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Okay, Armchair Nation—who’s the backup?

Okay, Armchair Nation—who’s the backup?

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant

KTVB.COM

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Tuesday, August 21, 2012.

If Joe Southwick is indeed the foregone conclusion as Boise State starting quarterback, who’s No. 2?  That’s a tough call.  Among the other three Bronco quarterbacks, you saw sophomore Grant Hedrick stumble under the brighter lights of Saturday night’s scrimmage, throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble.  But Hedrick completed six passes—five more than either redshirt freshman Jimmy Laughrea or true freshman Nick Patti.  Laughrea displayed incredible arm strength on his one completion, which happened to be a 75-yard touchdown strike to Hayden Plinke.  Laughrea stepped up into the pocket and half side-armed it about 50 yards in the air.  The concern now is Laughrea’s health after he left the field groggy late in the scrimmage.

As for Patti, who entered the scrimmage to an anticipatory roar from the crowd, the wind came out of the sails a bit.  I remember something Kellen Moore said last spring about the learning curve for quarterbacks in the Boise State offense (Patti in particular, since he came in cold turkey in January).  Moore likened it to going to French class for the first time.  “So much of it is just learning the language—being able to communicate with the receivers and call it in the huddle.”  Maybe that accounts for some of the trouble Patti ran into during his 1-for-10 night in the scrimmage.  Nothing changes the potential carried by the 2011 Florida 8A Player of the Year.  But a redshirt season looks like it would really benefit Patti.

One thing to remember: it’s hard to put too much stock into scrimmage statistics.  You’re not seeing the whole Boise State offense, so you’re not seeing the whole Joe Southwick.  Consider Kellen Moore’s scrimmage stats the past two years with a vanilla offense.  In the final scrimmage of fall camp in 2010, Moore’s junior year, he was 8-of-12 for 44 yards.  In last year’s public scrimmage in August, Kellen was 7-of-12 for 116 yards and two touchdowns.  Southwick was 16-of-24 for 141 yards, one touchdown and one interception Saturday.  Not a whole lot of difference.

Fifty years after its formation, the Western Athletic Conference made it official yesterday that it will not compete in football in 2013.  Interim commissioner Jeff Hurd said as much four weeks ago at WAC Media Day in Las Vegas.  Hurd confirmed to the Denver Post that football is history as a league sport, but the WAC still hopes to continue as a non-football conference.  With only Denver, Seattle and New Mexico State left, it’s hard to imagine where the WAC will find two or three new members to fill out its roster.  The WAC becomes the first Division I conference to dissolve in football since the Southwest Conference ceased to exist on June 30, 1996.

Eagle High grad Taylor Kelly has leapfrogged his quarterback competition at Arizona State and has been named the Sun Devils’ starting quarterback.  Kelly began fall camp behind sophomore Mike Bercovici, who backed up Brock Osweiler last season.  But new coach Todd Graham’s priority has been ball security, and Kelly apparently has produced a minimum of turnovers in practice.  In an ASU scrimmage Saturday, Kelly was 6-of-10 for 162 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.  He’ll get his first start a week from Thursday against Northern Arizona.

Graham DeLaet strung together four straight sub-70 rounds to finish 22nd yesterday at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, NC.  The former Boise State star, returning to the PGA Tour after effectively resting his back for three weeks, finished the weather-delayed tournament with a two-under 68 in the final round.  DeLaet won $48,273 at the Wyndham to bring his season earnings to $734,151.

DeLaet will be making another trip home the second week of September when he represents Boise State in the Michelob Ultra Broncos vs. Ducks Shootout at Hillcrest Country Club.  That’s right, the Boise State-Idaho rivalry hiatus extends to the Albertsons Boise Open, as the University of Oregon becomes a beneficiary this year of the skins game benefit.  DeLaet will be joined by his former teammate and current Web.com Tour pro Troy Merritt.  The Ducks will be represented by UO golf coach Casey Martin, who over a decade ago waged a successful battle against the PGA Tour to use a golf cart due to a debilitating birth defect.  The other Oregon player in the September 10 event is to be announced.  There’ll be another special appearance by two-time World Long Drive champion Jason Sadlowski, who will hit a tee shot for each team every hole.

The Boise Hawks’ turnaround in the second half of the Northwest League season has been remarkable.  But blowing leads is never a good sign, and the Hawks did just that for the second straight game last night in an 8-7 loss at Yakima.  Cruising along with a 5-0 lead, the Hawks posted three errors in the bottom of the fifth inning, contributing to two runs that let the Bears back in the game.  Boise stretched the lead to 7-2 before Yakima scored three times in the seventh and twice more in the eight to tie it at 7-7.  The Bears pushed across the game-winner on an error in the bottom of the ninth.  All eight of their runs on the night came with two outs.  The Hawks will play their last-ever game in Yakima tonight after 23 summers’ worth of visits.  The Bears are moving to Hillsboro, OR, near Portland next year in a swank new $15.2 million stadium.

New Idaho Steelheads coach Brad Ralph is beginning to mold the team as he sees fit, picking up his first two forwards yesterday.  Center Jake Morley and winger Austin Mayer are both 24 years old—Morley comes to the Steelheads from Clarkson University and Mayer from Colgate.  The Steelies’ training camp opens October 1, with an exhibition game probable the following weekend.

This Day In Sports…August 21, 2007, five years ago today:

The biggest day at the plate by any former Boise Hawk to make the majors, as Garret Anderson of the Los Angeles Angels knocks in 10 runs, a franchise record, in an 18-9 win over the Yankees.  Included in Anderson’s barrage were a grand slam and a three-run homer.  Anderson had the longest big league career of any Hawks alum at 16 seasons.  He’s still the Angels’ all-time leader in games played, at bats, hits, total bases, singles, doubles, grand slams, extra-base hits, career RBIs, and consecutive games with an RBI (12).

(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.)

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