Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
The most ignored of all Broncos during the offseason has been wide receiver Matt Miller. The humble, introverted junior-to-be from Helena, MT, has been a go-to guy since the first game he played, the 35-21 win over Georgia in 2011. Miller’s been a key for a team that has compiled a 23-3 record the past two years. Finally, he has received some preseason mention, named yesterday to the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award that goes to the nation’s best wide receiver. Last season, with the Boise State passing game more tame in the post-Kellen Moore era, Miller had 66 catches, the eighth-most in school history. He is on track to become Boise State’s career receptions leader—with 128 catches, he is more than halfway to Austin Pettis’ record of 239.
Boise State won’t face him this year, but the photo of San Jose State’s David Fales on the homepage of SI.com magnifies the fact that the Mountain West is going to be a pretty stout quarterback conference in 2013. In a league that features Fresno State’s Derek Carr, Nevada’s Cody Fajardo, Utah State’s Chuckie Keeton, Wyoming’s Brett Smith and, yes, Boise State’s Joe Southwick, Fales might be the best of the bunch. Indeed, he was the best in the nation as a junior in completion percentage at 72.5 percent. Fales threw for 4,193 yards and 33 touchdowns against nine interceptions. SI.com's Chris Burke considers Fales "in the top handful of senior quarterbacks" and a "borderline first-rounder at this point."
Idaho is still a year away from moving its football program to the Sun Belt, but the Vandals got a head start as special guests at Sun Belt Media Days this week. Idaho coach Paul Petrino’s brother, Bobby, was at the New Orleans Superdome gathering, too, as head coach of Western Kentucky. But there isn’t a brother vs. brother showdown on the horizon, as WKU is headed for Conference USA next year. "It would have been fun to play each other," Paul Petrino said. Instead, he says the brothers will continue to get together in the offseason and “really watch tape and share ideas.”
Maybe Graham DeLaet had a premonition last year that good fortune would come his way in the form of a British Open invite. DeLaet logged a lifetime experience when he played the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland last September on Old Course St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns. The former Boise State star shot seven-under over four days, tying for 55th with, among others, Colin Montgomerie. Excellent prep for the Open Championship at Muirfield in Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland. DeLaet tees off tomorrow morning (or tonight, if you’re a night owl) at 1 a.m. Mountain Time. He’s currently No. 24 in the FedEx Cup standings, dropping one spot this week after being leapfrogged, like so many others, by 19-year-old Jordan Spieth.
Boise State product T.K. Kim made up the ground he needed and then some in the second day of stroke play yesterday at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. After a four-over 74 Monday, Kim put together a two-under 68 to tie for 26th and advance to match play today at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, VA. He’ll be the No. 29 seed and will open this morning against No. 36 Nick Brothers of Crystal Rivers, FL.
Remember the days of the “pie chart” in the key of the BSU Pavilion basketball floor in the 1980’s? I recall an out-of-town TV viewer of the 1989 NCAA Tournament calling me and asking, “Could that floor be any louder?” Today, simplicity rules. Bronco coach Leon Rice scouted courts all over the country and decided to make it easy on the eyes—and bold on TV. No “clearing in the forest” like at Oregon, or towering peaks like at the Mountain West Tournament. The new Taco Bell Arena floor unveiled yesterday has a natural hardwood look, with white-washed wood inside the three-point line and blue in the lanes. Oh, and it features Boise State’s updated Bronco head logo.
Igor Hadziomerovic will have a silver medal from the World University Games in tow when he returns to Boise State next month. Hadziomerovic and his Australian teammates fell to host Russia, 81-74, in yesterday’s championship. The tension of the final kept the Bronco junior-to-be primarily on the bench—he played just four minutes and logged one rebound and one assist. The second-place finish was Australia’s best ever at the World University Games.
The Boise Hawks started the season with great pitching, and they’ve been able to draw on that more often than not so far this summer. Last night was another case in point. James Pugliese started and threw six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. Trey Masek, one of the players relegated to five days in the Arizona Rookie League during the Hawks’ series at Vancouver, followed with two hitless innings. The Hillsboro Hops hurlers were just as good, and the duel was scoreless into the ninth. That’s when the Hawks pushed three runs across and turned it over to Matt Iannazzo, who struck out the side to notch his fourth save of the summer. Masek earned the victory, his first as a professional. Boise has now won four games in a row and has climbed back to .500 on the season.
This Day In Sports…brought to you by ZAMZOW’S…nobody knows like Zamzow’s!
July 17, 2011: Rallying twice to tie the match when it was on the ropes, Japan hands the United States a crushing 3-2 defeat in the finals of Women’s World Cup soccer in Frankfurt, Germany. The Americans seemed destined to win the Cup after rallying from the brink itself in the quarterfinals against Brazil. But it was the Japanese who scored with less than three minutes to go in extra time, sending the match into penalty kicks. Japan made quick work of it from there, winning the shootout 3-1 to set off a wild celebration in a country devastated just four months earlier by one of the most destructive earthquakes and tsunamis in world history.
(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.)