(Tom Scott’s column will return Friday.)
Tuesday, August 14, 2012.
Boise State’s Chris Petersen did say after Saturday’s initial fall camp scrimmage that there has been some separation at quarterback. Not quite enough yet, judging by Petersen’s lukewarm reviews of QB play in the scrum. “There’s flashes, there’s no question,” Petersen said. “Those guys can create plays with their feet and get out of the pocket.” It’s consistency that the coach is anxious to see. “We really look forward to coming out here next Saturday with a crowd and hopefully taking a step forward,” said Petersen. The fan count that night will be about one-fifth that of Spartan Stadium 17 days from now. But it’s as close as the Broncos can get to test the quarterbacks—and their instincts—in a game-day atmosphere
What we don’t know is whether one guy is separating from the other three—or if there are two who have established a gap between the other two. We’re pretty sure Joe Southwick is in the top two, if not the top one. In case you’re wondering, Kellen Moore was named starting quarterback August 20, 2008. The opener that season was August 30. Petersen was sure at the time Kellen was his man. Will the coach be that confident in one of his current quartet by next Tuesday—10 days before kickoff?
Sophomore Grant Hedrick has been the forgotten man in the quarterback race. Hedrick actually had a bigger role in Boise State’s base offense last season than Southwick, operating a special wildcat package. Funny thing—Jared Zabransky did something very similar during his redshirt freshman year in 2003. Last season, Hedrick rushed eight times for 70 yards and a touchdown, an 8.8-yard average. In 2003, Zabransky had 16 carries for 78 yards and a TD, a 4.9-yard average.
Tyrone Crawford had a modest debut last night for Dallas in that track meet in Oakland. The third round draft pick out of Boise State had one tackle as the Cowboys wriggled past the Raiders, 3-0. Crawford has had a good training camp so far, pushing former first-rounder Marcus Spears. At the stadium formerly known as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, though, Spears did fend off the surge for now with four tackles, including one for loss. Former Boise State tight end Kyle Efaw, the Capital High product who signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent, got into the game but did not have a catch.
Somebody really wants to wish expansion upon the WAC and make it happen. Apparently the Wikipedia page devoted to the WAC was edited last week to include a Monday announcement that Jacksonville State, Georgia Southern, James Madison, Appalachian State, Liberty and Delaware would be joining the conference as football members in 2014. The notion was quickly shot down by WAC commissioner Jeff Hurd, as well as the president of Jacksonville State. So it’s status quo for Idaho. The Vandals are looking at FBS independence the next couple of seasons, and they hope to get the State Board of Education’s blessing—maybe as soon as this week.
Almost as soon as fall camp started at Idaho, it was a foregone conclusion that Dominique Blackman would be named starting quarterback. Last night it became reality, as coach Robb Akey made it official. The much-traveled 6-5, 255-pounder will be at the helm when the Vandals open the season against Eastern Washington on August 30 in the Kibbie Dome. Blackman’s numbers in two fall scrimmages have dwarfed those of sophomore Taylor Davis, who will now compete for the No. 2 spot with Logan Bushnell.
The Boise Hawks last night resembled the team that crawled to a 13-25 record in the first half of the Northwest League season, not the one that had fired out of the gates in the second half. The Hawks took a 3-2 lead into the eighth inning, when Salem-Keizer made a mockery of Boise’s pitching and defense by sending an astounding 14 men to the plate and scoring nine runs. That was all she wrote in an 11-4 pounding administered by the Volcanoes. Hayden Simpson, the former Cubs first round draft pick, allowed eight of the runs while recording just one out.
Salem-Keizer’s one visit to Boise this summer means the one visit by Volcanoes manager Tom Trebelhorn, who skippered the old Boise A’s during their two seasons in the Northwest League in 1975-76. Trebelhorn’s memories are across town at Borah High’s Wigle Field, where the A’s played—and where he guided future major league stolen bases king and Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson through his first season of pro baseball. Trebelhorn, now 64, would go on to manage the Milwaukee Brewers from 1986-91 and the Chicago Cubs in 1994. He’s in his fifth season with Salem-Keizer.
Boise State’s T.K. Kim is in a position similar to that of Boise’s Maddie Sheils a week ago. Kim is one shot off the 64-player cut line going into the second round of stroke play at the U.S. Men’s Amateur in Aurora, CO. Sheils was effectively the last golfer in after stroke play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur last week, making it to the round of 16 in match play. Kim, who won the Idaho Men’s Amateur last month, opened with a two-over 72 yesterday after being added to the 311-player field as an alternate over the weekend. It’s a tough assignment today, though. There are 34 other golfers tied with Kim—one shot behind the 20 players tied for 64th.
Maybe Dona Larsen Park, which will be dedicated tomorrow morning, can mark the dawn of a new era in local track and field. Idaho’s pool of Olympic athletes was rather pedestrian compared to a slightly smaller area 400 miles to our west. In fact, we share Nick Symmonds with this place. Eugene happens to be America’s track hotbed, and it was hard to keep up with all the athletes who live there and/or train there and/or competed for the Oregon Ducks. Symmonds runs for Oregon Track Club Elite, as do a number of other Olympians, like London’s decathlon champion, Ashton Eaton. Two of Britain’s big moments in these Games were Mo Farah’s gold medals in the 10,000-meter and 5,000-meter runs. Farah trains in Eugene—with the American silver medalist in the 10,000, former Oregon great Galen Rupp. And there was a lot more Eugene hardware beyond that.
This Day In Sports…August 14, 1977:
In the PGA Championship at Pebble Beach, Lanny Wadkins and Gene Littler are tied at the end of regulation and go into sudden death. On the first hole, each guy got a four. On the second hole, same thing. Wadkins birdied the third hole, while Littler parred it—and Wadkins won the only major of his career. Littler’s only victory in a major had come 16 years before: in the 1961 U.S. Open.
(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.)