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What will the defense look like in 11 days?

What will the defense look like in 11 days?

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on November 5, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 2:57 PM

Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

Because of the bye week, there was no Monday press conference for Boise State coach Chris Petersen.  Not that we would have been flush with information on injuries, but now we won’t even have a sliver of a hint about the health of the Bronco defense until next week.  First order of business: will the team have defensive tackles for the Wyoming game a week from Saturday?  The sight of Kharyee Marshall, who came to Boise State as a 6-3, 192-pound defensive end in 2009, line up at tackle at Colorado State after having never practiced at the position had to be sobering for the coaching staff.  That was after Justin Taimatuia went out with an injury—and Taimatuia was in there prominently because senior Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe was out with concussion symptoms. 

The linebacking corps, already missing Blake Renaud, saw Ben Weaver go to the sidelines.  The walking wounded club goes without saying—guys like Tanner Vallejo, Darian Thompson, Jeremy Ioane, and who knows who else?  I can’t think of a bye week in the history of Boise State bye weeks that has come at a better time.  We’re just not going to know how serious any of these maladies are until either Monday…or kickoff against the Cowboys. 

When Grant Hedrick hooked up with Aaron Burks on a 42-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter Saturday night, it was, “Hmmmmm.”  Grant Hedrick had thrown his fifth TD pass of the night, and there were almost 13 minutes left to get a sixth, which would have tied Boise State’s school record.  When CSU responded with two scores to cut into the Broncos’ 42-17 lead, another TD throw may have been apropos.  But Jim McMillan’s record of six remains.  It’s one of the oldest—and, as it turns out, most elusive—standards in the Boise State record book.  McMillan did it at Montana in 1974.  The mark has withstood the likes of Joe Aliotti, Bart Hendricks, Ryan Dinwiddie and Kellen Moore.  And now Joe Southwick and Grant Hedrick (Southwick threw for five touchdowns against UT-Martin in September).

The way things have been going, I was afraid this game would end up at, like 9:30 p.m.  But all things considered, this is as good as you could hope for.  Boise State’s game against Wyoming a week from Saturday will indeed be a late one, with an 8:15 kickoff (as opposed to 8:30 for the San Diego State game last November).  According to ESPN’s contract with the Broncos, there was one home game left to air on ESPN or ESPN2 (or ABC).  And this one will be on the Deuce—and semi-hidden from East Coast viewing.  The regular season finale against New Mexico will be harder to find.

Fresno State needs some style points if it wants to remain the comfortable leader over Northern Illinois in this year’s BCS Buster race.  The Bulldogs have had too many close calls—too many games that were in doubt in the fourth quarter.  But they insist they weren’t going for style points with a late touchdown with 1½ minutes left against Nevada in their 41-23 win over the Wolf Pack Saturday night.  Fresno State, now, 8-0, has won half of its games by a touchdown or less—two of them in overtime.  The Bulldogs are ranked 16th in the BCS Standings and picked up one spot this week on fellow non-AQ contender Northern Illinois, which is 18th.  But their position is still precarious.

Shea McClellin was an unfortumate centerpiece of Monday Night Football last night.  The former Boise State standout’s first quarter sack of Aaron Rodgers sent the Green Bay star to the sidelines with a shoulder injury in a game Chicago eventually won, 27-20.  Some speculate that Rodgers was hurt when Bears cornerback Isaiah Frey joined in crashing down on him at the end, but it was all McClellin (a clean hit).  The one-time Marsing Husky went on to post two more sacks of Packers backup Seneca Wallace to give him the first three-sack game of his young NFL career.  McClellin doubled his career sack total in one night.

It’s Rivalry Week for the Idaho Steelheads, and the table is set with Alaska Aces forward Tim Coffman having been named yesterday as the ECHL Rookie of the Month for October.  The Steelheads and Aces play tomorrow, Friday and Saturday, and Coffman will try to stay on the roll that saw him score four goals with three assists and a plus-minus rating of plus-6 in five games.  Alaska will bring a 4-1 record into CenturyLink Arena, while the Steelies are 3-2-1.

College of Idaho and Northwest Nazarene meet for the 193rd time tonight in Part I of this year’s United Heritage Mayors’ Cup series.  The oldest basketball rivalry in the state, dating back to 1933, will be renewed at the C of I’s J.A. Albertson Activities Center.  The Canyon County showdown will consist of a home-and-home series for the fifth straight year, with the wrapup set for December 10 in Nampa.  The Coyotes lead the all-time series 112-76, not counting four NNU exhibition wins.  But the Crusaders have a seven-game winning streak over the Yotes.  Tonight’s game will count as a regular season game for College of Idaho and an exhibition for Northwest Nazarene, which will be playing its first game of the season.

The College of Idaho’s new $4 million athletic facility will be appropriately named the Marty Holly Athletics Center after long-time athletic director Marty Holly.  Maybe it’ll be nicknamed “The House That Marty Built.”  The center is under construction and is slated to open late next summer in time for the Coyotes’ return to the football field.  Holly, in his 33rd year at the C of I, joined the Yotes as head basketball coach and AD in 1981.  He won an NAIA Division II national championship in 1996 and retired as coach after the 1999-2000 season to concentrate on his administrative duties.

This comes from a Scott Slant reader (thanks, Cale), and it is amazing.  Former Boise Hawk John Lackey’s victory over the St. Louis Cardinals last Wednesday was the second time a former Boise minor league pitcher won a deciding Game 6 of the World Series…for the Red Sox…in Fenway Park.  Carl Mays wrapped up the Series for the BoSox in 1918, after which the “Curse of the Bambino” began.  Mays began his professional career in 1912 with the Boise Irrigators of the Class D Western Tri-State League.  He made $90 a month and finished the season with a 22-9 record and a 2.08 ERA.  Unfortunately, the surly Mays is best remembered for throwing the pitch as a Yankee in 1920 that killed Cleveland’s Ray Chapman, the only major leaguer ever to die due to a play on the field.

This Day In Sports…November 5, 1988, 25 years ago today:

The Miami Heat play their first game in franchise history.  The moribund L.A. Clippers were Miami’s Opening Night opponent, but it didn’t matter as the Heat were blown out, 111-91.  The Heat would go on to lose their first 17 games before finally breaking through with their first victory on December 17—against the Clippers.  Miami would go 15-67 in that first season.

(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.)