Wednesday, Nov 4 at 11:34 AM
Wednesday, November 4, 2009.
What an odd season it has been for Byron Hout. Everybody knows how it started right after the win over Oregon in September. Now that it’s November, the more relevant memories of the Boise State defensive end hearken back to last November. That’s when Hout made his impact after burning his redshirt year the first of October. He had seven tackles and a sack at New Mexico State—then was named WAC Defensive Player of the Week after recording two sacks and a forced fumble at Idaho. It was a long time coming, but Hout picked up his first sack of the season last Saturday against San Jose State and added another tackle-for-loss as he looks to hit his stride.
Elsewhere on the Boise State defensive line, the depth the Broncos didn’t used to have continues to pay dividends. Despite seeing backup tackles Michael Atkinson and J.P. Nisby missing with injuries last week, BSU was still able to platoon its entire D-line. Out would go Ryan Winterswyk, Chase Baker, Billy Winn and Shea McClellin—and in would come Hout, Greg Grimes, Darren Koontz and Jarell Root. Grimes and Koontz are the latest capable reinforcements at tackle. Nisby is expected to be out the next two games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery, while Atkinson is week-to-week after a flare-up of the ankle injury he suffered while working out in June.
Two members of ESPN.com’s expert panel of Heisman Trophy analysts have now given Boise State’s Kellen Moore a first place vote, even though Moore dropped from fifth to sixth in the group’s overall voting. Pat Forde now has Kellen at No. 1, writing, “He leads an undefeated, top-10 team. He leads the nation in passing efficiency, and the race really isn't close. What's not to love about 24 touchdowns and two interceptions? Roughly one out of every nine passes is a touchdown, by far the best TD percentage in America. The only knock is the competition, which won't get any tougher the rest of the way.” Man, does the “competition” get tired of hearing that.
On the heels of his first career pick six, BSU cornerback Kyle Wilson has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award that goes to the nation’s best defensive back. The list will be whittled to three finalists on November 23. Wilson is one of only two players from non-BCS schools in the group—the other is Barry Church of Toledo. Friday night Wilson will be as close to his Piscataway, NJ, home as he’s going to get for the rest of his college career, as the Broncos go to Louisiana Tech (unless something strange happens during the bowl season).
What WAC commissioner Karl Benson reveals regarding Boise State’s scheduling woes is sadly ironic. Now that the Broncos’ scheduling model has changed in an effort to land at least one BCS road game a year for financial betterment, they find doors being slammed in their faces. Benson says as many as 10 schools have turned down a chance to play a home game versus BSU in 2011, with no return trip to the blue turf required. BCS conferences say the Broncos should earn their way into college football’s upper echelon by playing a more difficult slate. This makes it look like they couldn’t even do it if they tried. Kudos to Oregon and Oregon State for their home-and-home series with Boise State. Those schools are admirable exceptions.
Colin Kaepernick and Vai Taua were problems for Idaho in its 70-45 loss at Nevada a week and a half ago. At least Saturday against Fresno State there’s just a one-headed monster to worry about instead of the dynamic Wolf Pack duo that helped rack up 484 yards rushing. The Bulldogs’ Ryan Mathews continues to be the national leader, averaging 164.5 yards. Mathews’ lead is gigantic—over 28 yards a game. He ran for 185 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 31-27 win over Utah State. The Vandals’ DeMaundray Woolridge leads the WAC in rushing TDs, though, with 14.
Dan Hawkins is a resilient, positive thinker. But this cannot be fun. Limping along at Colorado with a 2-6 record, the former Boise State coach now finds out that his highest-rated recruiting signee is leaving the CU program. Running back Darrell Scott made his decision known Monday. Scott was right behind current Ohio State quarterback Terrell Pryor as the No. 2 overall prospect in the country in the 2008 recruiting class. But he’s been plagued by injuries—and by what he thinks is questionable play calling—and has had just 23 carries for 95 yards this season. Scott hopes the Buffaloes will release him so he can seek a scholarship at UCLA. Hawk is trying to circle the wagons for Colorado’s game Saturday in Boulder against Texas A&M.
Everywhere Chris Carr has been in his NFL career, he’s sought a role on defense, not just special teams. Baltimore brought Carr in during the off-season to be a kick returner and occasional contributor in the secondary, and last Sunday the former Boise State star picked a good spot for his first NFL sack. Carr pulled down Denver quarterback Kyle Orton for a 10-yard loss on third-and-15 at the Bronco nine with eight minutes left in the game, all but sealing Denver’s first loss of the season. That offset a nondescript day on returns for Carr, who had two punt returns for seven yards.
It might be difficult to gauge him against last night's level of competition, but it might be hard for Boise State coach Greg Graham to redshirt Daequon Montreal, the transfer from College of Southern Idaho. Montreal had 13 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in the Broncos’ 111-72 exhibition win over Willamette. Graham has said Montreal is as good a big man as he’s had during his eight seasons at BSU. Among the other JC transfers, Robert Arnold scored 14 points, including a couple awe-inspiring dunks, and Westly Perryman had 11. The Broncos’ second and final exhibition game comes Saturday night in Taco Bell Arena against Concordia.
Player-coach-captain Marty Flichel is letting the myriad new faces on the Idaho Steelheads enjoy lamp-lighting glory so far this season. He’s just helping them out. Flichel started the season with a six-game assist streak, plus one goal. Sunday’s win at Alaska was the first game in which Flichel did not contribute at least one assist. One of the hottest Steelies is goalie Richard Bachman, who stepped right in after ReJean Beauchemin’s AHL callup and was promptly named ECHL Goaltender of the Week. Bachman won two out of three games at Alaska last weekend, saving 90 percent of the Aces’ shots on goal. Flichel, Bachman and the Steelheads are back at it tonight at Utah.
This Day In Sports…November 4, 1995:
Boise State wins the highest-scoring game in the history of Bronco Stadium at the time (107 points), beating Eastern Washington in a Big Sky game, 63-44. BSU rolled up a then-school record 664 yards of total offense, with quarterback Tony Hilde amassing 389 total yards. The record for offense would stand until the Broncos’ epic route of Fresno State on ESPN in 2002, when they recorded 688 yards. That was surpassed by the 732 they piled up at Louisiana Tech in 2003.
(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 also