Wednesday, August 14, 2013.
Chris Petersen is careful with his accolades, so it was interesting to hear him list players he saw as standouts during Boise State fall camp Monday. Three of them were no surprise. There’s no one more dependable than wide receiver Matt Miller, no one with more pure talent than defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, and no one who has stepped into a leadership role more seamlessly than offensive tackle Charles Leno. Petersen also mentioned Kirby Moore, not totally unexpected, and running back Jack Fields, perhaps a year later than expected. Then there was Jeremy Ioane, the junior safety whose career has been quite the journey. Ioane has gone from an untrusted freshman to a centerpiece of the Boise State defense in two short years.
Ioane seemed a bit like a fish out of water from the get-go. At the last minute on National Letter of Intent Day in 2010, Ioane spurned Notre Dame to sign with Boise State out of Honolulu. Then Ioane battled homesickness during his redshirt year before settling in and being named a starter at safety entering the 2011 season. The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome didn’t go so well for Ioane. He made just two tackles and felt the wrath of Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray before being lifted for senior Travis Stanaway in the Broncos’ victory over the Bulldogs. As inauspicious as the start to Ioane’s freshman season was, the finish to his sophomore year was the opposite. His interception of Washington quarterback Keith Price ended the win over the Huskies in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas.
Whoever Boise State goes with on its currently unsettled defensive line, they’d better be able to stop the run as soon as the popcorn starts poppin’ in Husky Stadium in 2½ weeks. ESPN.com tabs Washington’s Bishop Sankey as the 15th-best player overall in the Pac-12 this year. Bronco fans need no refresher course on Sankey. He torched the Broncos with 205 rushing yards and 74 receiving yards in Las Vegas last December. Sankey didn’t begin the year as UW’s starter, but he finished with 1,439 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. “With a healthy offensive line in front of him, expect Sankey to be in contention for multiple postseason honors,” writes ESPN.coms’s Kevin Gemmell.
After all the hand-wringing over whether Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins would be suspended for the opener against Boise State, he may now miss the game because of an injury. Seferian-Jenkins fractured his pinkie finger in practice Monday and will require surgery, with no clear timetable for his return to the Huskies. “I’m hopeful it’s days, but I really don’t know,” UW coach Steve Sarkisian told the Seattle Times. “I’ll know more at the end of the week.” In just two seasons, Seferian-Jenkins has broken every major career tight ends record at Washington.
The oddest statistic among former Boise State Broncos in the NFL last weekend came from the guy perhaps facing the longest odds of sticking. Tyler Shoemaker returned one punt for eight yards for the Chiefs in a 17-13 loss to the Saints. He never returned a punt during his Boise State career. I don’t remember Shoemaker ever even being in the punt return conversation during his four years as a Bronco. The Mountain View High grad gets another chance to make an impression on the Kansas City staff against the 49ers Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium.
Bryan Harsin may not be on the Boise State staff anymore, but he has his own new digs to look forward to at Arkansas State. The Red Wolves head coach and former Bronco offensive coordinator just needs a start date for his program’s new facility. The project was announced almost a year ago, when Gus Malzahn was still ASU’s coach and Harsin was O-coordinator at Texas. The $22 million football facility will include a two-level football operations building as well as a 76,000 square-foot indoor practice facility. The building will also include a new locker room, strength and conditioning and sports medicine center, a player’s lounge and an equipment room. Once it gets going, Arkansas expects the upgrades to take about two years to complete.
Nick Symmonds yesterday registered the top American finish in the men’s 800 meters at either the World Championships or the Summer Olympics in 41 years. Symmonds’ silver medal at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow was his first in major international competition and the best performance for the U.S. since Dave Wottle’s gold at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The Bishop Kelly alum ran a 1:43.55 and led until he was passed in the final straightaway by Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman. “I think I’d prefer gold, and I did everything I could to get it,” Symmonds told Universal Sports. “I thought I had the gold until the last 10 meters. I raced for the gold, and I’m happy with the silver.”
The Boise Hawks muddled through last night in their first game without Kris Bryant. If you can call a 15-hit attack and a 12-1 victory over Eugene “muddling through.” The Hawks went back to their pre-Bryant bread and butter, with Yasiel Balaguert crushing a three-run homer to up his season RBI total to a Northwest League-leading 38. Balaguert is also now tied for the league lead with seven home runs. David Bote had a big night as well, going 3-for-4 with four RBI. While Boise recorded a season-high in runs, it was the third time during the current homestand the team had pounded out 15 hits. There are two games left against the Emeralds before the Hawks embark on their annual Western Idaho Fair road trip.
One late double-bogey did T.K. Kim in yesterday as he missed the cut at the 113th U.S. Amateur Championship in Brookline, MA. The Boise State product carded a four-over 74 in the second round of stroke play to tie for 88th, falling two shots short of today’s 64-man match play field. Kim thus caps a three-month stretch that saw him also make the NCAA Regionals, U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying and the U.S. Amateur Public Links.
This Day In Sports…August 14, 1971:
Future Hall of Famer Bob Gibson throws the only no-hitter of his legendary career as the St. Louis Cardinals rout the Pittsburgh Pirates, 11-0. Gibson recorded the final out by striking out another future Hall of Famer, Willie Stargell. It was Gibson’s 201st career win—he’d finish with 251. But his greatest achievement came in 1968, when he posted a remarkable 1.12 ERA, a modern baseball record.
(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.)