Granted, much of that excitement surrounds the grand re-opening of Husky Stadium, but it gives you an idea of what kind of atmosphere awaits the Broncos eight-plus months after their win over UW in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas.
Boise State cornerback Jamar Taylor didn’t play in Saturday’s Senior Bowl due to illness, but he had already done his heavy-lifting for the week. The focus at Senior Bowl is practice, where NFL coaches and player personnel folks can analyze players in drills in multiple scenarios. And by all accounts, Taylor performed well. Next up for the 5-11, 196-pounder is the NFL Combine four weeks from now.
Our former NFLer of the Day is an encore again (is that redundant?): Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin. The NFC dominated, 62-35, and Martin helped, pulling in a 28-yard touchdown pass from a scrambling Russell Wilson of Seattle. Rookie to rookie. Wilson said in a sideline interview he was targeting Kyle Rudolph, “but Doug came out of nowhere.” One of Martin’s biggest fans, it appears, played in the game as well. Said Buccaneers teammate Vincent Jackson of Martin: "He's tough, he's resilient, he runs, he catches, he blocks well. I am very excited to have him over here—and I'm sure he'll be over here quite a few more times." Former Boise State standout Ryan Clady, by the way, pulled out of the Pro Bowl due to an injury.
The Idaho Steelheads come home from their three-game visit to the South with two victories. The trip was capped by a 6-5 overtime win at Gwinnett yesterday, with Andrew Carroll tallying the game-winner just over a minute into the extra period. Six different Steelheads scored goals in the see-saw affair as Idaho survived after blowing a 3-1 second period lead. Austin Fyten assisted on Carroll’s decisive goal and also notched the first tally of the day, giving him 30 points in the Steelies’ past 23 games. The Steelheads, who had fallen to the Gladiators Saturday night after defeating the South Carolina Stingrays Friday night, play at Stockton this Friday and Saturday.
A road split for the Idaho Stampede is a good thing this season, and they earned one Saturday night with a 104-88 win over Texas. The Stampede caught the Legends at a good time, as the home team dropped its ninth straight game. Idaho got it done before an uncommonly large D-League crowd of 7,205, with Coby Karl putting up a season-high 25 points. It’s floor leadership that has marked the former Boise State star’s sixth pro season. Karl dished out eight assists Saturday and has averaged 7.2 assists per game during the month of January. The Stamps look ahead to February now, as they return home Friday night against the L.A. D-Fenders.
Graham DeLaet is tied for 10th coming down the home stretch of the fog-interrupted Farmers Insurance Invitational. DeLaet is seven-under for the tournament through 11 holes of the final round at Torrey Pines as play resumes this morning. The Boise State grad is poised for a significant payday. DeLaet passed the time during Saturday’s long fog delay with a trick shot competition against former Alabama star Michael Thompson, taped dutifully by PGA Tour.com. DeLaet, decked out in a blue shirt and orange pants, won on a ball he dropped out of his mouth and smacked with a nine-iron, declaring, “Mountain West over the SEC!”
This Day In Sports…January 28, 1990:
The biggest blowout in Super Bowl history, as the San Francisco 49ers rout the Denver Broncos 55-10 in the 24th edition of the championship game. The title was the second straight for the 49ers and their fourth overall. Joe Montana called signals for all four, and he was at his best in this one, throwing five touchdown passes—three of them to Jerry Rice. For Denver quarterback John Elway, the wait continued. Elway would win the first of his two Super Bowl rings eight years later.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)