Wednesday, October 28, 2009.
Anyone who knows about Kellen Moore’s high school career is not surprised by what’s happening now. The Boise State sophomore is leading the nation in pass efficiency for the second week. Yes, he’s thrown only two interceptions, and his completion percentage is an excellent 68 percent. But there’s one overriding reason for Moore’s lofty perch. He leads the nation in touchdown passes, and he’s done it with far fewer attempts than other prolific slingers. Moore has thrown for 21 TDs on 194 attempts. Second place is Case Keenum of Houston with 20—and it’s taken Keenum 344 passes to get there. An amazing 10.8 percent of Kellen’s throws have gone for touchdowns. Next best in that department is Bill Stull of Pittsburgh, down at 8.2 percent.
You could say Moore kind of has a track record for this from Prosser High School. He threw a mind-numbing 66 TD passes as a junior, a record in the state of Washington. Then he topped that by one as a senior, tossing 67. Moore had 173 in four years at Prosser. You can’t put up numbers like that in college, but just 20 games into his collegiate career—and in a balanced offense—Moore has thrown 46 TDs. That’s already sixth on the Boise State career list behind Ryan Dinwiddie, Bart Hendricks, Tony Hilde, Jared Zabransky and Jim McMillan. Zabransky and McMillan each had 58 touchdown passes. It’s obviously possible for Kellen to catch them this season.
Hey, Hawaii’s Colt Brennan made it to New York for the 2007 Heisman Trophy presentation, so anything’s possible. And Kellen Moore is still only a sophomore. But Moore has moved to fifth on ESPN.com’s Heisman watch list. He even got a first place vote in ESPN’s Experts Poll. Ahead of Kellen, from the top, are Alabama’s Mark Ingram, Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen, Florida’s Tim Tebow, and Colt McCoy of Texas.
One guy who’s always capable of wiping the smiles off Bronco fans’ faces is SI.com’s Andy Staples, who has unveiled his new Power Rankings this week. He has Boise State at No. 10, same as last week, but he gets in his digs. “The computers are punishing the Broncos for their weak schedule, and the voters aren't far behind,” writes Staples. “Boise State badly needs Week 1 victim Oregon to beat USC on Saturday. That way, voters who adhere to the unwritten head-to-head rule will have no choice but to elevate Boise State. If USC beats Oregon, the Broncos will become the world's biggest Utah fans, because the Utes look like the only team capable of knocking off TCU.” Actually, truth be told, BSU is going to be a monstrous fan of Utah regardless on November 14.
Rocketman 5000 at Bronco Country.com has been doing his usual painstaking research, and he has found the following: Boise State has now passed Oklahoma as college football’s winningest program of the new century. The Broncos have posted 105 victories since 2000 and the Sooners 104. With five more wins, BSU can break Florida State’s modern record for most victories in a decade (109 during the 1990’s). Rocketman also notes that Boise State’s all-time winning percentage of 75.1 as a Division I-A school now eclipses Michigan’s 73.9. Of course, the Wolverines have 1,211 games in their major college history to BSU’s 169. Also, the Broncos have now compiled winning streaks of at least seven games in eight straight seasons.
The Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl began in 1997 as a matchup between the Big West and Conference USA. Now it’s kind of coming full circle, as Brian Murphy reports in the Statesman that the bowl has been forced to seek an affiliation with the MAC beginning in 2010 in order to survive after rejections from the Pac-10 and Mountain West. After some glory years with an ACC tie-in, it looks like it’s back to small conference roots for the H-Bowl.
Former Boise State star Quintin Mikell has held up his end of the bargain as they new leader in the Eagles secondary. His playmaking role in the post-Brian Dawkins era was on display in Monday Night Football this week, as Mikell was involved in two of four Redskins turnovers that led to Philly’s 27-17 victory. The seventh-year pro tipped a pass on a blitz that was intercepted and returned nine yards for a touchdown, and he recovered a Jason Campbell forced by Witherspoon. Mikell, a two-time conference Defensive Player of the Year at BSU, has 31 tackles and an interception in the Eagles’ six games this season.
The Idaho Steelheads hook up with some old friends this weekend in Anchorage. So what are former Steelheads fan favorites Scott Burt and Lance Galbraith up to with the Alaska Aces? Same old thing. Burt is the Aces’ feisty captain—and Galbraith is, well, in his occasional hot water. The Rooster was suspended for Alaska’s entire three-game series at Las Vegas last weekend after he instigated a second fight in a game against Victoria a couple weeks back. Galbraith had engaged a Salmon King after Burt was already going at it with another Victoria player, nearly spurring a bench-clearing brawl. Galbraith has a goal and assist for Alaska so far, while Burt has two goals and two assists—and a staggering 60 penalty minutes in six games.
The smoke has not totally cleared on NBA rosters, as far as Idaho Stampede alums are concerned. Coby Karl has a spot with the Cleveland Cavaliers and is wearing the same No. 5 he donned during his days starring at Boise State. It appears to be a happy ending for Karl after an ill-fated experiment in European pro basketball when he left the Stampede last January. But the Cavs are rumored to be close to signing veteran free agent guard Antonio Daniels, and that could cost Karl his place on the roster. Coby did not play in Cleveland’s 95-89 Opening Night loss to the Celtics last night. Elsewhere, Rafer Alston, who played for the Stamps 10 seasons ago, is now with the New Jersey Nets as he enters his 11th NBA season.
Three players assigned to the Stampede at one time or another by NBA clubs are in the Show as well. Nate Jawai, first indigenous player from Australia ever to be drafted by an NBA team, was sent to Idaho last season by Toronto and is now playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves after a trade from Dallas last week. Josh McRoberts, the former Duke star who was assigned to the Stamps during their 2007-08 D-League championship season by Portland, is on the Indiana Pacers roster. And C.J. Miles, one of the Stampede’s first-ever NBA assignees, is a key performer for the Utah Jazz. Four important producers off last season’s Stampede club are overseas now: Brent Petway is in Greece, Luke Jackson and Lance Allred are in Italy, and Jason Ellis, the former BSU standout, is playing in Holland.
This Day In Sports…October 28, 1981:
Down two games to none to the Yankees, the Dodgers storm back to win their fourth straight game and claim the World Series. LA’s Pedro Guerrero stung the Yanks with a home run and five runs batted in during the 9-2 romp. Yankee owner George Steinbrenner then stung his own troops, issuing a public apology for his team’s play in the Series.
(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 handles color commentary on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football.)