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The Broncos and the month of October

The Broncos and the month of October

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on October 7, 2013 at 7:27 AM

Monday, October 7, 2013.

It’s one of the most under-the-radar streaks in college football.  Will we be talking about it at the end of the month?  Just in case, let’s wrap up Boise State’s bye week by talking about it now.  The Broncos have won 48 consecutive games in the month of October.  Think about that.  They haven’t lost in October since a 45-14 defeat at Rice in 2001.  That game must still make them really, really mad.  The streak began innocently enough with a 41-10 victory over Tulsa on the blue turf.  Then came one of the most significant wins in school history, the 35-30 upset of No. 8 Fresno State and David Carr.  Perhaps that game has produced 12 years worth of mojo.

I’ve picked out three other memorable points in the streak.  You’ll have to agree with at least the first one, Boise State’s 69-67 quadruple overtime victory over Nevada in 2007.  The Broncos survived Colin Kaepernick’s first start for the Wolf Pack in a Sunday night classic on ESPN.  The game wasn’t decided until Boise State’s Tim Brady sacked Kaepernick on the Wolf Pack’s final two-point conversion attempt.  Kaepernick passed for 243 yards and rushed for 177, while Ian Johnson recorded the second 200-yard rushing game of his career.  It was a pressure night for redshirt freshman kicker Kyle Brotzman.  Three times from the end of regulation through the overtimes, Brotzman made a kick that—had he missed—would have ended the game in a loss.

In 2003, there was the record-shattering day in Boise State’s 43-37 win at Louisiana Tech, the subject of my “This Day In Sports” item Friday.  In a matchup of the WAC’s top two quarterbacks, Ryan Dinwiddie outdueled Luke McCown by throwing for a school record 532 yards.  He did it with 40 completions in 60 attempts as Boise State rolled up 732 yards of total offense, establishing three more Bronco records.  And there was another—Tim Gillgan’s 16 receptions that covered 255 yards.  All but the total offense record still stand.

If the 2001 win over Fresno State wasn’t a statement, the one in 2002 was.  The same thing happened, but in landslide fashion, as Boise State drilled the Bulldogs, 67-21.  The first regular season game ever televised by ESPN from the blue turf—and Bronco Stadium’s first Orange-Out—drew 30,924 fans, at that time a school record.  B.J. Rhode staked the Broncos to a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.  Then Ryan Dinwiddie returned from a broken ankle suffered six weeks earlier to throw for 406 yards and five touchdowns in three quarters of work.

You often hear teams talk about wanting to face opponents when they’re at their best in big games.  Boise State has a big game in Logan this Saturday, and the opponent has taken a hit.  After an ugly plant of his left leg knocked him out of the game against BYU Friday night, Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton is now lost for the season.  The absence of Keeton, who earlier this season became the first QB in Mountain West history to throw for five touchdowns in back-to-back games, was clearly felt by the Aggies.  Backup Craig Harrison was game but simply couldn’t do what Chuckie does as the Cougars rolled, 31-14.  Keeton is a great kid, and this is a sad deal.  The Broncos should feel that way, too, no matter how it affects this Saturday’s matchup.

What quarterback wouldn’t take this stat line: 15-of-17 for 273 yards and three touchdowns.  That’s what Fresno State’s Derek Carr did Saturday in the Kibbie Dome…in the first quarter.  Carr had 390 yards through the air by halftime, and the Bulldogs had posted a staggering 577 overall in building a 47-0 lead over Idaho.  The final result, 61-14, represents the Vandals’ worst home loss in their history.  The Idaho offense regressed after a solid performance against Temple.  Chad Chalich, who had gone the first 155 passing attempts of his college career without an interception, threw three picks against Fresno State, and Josh McCain added another.  The Bulldogs moved up two spots in the AP Poll yesterday to No. 21 but dropped one position in the Coaches Poll to No. 22.

Among the NFL highlights involving Boise State products yesterday, Austin Pettis had a very efficient day for St. Louis, making four catches for 49 yards and two touchdowns, including a 31-yarder that put the game away in the Rams’ 34-20 win over woeful Jacksonville.  After going tackle-less last week, Shea McClellin recorded six stops, one for a loss, and added a quarterback hit in the Bears’ 26-18 loss to New Orleans.  And Jeron Johnson was back in action for Seattle after missing three games with a hamstring injury.  Johnson just missed scoring his second NFL touchdown on a blocked punt—officials ruled he didn’t fully have possession of the ball in the end zone before he slid over the end line in the Seahawks’ 34-28 loss at Indianapolis.

Twice yesterday, Graham DeLaet provided some thrills at the Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village in Ohio.  In fact, it was about as thrilling as it got for the International team, which lost to the U.S. 18½-15½.  DeLaet was the MVP of the Internationals after holing out from a bunker on No. 18 to beat Jordan Spieth in singles.  Earlier, playing with Jason Day in foursomes, the former Boise State standout holed out on a chip to halve the match with U.S. team juggernaut Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.  ``It was unbelievable,'' DeLaet said at about the shot against Mickelson and Bradley.  “Just one of the coolest feelings in my life, really.”  The bunker shot was an all-timer.  The strong showing at the Presidents Cup puts a nice bow on DeLaet’s 2013 season.

The Idaho Steelheads gathered for training camp yesterday and will begin practice today.  They’ll also release their complete preseason roster.  The biggest development over the weekend was that Mitch Wahl will be on it.  In Wahl, the Steelheads have picked up the Utah Grizzlies’ leading scorer from last season.  He scored 59 points in just 45 games before being called up to the AHL in February.  At the time, Wahl was second in the ECHL in scoring and led the league in power-play points.

Former Boise Hawks were at both ends of the spectrum in the playoffs over the weekend.  On the down side, Al Alburquerque was charged with the only run of the game in Oakland’s amazing 1-0 win over the Tigers Saturday night.  Alburquerque wasn’t on the mound when Stephen Vogt’s walk-off single broke up the scoreless tie for the A’s, but the runner who scored, Yoenis Cespedes, was Alburquerque’s responsibility.  On the high side, John Lackey got the victory for Boston Saturday against Tampa Bay, allowing four runs over 5 1/3 innings in the 7-4 Red Sox win.  And Josh Harrison raced home with the eventual winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning for Pittsburgh yesterday, electrifying Pirates fans in a 5-3 triumph over the Cardinals.

Boise State’s Andy Bettles made the quarterfinals of the ITA All-American tournament in Tulsa Saturday before falling to 23rd-ranked Alex Sarkissian of Pepperdine 6-2, 6-3.  Bettles had defeated the nation’s 14th-ranked player, Tsetvan Mihov of South Carolina, 6-2, 6-3 on Friday.  At the Dar Walters Fall Classic in Boise, Brendan McClain, who coach Greg Patton calls the Broncos’ “freshman wonder,” won the Open singles title by defeating teammate Thomas Tenreiro.  Idaho’s Jose Bendeck won the Blue draw over Vandal teammate Cristobal Ramos.

This Day In Sports…October 7, 1967:

Idaho State is on the wrong side of the record book in a 58-0 loss at Tulsa as Golden Hurricane wide receivers Ricky Eber and Harry Wood record the best day by a receiving duo in college football history.  Eber hauled in 20 receptions for 322 yards and three touchdowns, while Wood posted 13 grabs for 318 yards and three scores.  The marks ranked second and third, respectively, in the NCAA single-game receiving yards record book at the time.  Their combined total of 640 yards remains an NCAA record.

(Courtesy: The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame)

(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.)