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Is Justin Wilcox a factor? Pete won’t go there.

Is Justin Wilcox a factor?  Pete won’t go there.

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on December 4, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 4 at 10:24 AM

Tuesday, December 4, 2012.

The last time we saw Justin Wilcox, he was scheming for a Boise State defense that befuddled TCU and Andy Dalton in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, keying the Broncos’ 17-10 victory over the Horned Frogs.  Then Wilcox headed for Tennessee, and you know where he is now.  What will he cook up for his old friends when his Washington defense meets Boise State in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas?  “I don’t have an opinion on that,” said coach Chris Petersen at his Monday press conference.  “We’ve played a lot of people that we’re close to, and you just play the game.”  Petersen did have one hunch on Wilcox.  “Whatever the situation is, he’s going to blitz, because that's all he does,” said Petersen.  “Just kidding,” he added with a grin.  Does his staff keep in touch with Wilcox?  “We talk to him, but more as a friend than any football-type stuff.”

The Chris Petersen-to-Arkansas rumors have blown up on the Hog chat-osphere the past couple of days, but good luck finding any real substance.  One poster cited a tweet from Joe Southwick wishing “Coach Peterson luck on his future endeavors.”  Peterson.  Southwick is going to misspell Pete’s name?  The Boise State quarterback was asked yesterday if A) he had heard about the alleged tweet, and B) whether he has a Twitter account.  “I’ve heard, and I don’t” said Southwick.  Never say never on Petersen, but really…

How about that.  After its last regular season game as a member of the conference, Boise State has a Defensive Player of the Week in the Mountain West for the first time this year.  For linebacker J.C. Percy, it’s also a lifetime achievement award of sorts.  Percy recorded 13 tackles in the 27-21 win at Nevada and recovered a fumble in the end zone that proved to be one of the biggest turnovers of the year.  The senior from Blackfoot has 101 tackles on the season, the first Bronco to break 100 since Korey Hall in 2005 or 2006 (depending on which stat sheet you look at).  D.J. Harper became only the second Boise State Offensive Player of the Week honoree this season after his 130-yard rushing day against the Wolf Pack.  Harper had shared the conference award after the Miami (Ohio) game in September.

Catching up on the awards from the Bronco Football Banquet, the interesting ones are always the Scout Team Players of the Year.  More often than not, they have panned out as major contributors during their careers.  On defense, it was linebacker Ben Weaver, who ‘backers coach Bob Gregory expects is going to do big things.  On offense it was none other than quarterback Nick Patti, who graduated from high school in Orlando last December so he could come in for spring football.  “It was really great for him to come in early and try to compete and learn our system,” said Petersen.  “The thing that’s jumped out to me so far is, he has that ‘it’ factor as a person.  It’ll be good to see him go for real now.”  Defensive end Sam Ukwuachu said Patti stood out this fall, citing “his command of the offense, how he can extend the play, his footspeed.”

Idaho athletic director Rob Spear cited Northern Illinois’ busting of the BCS and asked, “Why not Idaho?” while introducing Paul Petrino as the Vandals’ new head coach yesterday.  That might be a little ambitious considering the current state of the program, but there is excitement in Moscow.  "I look forward to getting back, getting the Vandal Family all excited and fired up," Petrino said.  "We want to score a whole bunch of points, be explosive on offense and hit that quarterback on defense.  We want to win a whole bunch of games and go to bowls."  While saluting his brother as a mentor, Petrino definitely set himself apart from Bobby at yesterday’s press conference, talking about his emphasis on being a great husband and a great father.

The combatant coaches in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl set the table in their own press conference yesterday.  Toledo coach Matt Campbell likes the idea of playing for the first day of bowl season (December 15).  “You get a chance to get right back into the swing of things,” said Campbell.  “Those late bowls—it’s a long lull between games.”  Campbell just hopes it’s not too soon to get back two injured mainstays of his offense, quarterback Terrance Owens and running back David Fluellen.  Utah State coach Gary Andersen says there’s a chance the Aggies will get star safety McKade Brady back.  Brady suffered a broken jaw against Louisiana Tech last month.  “He may have the biggest facemask in the history of college football,” said Andersen.

This might be it for Titus Young in Detroit.  The former Boise State wide receiver was sent home yet again from team activities and was told to stay away from the Lions’ Monday film session.  Young had been banned from the team for nine days for insubordination, missing the Thanksgiving Day game against Houston.  He was allowed to return last week but was surly in a media interview and was said to be moody during drills, causing new friction in the locker room.  There have been a lot of great stories involving former Broncos in the NFL the past five years.  It appears Young’s tale will be at the opposite end of the spectrum.

I guess you could call this a sign of progress, do you think?  The Boise State men’s basketball team has received 22 voting points in the new AP Poll and is effectively No. 34—ninth in line to get into the Top 25.  Funny what a 13-point road win over the No. 11 team in the country will do for you, especially when your only loss was by four points at the home of another ranked team.  The Broncos notched two points in the Coaches Poll.  If they can get past Utah in Salt Lake City tomorrow night, who knows where they’ll be next Monday going into the LSU game? 

Also, Boise State has landed only its second Mountain West Player of the Week award ever, as Derrick Marks picked up the honor after scoring 35 points at Creighton (including that 28-point second half) and 14 at Seattle.  The Bronco coaching staff would point out the little things Marks did as well.  He added four rebounds and four steals against the Bluejays and a career-high six steals and four assists against the Redhawks.

Tonight it’s this season’s second Battle of Canyon County, as the College of Idaho goes to Northwest Nazarene.  NNU has won six straight in the state’s oldest hoops rivalry after beating the C of I 63-50 three weeks ago in Caldwell.  The Coyotes, as the visiting team, count this game in its record, while the Crusaders play it as an exhibition.  The Yotes, led by Rodney Delgardo at 13.1 points per game, are 4-6 on the season, and NNU, led by Kenny Jones with a 15.2 average, is 3-3.

This Day In Sports…December 4, 1988:

Oklahoma State’s Barry Sanders wins the Heisman Trophy just before wrapping up a record-setting season that sees him break Marcus Allen’s single-season rushing record with 2,638 yards.  Sanders also scored a record 39 touchdowns that season.  Boise State’s Brock Forsey moved into second on the all-time list with his 32 TDs as a senior in 2002—he was surpassed by Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, who scored 34 touchdowns in 2011.

(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.)