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One stat in particular tells a little fib

One stat in particular tells a little fib

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant

KTVB.COM

Posted on November 4, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Monday, November 4, 2013.

Two years after Boise State went to Fort Collins for the first time and chalked up its highest total offense output in history at 742 yards, the Broncos returned to Colorado State and saw the Rams roll up 626 yards, the fifth-most ever allowed by BSU.  It was only the seventh time the Broncos have ever yielded 600 yards, and the first time in regulation in 15 years.  But if ever a stat called for a look between the lines, this is it.  First, the bottom line, a 42-30 Boise State victory improving its season record to 6-3.  Second, CSU ran off a staggering 109 plays, and the Broncos only 58 (they had 437 total yards on the night).  The math shows a 5.7 yards-per-play figure for Colorado State and 7.5 for Boise State.  All in all, it wasn’t a terrible effort considering the scotch-taped nature of the injury-riddled Bronco defense.

It was a grand bounce-back for Boise State’s Grant Hedrick.  While everyone awaited a sequel of the junior quarterback’s rushing performance against Nevada, he delivered as productive a passing game as anyone could hope for at Colorado State.  Speaking of stats, pass efficiency rating is as big as they come for coach Chris Petersen, and Hedrick’s rating for the game was a stratospheric 226.4 after a 19-of-27, 305-yard, five-touchdown, no-interception performance.  The formula is weighted toward completion percentage (check), yards-per-attempt (check), and high touchdown and low interception ratio (check, check).  Hedrick rushed only eight times against the Rams and gained a workmanlike 30 yards, including a touchdown.  His time will come again in that department.

Boise State handed Colorado State all the confidence it could want in the first 8½ minutes of the game, allowing a 63-yard march that resulted in a CSU field goal, and giving the ball right back to the Rams on the Broncos’ first play from scrimmage on a mishandled exchange between Hedrick and Jay Ajayi.  It was 10-0 Colorado State at that point, with the Rams having outgained their favored guests 81 yards to minus-3.  “So much for fast starts,” said Petersen on the KBOI postgame show.  “We’ve gotta figure that one out.”  But Boise State snatched the confidence away with a 35-7 run from early in the second quarter through early in the fourth quarter. 

It would not have happened without the Boise State wide receiver group making plays in bunches the way its predecessors did, say, the past 10 or 15 years.  “It put our defense a little more at ease,” said Petersen.  Matt Miller was the polar opposite of the guy who seemed so out of sorts four weeks ago at Utah State, Geraldo Boldewijn was as consistent as he’s been all season, Shane Williams-Rhodes produced a catch-and-run that he was born to make, and Aaron Burks’ one catch, a 42-yard touchdown despite pass interference by a Colorado State defender, was a play that teams with designs on a trip to the Mountain West championship game have to engineer. 

Not that Taylor Davis isn’t giving it his all at quarterback, but Idaho clearly misses Chad Chalich.  The redshirt freshman from Coeur d’Alene missed another game Saturday, a 37-21 loss to Texas State in Moscow.  At 20-of-35, Davis did top the 50 percent mark for the first time this season, but he threw for only 181 yards and completed only one true downfield pass all day.  That one was an accidental touchdown that flew over the head of the intended receiver, deflected off another Vandal, and landed in the arms of Deon Watson in the end zone.  Total offense was even on the day at 336 yards for each team, but the Bobcats had the field position advantage much of the game.  Hard-running James Baker was a highlight for Idaho, going for 114 yards on 24 carries.  The Kibbie Dome was built for days like this—it was a cold, raw, windswept afternoon on the Palouse.

Notables from the NFL yesterday involving Boise State products: Orlando Scandrick had a big day in the Dallas Cowboys’ 27-23 win over Minnesota.  Scandrick intercepted a fourth quarter Christian Ponder pass, deflected three others, and made five tackles.   Kyle Wilson also had five tackles in the New York Jets’ 26-20 upset of New Orleans.  Billy Winn was back in action for Cleveland after missing five games with a leg injury and made two tackles, one for loss, in the Browns’ 24-18 upending of Baltimore.  And things have slowed down for Austin Pettis since Sam Bradford’s injury in St. Louis.  Pettis had just one catch for the second straight week, a 13-yarder in the Rams’ 28-20 loss to Tennessee.  Elsewhere, former Vandal star Shiloh Keo led Houston last night with six tackles in a 27-24 loss to Indianapolis.

There was the expected, the unusual, and the potentially futuristic Friday night as the Boise State men’s basketball team eased past Lewis-Clark State after a slow start for an 80-52 exhibition win.  The usual: Ryan Watkins with 15 points and seven rebounds and Mikey Thompson with nine points off the bench.  The unusual: Anthony Drmic and Derrick Marks going a combined 4-of-16 from the field.  And the futuristic: 13 productive minutes despite a tender ankle from true freshman Nick Duncan.  The 6-8 Australian contributed eight points and five rebounds, pretty good output for limited duty.  The Broncos play for real this Friday against Texas-Arlington.

It was Shootout City for the Idaho Steelheads in their first full weekend of the season in CenturyLink Arena.  The Steelheads were on the short end of a 4-3 shootout decision against Ontario Friday and the long end of the same result Saturday.  In the victory, Idaho got the game past regulation thanks to Mitch Wahl and Taylor Vause taking advantage of goal-mouth chaos on a power play, with Wahl getting credit for the goal that tied the game 3-3 in the third period.  The Steelies made quick work of the shootout, scoring on each of their first three attempts.  Wouldn’t you know it, Wahl has now been summoned to the AHL on a loan to Utica just ahead of the Steelheads’ big three-game home series against Alaska this week.

You can safely call Graham DeLaet’s missed cut in the PGA Tour season opener two weeks ago an aberration now.  The former Boise State star is playing as well as he did during the FedExCup Playoffs in September.  DeLaet was poised for a dramatic drop in yesterday’s final round of the World Golf Championships/HSBC Champions when he picked up a bogey and double-bogey over the first five holes.  But he birdied four of the final six holes to finish tied for sixth in Shanghai, taking home another $231,500.

It’s not just one of the great comeback stories in Idaho history, but in all of sports.  Gary Stevens won the Classic at the Breeders Cup for the first time Saturday by a nostril, guiding Mucho Macho Man to the winner’s circle ahead of Will Take Charge, making Kathy Ritvo the first female trainer ever to win the richest race in North America.  The victory, paired with Stevens’ win in the Preakness Stakes in May, caps a remarkable year for the Caldwell native—two signature triumphs at the age of 50 after being out of the saddle for more than seven years.

Also of note from the weekend, the Idaho Stampede chose former Baylor star Pierre Jackson with the fourth overall pick of the D-League Draft Friday.  Jackson, a 5-10 guard, played two seasons at the College of Southern Idaho before transferring to Baylor.  The College of Idaho hoops team scored a combined 214 points in sweeping Walla Walla and Carroll at Quinn Classic in LaGrande.  Boise State’s Emma Bates won the individual Mountain West cross country championship at the Air Force Academy.  And the Bronco women’s golf team won the Winthrop Invitational at Rock Hill, SC, with sophomore Samantha Martin capturing the first individual title of her career.

This Day In Sports…November 4, 2007:

Adrian Peterson, the rookie out of Oklahoma, sets a new NFL single-game rushing record with 296 yards in Minnesota’s 35-17 win over San Diego.  After a modest 43 yards at halftime, Peterson exploded for 253 in the second half.  He averaged almost 9.9 yards a carry for the game.  Just a little over 10 months earlier, Peterson had been held to 77 yards on 20 carries by Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl—only 52 yards in regulation before his 25-yard touchdown run in overtime.

(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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