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Better to be lucky than good (but Kellen Moore is both)

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on May 10, 2010 at 7:20 AM

Updated Monday, May 10 at 11:03 AM


Monday, May 10, 2010.
It’s always engaging to see what’s written about Boise State in national publications. Plenty of opportunities these days. And this week’s Sporting News gives us yet another chance, with “5 Questions For Kellen Moore.” A reader from Illinois lists all the critics’ knocks on Moore (“underrecruited, too small, poor mobility, bad arm strength”) and asks him if he plays with an “extra-big chip” on his shoulder—or if it’s chip that every Boise State player has. Replies Kellen: “There are lots of guys with similar stories here, guys who weren’t the most highly touted coming out of high school and somehow found their way here. There are a lot of similar stories that way, and we kind of play with that chip on our shoulder. Everyone recognizes this is a pretty special place, and I think we’ve come together and done a pretty good job.”
A Boise reader asks about Moore’s best and worst passes he’s thrown at Boise State. Kellen says the worst was the cross-field attempt to throw the ball away last November at Louisiana Tech—a pass that was intercepted and run back 75 yards for a touchdown. Obvious choice. Moore turned the subject of “best” into “lucky.” His first touchdown pass to brother Kirby last season was supposed to be an out route to another receiver against San Jose State. “Kirby was supposed to be sitting in the flat, but he ran a wheel instead and just kept running. I tried to throw the out route, and Kirby just ran right into the ball. You can call that lucky or good.” So there it is now in the Sporting News, for all the world to see.
One line in Ted Miller’s Pac-10 spring wrap at gives us cause for pause. Miller asks
“whether anyone can block Stephen Paea one-on-one.” Paea is the monstrous Oregon State defensive tackle who will unleash himself on the blue turf September 25. So can Boise State block him one-on-one? That’s the beauty of the Broncos’ game-planning. They don’t have to. When greenhorn Brenel Myers was inserted at right tackle in the Fiesta Bowl to take on TCU All-American defensive end Jerry Hughes, Myers held up just fine. But he was surrounded by help. How many times, for example, did you see tight end Tommy Gallarda line up in the slot just off Myers’ hip? Something tells me Boise State will figure it out.
The Idaho Steelheads had been scoring a ton in the Kelly Cup Playoffs until they ventured down to Stockton last week. Then they hit the wall against the Stockton Thunder, as they were shut out in that three-overtime classic last Wednesday and managed only two goals in absorbing a 7-2 drubbing Friday. Enter captain Marty Flichel, who had scored only two postseason goals to that point. In Saturday’s pivotal Game 5 of the ECHL National Conference Finals, Flichel potted two tallies that sparked a 6-3 rout of Stockton, the first one opening the scoring for the Steelies after the Thunder had ominously scored first. The win gives Idaho the advantage, with two chances to finish the series when it returns to Qwest Arena tomorrow night and, if necessary, Wednesday night.
The Steelheads’ goaltending situation changed very suddenly Friday night. Richard Bachman had been nearly impenetrable in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. But Stockton’s early three-goal barrage, and an undisclosed injury, gave coach Derek Laxdal no choice but to pull the rookie netminder. On came Rejean Beauchemin, who was rudely welcomed with four more Thunder goals. On Saturday, though, Beauchemin looked more like the goalie who had 25 victories during the regular season, winning his first playoff start. Here’s the key, though: the teammates in front of him came up big defensively—Beauchemin had to face only 16 shots.
The College of Idaho got off to a rousing start in the NAIA West Postseason Tournament Thursday. It came to a crashing halt Friday with a loss to British Columbia and another in a rematch with Oregon Tech. The NAIA World Series is now out of the Coyotes’ hands. The final 13 at-large berths to the opening round will be determined today when the final NAIA national poll is released.
One former Boise Hawk we haven’t updated this spring is the Cubs’ Micah Hoffpauir. That’s because right now he’s the Iowa Cubs’ Micah Hoffpauir after spending last season in Chicago. But Friday, Hoffpauir was named the Hawks Player of the Decade. He led Boise to one of its two Northwest League championships the past 10 years, hitting .301 with ten homers and 41 RBIs in 2002. Hoffpauir finally made it to the bigs with the Cubs two years ago. But he might not be back soon—at Iowa, he’s currently hitting just .191.
The weekend didn’t end so well for Troy Merritt. But just making the cut in what they call golf’s “fifth major” is sayin’ something. The former Boise State star played with Phil Mickelson Saturday and ballooned to a four-over 76. Things got even worse yesterday, when Merritt closed with a 78 and finished second-to-last among those who played all four rounds. His paycheck paled in comparison with the $435,200 he took home from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, but it was still just under $20,000. Tim Clark, champion of the Albertson’s Boise Open 10 years ago, won the TPC—his first victory on the PGA Tour.
This Day In Sports…May 10, 1970, 40 years ago today:
In one of those NHL snapshots that remains frozen in time, Boston’s 22-year-old Bobby Orr is caught sailing through the air just milliseconds after slamming a shot past St. Louis Blues goalie Glenn Hall. The acrobatic and dramatic goal in Game 4 gave the Bruins a 4-3 overtime win and their first Stanley Cup in 29 years. While the Boston Garden erupted, the Blues faced the infamy of being swept in their third straight Stanley Cup Finals.
(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.)