Tuesday, March 23, 2010.
Boise State’s Pro Day this Friday is big for Kyle Wilson. It’s bigger for Richie Brockel. And it’s biggest for Mike T. Williams. The audience in front of NFL scouts is kind of procedural for Wilson, who’s projected as a first or second round draft pick next month. It’s important for Brockel, who’s out to prove he’s ready to go after a foot injury against Idaho ended his season last fall. And it’s almost an introduction for Williams, who was not 100 percent in time for Pro Day last year. Williams broke his leg on Senior Night against Fresno State in 2008 and is now bent on giving it a go Friday.
Williams first made his mark at Boise State as a pass-knockdown specialist during his redshirt freshman year in 2005. After that, he was a force at defensive end for three more years for the Broncos. His all-time highlight moment, of course, came in the first quarter of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, when he stripped Oklahoma quarterback Paul Thompson of the ball and recovered the fumble on the Sooner nine-yard-line. Ian Johnson scored a couple plays later to give the Broncos a 14-0 lead.
Tomorrow is shaping up as a perfect late October-type football day: sunny with a high of 61. That’s one reason the first Boise State scrimmage of the spring should draw a large throng to Bronco Stadium. The other would be that this is one of only two scrimmages during the spring session for the much-hyped Broncos of 2010 (instead of the normal three). Catch ‘em while you can.
Idaho’s 2010 football schedule has finally been released, and it’s a wild one. The Vandals have their first non-Saturday regular season games since 1960, with the home opener against FCS (Division I-AA) North Dakota Thursday, September 2, and the landmark ESPN2 game against Boise State in the Kibbie Dome Friday, November 12. Idaho will have a short week to prepare for the Broncos, as it hosts Nevada the preceding Saturday (the Broncos are in the same boat, hosting Hawaii November 6). The highlight of the Vandals slate is a trip to Nebraska September 11.
This had been talked about even before the Fiesta Bowl, but now it’s official. TCU and Oregon State will open the 2010 season on ESPN September 4 in Jerry Jones’ palace, the 80,000-seat Cowboys Stadium. For the Beavers, it means two potential top 10 teams in September, as they also visit Boise State September 25. For the Horned Frogs, it means their schedule could be set up even better than the Broncos’ for a run at the BCS Championship Game. All four of the Frogs' nonconference games will be played in the Dallas-Fort Worth area—two at home against Tennessee Tech and Baylor, and the other on the road at SMU.
The WAC basketball season is over with Nevada’s 85-83 loss at Rhode Island last night in the second round of the NIT. WAC Player of the Year Luke Babbitt entered the game as the eighth-leading scorer in the nation at 22 points per game, but he went only 2-for-14 from the field and was held to 14 points by the Rams. And get this—Rhode Island committed only two turnovers the entire game. So with the first round exits by New Mexico State and Utah State in the NCAA Tournament, that’s it for WAC hoops. We still await a new coach at Boise State, but it’s eerily quiet on that front right now.
What is the “Brabham Cup?” If the Idaho Steelheads have their way, you’ll find out in the next two weeks. The Brabham Cup trophy goes to the team with the most points in the standings at the end of the ECHL regular season. The Steelheads can clinch their first one with any combination of four points gained by Idaho or lost by Kalamazoo. The Steelies have seven games left to do it, starting tomorrow night against Victoria in Qwest Arena. That would also give the Steelheads home-ice advantage throughout the Kelly Cup Playoffs this spring.
Former Boise Hawk Garret Anderson says he hasn’t played first base since his Triple-A days, but that’s where he’s working out now in an effort to make the L.A. Dodgers’ roster. His chances of sticking have improved after the retirement of veteran outfielder Brian Giles. Anderson has only played in seven exhibition games for the Dodgers, but he is batting .400. Now 37 years old, Anderson is gunning for a 17th big league season after 15 with the Angels and one with the Braves. He was signed to a minor league contract by the Dodgers early this month.
If you’ve ever walked through the United terminal at San Francisco International Airport, you’ve probably seen the bronze plaques honoring members of the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame—everyone from Joe DiMaggio to Willie Mays to John Elway. Well, the College of Idaho’s most famous athletic alum, R.C. Owens, joined that prestigious group last night. Owens, a football and basketball All-American for the Coyotes from 1952-56, became a Bay Area icon while playing for the 49ers—catching the original alley-oop passes from Y.A. Tittle. Among the others inducted with Owens were Al Davis, Brian Boitano and Campy Campaneris.
This Day In Sports…March 23, 1957:
North Carolina’s Joe Quigg hits two free throws with six seconds left in the third overtime to put the Tar Heels in the lead, 54-53, over Wilt Chamberlain and the Kansas Jayhawks in the NCAA championship game. Quigg then tips away a pass to Wilt The Stilt to ice the game and give Carolina a 32-0 season. That was a lot of wins back in ’57.
(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 1350 KTIK/The Ticket. He’s also handled color commentary on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football the last five seasons.)