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Kirby back in time for one last go

Kirby back in time for one last go

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on November 26, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Tuesday, November 26, 2013.

It was an agonizing eight weeks for wide receiver Kirby Moore.  There were six Boise State games in that time, and Moore didn’t play in any of them due to a foot injury.  Most of the time he’d prepare in practice, but late in the week it would be determined he was a no-go.  Moore was finally back on the field at San Diego State Saturday night, making four catches.  “It’s been a difficult experience,” said Moore of the missed time.  “It’s been positive in the same way—I’ve been in the offense, signaling in plays.”  Ah, the coaching side of Moore.  He’s like Kellen in that regard, looking to be a college coach.  Kirby was taken on all three Bronco road trips while he was out.  “I really appreciate that from coach (Robert) Prince,” he said.  “It opened up a great experience to be out on the sidelines and be kind of an assistant coach, a receivers coach.”

Moore now joins 15 fellow seniors for Senior Night on the blue turf Saturday versus New Mexico.  He is the only Bronco remaining who played in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl.  Moore was a true freshman and actually caught four passes from Kellen covering 28 yards in the 17-10 win over TCU.  It’s been quite a journey from there.  Moore redshirted during what would have been his true sophomore season and returned in 2011.  Then came this injury-plagued senior year.  But no worries.  “I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” said Moore.  “It’s been a great experience—on the field, off the field.”  He says his parents have loved Boise as well and expect to move here someday soon.

Boise State professes to have put the 34-31 overtime loss to San Diego State in the past.  “You’ve got to have that 24-hour rule,” said senior defensive end Kharyee Marshall.  “Flush it out and move on.”  Coach Chris Petersen has had his period of mourning.  “It’s hard—it really is,” he said.  “We do this morning, noon and night, and when it doesn’t go right, it really hurts.”  Just like three years ago today in Reno (see “This Day In Sports” below), he doesn’t put this loss on his kicker.  Dan Goodale missed a 43-yard field goal as time expired that would have won the game.  Petersen said the offense didn’t fully execute at the end, much like the rest of the night.  “I feel bad that (the kick) was that far out—that you’ve got to put him in that situation,” said Petersen.

One more thing on the San Diego State game.  Aztec coach Rocky Long isn’t calling Boise State-SDSU a rivalry game just yet, but after two heart-stoppers in two years (both of them San Diego State wins), he expects it to have marquee status moving forward.  “I think the two teams respect each other and think each team can play,” Long told the San Diego Union-Tribune.  “We have great respect for Boise and think they’re an awful good football team.  I think it’s always going to be a good game from here on out.”

Petersen said quarterback Joe Southwick will likely start on Senior Night.  But how much he’ll play on that healing ankle is to be determined.  It could be one play, or one series, or a lot more.  The staff will evaluate Southwick thoroughly in practice this week.  He was suited up and wearing a headset at Qualcomm Stadium Saturday, but would have been an “emergency, emergency” option, according to Petersen.  Whatever the case, Grant Hedrick will definitely play versus New Mexico. 

The trio at the press conference yesterday—Petersen, Moore and Marshall—said to a man they were not going to get wrapped up in the Wyoming-Utah State game Saturday.  “I’m just going to worry about New Mexico,” Marshall said.  “I don’t get caught up in those kinds of things,” said Petersen.  Will he tell the players who won?  “They’ll know—are you kidding me?” he grinned.  The Cowboys have to upset the Aggies Saturday for Boise State to get to the Mountain West championship game via a possible win over New Mexico.  USU is favored by 20 points.

There’s not much time off for the CenturyLink Arena crew during Thanksgiving week.  They go from hockey tonight to basketball tomorrow to hockey Friday to hoops Saturday.  Tonight the ice will be down as the Idaho Steelheads return home to host the Las Vegas Wranglers.  This has to be an Idaho club record—tonight’s clash begins an 11-game homestand.  The Steelheads won’t hit the road again until after Christmas.  The Steelies looked like they were planning to be without goalie Josh Robison for awhile, as they signed netminder Brooks Ostergard over the weekend—in time to start him Sunday night at Stockton.  But Robinson has once again been returned to the Steelheads from the AHL’s Texas Stars.

The Steelheads had another little surprise for fans yesterday.  Tyler Gron, a mainstay of last season’s team, was traded to San Francisco for defenseman Damon Kipp.  Gron had three goals in 14 games for the Steelies this fall after totaling 21 goals in 34 appearances last season.  Kipp, in his second year in the ECHL after playing college hockey at New Hampshire, had four assists and six penalty minutes in 16 games with the Bulls.

The basketball floor goes back down tomorrow night for Boise State and Idaho.  That’s where the Broncos’ focus is—certainly not on the Kentucky game two weeks from tonight.  So I’ll look ahead for them.  The Wildcats had to rally from 10 points down with less than eight minutes to go last night to get past Cleveland State 68-61 before more than 21,000 fans in Rupp Arena.  With his team shooting just 36 percent from the field, Julius Randle, one of UK’s superstar freshmen, helped rescue the Wildcats with 15 points and 15 rebounds.  Boise State, the only NCAA Tournament team from last season to return all five starters, has to notice that while Kentucky is really, really good, sometimes it can play like it’s really, really young. 

Boise State hoops drew more votes in the AP Poll this week and fewer in the Coaches Poll.  But the Broncos lost a little ground in both in the pecking order after an 18-point win over Seattle and a 20-point victory at New Orleans.  They’re sixth in line to get in to both polls.  New Mexico fell out of the rankings after its loss to UMass last Friday, so there are no Mountain West teams in the Top 25.  The Lobos are bubbling under.  Meanwhile, Utah State is getting votes in the Coaches Poll.  Hard to figure why the Aggies aren’t getting more buzz.  Undefeated USU has solid wins over USC and Mississippi State, as well as UC Santa Barbara, which drilled UNLV in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Back to football, it’s hard to know what to make of this Idaho State season.  The Bengals won three games.  That’s better than one, the number they recorded in four of the past five years.  But ISU lost its last six games, including a 32-7 defeat Saturday at the Big Sky’s then-last place team, Weber State.  Former Skyview star Luke Austin was held to one catch for 13 yards in his final game as a Bengal, thanks to 50 mile-per-hour winds in Ogden.  But Austin had a stellar career—152 receptions, 2,108 yards and 18 touchdowns.

This Day In Sports…November 26, 2010:

Boise State sees its undefeated season and 24-game winning streak swept aside by a 34-31 overtime loss at Nevada.  The Broncos, 10-0 and in position for a berth in the Rose Bowl, led the Wolf Pack 24-7 at halftime.  But an inspired Nevada defense shut down Boise State in the second half, and Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick led a comeback, tying the game on a touchdown pass with 13 seconds left.  An amazing 53-yard Kellen Moore-to-Titus Young connection with two seconds remaining put the Broncos in position for a winning field goal, but Kyle Brotzman would miss a 26-yarder—and then a 29-yarder in overtime.  The outpouring of support for the devastated Brotzman over the following week became part of the story.

(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.)