Tuesday, Nov 5 at 4:41 PM
Monday, September 12, 2011.
It certainly would have helped Boise State’s strength of schedule had Toledo upset Ohio State Saturday in the vaunted Horseshoe. But the fact the Rockets came close doesn’t hurt it. They had a legit shot at becoming the first in-state opponent to beat the Buckeyes in 90 years before falling 27-22. “It’s not that surprising,” said Chris Petersen, whose Broncos play at Toledo Friday night. Petersen felt BSU’s 57-14 win over the Rockets last October on the blue turf was a little deceiving. “I remember walking off the field thinking, ‘This is a pretty good team, and they’re only going to get better because they’re all young guys.’” Toledo had a fourth-and five at Ohio State’s 16 and had a receiver wide open for a first down with 52 seconds left, but quarterback Terrance Owens was forced to hurry his throw. Game, set, match.
Before anyone could ask about it at yesterday’s press conference, Petersen addressed the questions surrounding the three Dutch players Boise State held out of the win over Georgia. Quick answer: he knows nothing yet and is, of course, as anxious as anyone. Petersen said the issue of eligibility for Geraldo Boldewijn, Cedric Febis and Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe came “very much out of left field.” Until a few days before the Georgia game, “there was no indication that there were any problems at all,” he said.
All three are still practicing with the team, and how to distribute reps this week is dicey without knowing where the players stand. Petersen said if the three are going to be cleared to play this Friday night at Toledo, “you need a couple days (notice).” If you back-time from the team’s departure for Ohio on Thursday, that would be close of business tomorrow. Whatever happens, this is taking an emotional toll on the trio from Amsterdam. “I think we need to not lose sight of that,” said Petersen. “These guys are crushed.” He specifically pinpointed Febis, a fifth-year senior who had waited his whole career for his first start at strong safety.
While Petersen called injured fullbacks Dan Paul and Chandler Koch “week-to-week,” he said cornerback Ebo Makinde will finally be back this week, and that left guard Joe Kellogg’s status after an injury against Georgia is “better than we suspected,” and he is day-to-day. It was sophomore Spencer Gerke who was thrown into the fire against the Bulldogs when Kellogg went down, and he played well. It was the first meaningful playing time of the former Bishop Kelly standout’s career. “He’s taken some of the things coach Strausser has been working on,” said Petersen. “Finally, it’s kind of clicked.”
Despite a bye week, Boise State hung onto its two first place votes and remained fourth in the AP Poll, while in the Coaches Poll the Broncos jumped Florida State into the No. 4 spot. The Seminoles didn’t do anything wrong—they plastered Charleston Southern Saturday, 62-10. The Mountain West’s other ranked team, TCU, moved from 25th to 23rd in both polls after dominating Air Force in Colorado Springs, 35-19. And the Horned Frogs did it without two injured standouts, running back Ed Wesley and linebacker Tanner Brock. You didn’t think November 12 had lost any relevance, did you?
Petersen yesterday recalled where he was September 11, 2001. He had walked into Dan Hawkins’ office as game planning began for what was to be that Saturday’s game against Central Michigan. Petersen and Hawkins watched the day’s tragedy unfold from there. The Central Michigan game was re-scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend, one of 58 Division I-A games either cancelled or postponed that week. Petersen noted that Boise State had just lost the first two games of that season, which brings up a trivial anniversary in light of the one we commemorated yesterday. The Broncos have now passed the 10-year mark since their last regular season loss on the blue turf: September 8, 2001, against Washington State. Yesterday was also the 40th anniversary of the first football game between Boise State and Idaho, played at Bronco Stadium in 1971.
Idaho had some scary moments in the second quarter Saturday against North Dakota, namely an 11-point deficit that had the Vandals reeling. But they righted the ship by going to a possession passing game that overwhelmed their FCS opponent and resulted in a 44-14 victory. Quarterback Brian Reader began the game 3-of-11 before completing 11 straight passes on a scoring drive that started to turn the tide at the end of the first half. Reader went 24-of-28 the rest of the way to finish a solid 27-of-39 for 299 yards and four touchdowns to four different receivers. The Idaho defense held the Fighting Sioux to 197 total yards after allowing 377 in the first half to Bowling Green the week before. A little dose of confidence before the trip to No. 9 Texas A&M.
Former Boise State star Orlando Scandrick would rather you not know he’s a former Boise State star. Scandrick began the 2011 NFL season the same way he did in 2010—when NBC showed the Dallas starters for last night’s game against the Jets, when players state their name and school, we heard, “Orlando Scandrick; Los Angeles, California.” Last year he said, “Los Alamitos High School.” Maybe someday Sandrick’s feud with Boise State will abate. By the way, he sprained his right ankle and left the game in the first half last night in the Jets’ 27-24 win. Elsewhere, Titus Young was among the former Broncos making his NFL debut yesterday but didn’t have a catch in Detroit’s 27-20 win at Tampa Bay. Austin Pettis wasn’t activated by St. Louis in the Rams’ 31-13 loss to Philadelphia.
For the first time in three years, Albertsons Boise Open week starts with some sizzle, as the Michelob Ultra Shoot-Out tees off today at Hillcrest Country Club. John Daly will represent the Boise State golf program after proclaiming himself a “huge” Bronco football fan. Former world long-drive champion Jamie Sadlowski will play for the YMCA’s “Activate Treasure Valley” initiative. The Shootout will feature three competitions in one: a nine-hole skins game, closest-to-the-pin contests on five holes, and long-drive contests on four holes. Daly’s resume includes wins in the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 British Open (plus scores of headlines through the years). Sadlowski’s longest drive in official competition is 437 yards.
Scott Smith of Sparks, NV, shot a second straight seven-under 64 Friday to win the Idaho Open by four strokes. Highlight of the final round was a BanBury record 10-under 61 turned in by Linus Gillgren. The highlight for local golfers was a hole-in-one by Meridian’s Joe Panzeri. On the Nationwide Tour, the Utah Championship has occupied the week before the Boise stop in years past, but it was played in late July this season, and the Nationwide was idle over the weekend. So you’ll see well-rested and hungry golfers attack Hillcrest when the 22nd annual Albertsons Boise Open begins Thursday, as the final push begins for spots in the top 25 on the tour’s money list—those are the players who earn PGA Tour cards for the 2012 season.
This Day In Sports…September 12, 1998:
Boise State plays only its second home game ever against a Pac-10 school, as Washington State comes into Bronco Stadium a year after waxing BSU 58-0 in Pullman. The Broncos led late into the third quarter before WSU pulled away with a 33-21 win. After the game, Cougar coach Mike Price was asked, “Did it feel like a Pac-10 game out there tonight?” Price—still very proud of the Cougs’ Rose Bowl appearance on New Year’s Day—smugly replied, “The last time I checked, Boise State played in the Big West.”
(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.)