Tuesday, September 14, 2010.
At the end of the Virginia Tech game last week, it probably dawned on many Bronco fans that they hadn’t seen Kirby Moore in the game. Now comes word that they probably won’t see Moore at all this season. He did travel to Washington, DC, but coach Chris Petersen would like to redshirt him, despite the fact that he’s healthy. “Just because we have numbers there (at wide receiver)” said Petersen. Moore played as a true freshman last season, collecting 21 catches and two touchdowns, so he has a redshirt year to burn. The Broncos still have the option to activate him the next few weeks if the need arises. But it looks like he’ll have just two seasons to play with brother Kellen now instead of three.
The Moore move would be a testament in particular to the progress Mitch Burroughs has made at wideout. Burroughs had just one catch against Virginia Tech, but it was a stop-the-clock five-yarder on the winning drive. The Meridian High grad also proved himself capable as a punt returner on a big stage, with 40 yards on three returns, including the key 25-yarder to set up the final drive—and not a hint of a muff. The redshirting of Kirby may also indicate that Geraldo Hiwat and Aaron Burks are going to be eased into the rotation at wideout after having not been factors versus the Hokies.
If there was any doubt that Nate Potter’s return home to left tackle was permanent, well, it sure looks that way now. “Faraji Wright hasn’t been healthy enough to get in the mix,” said Petersen. But just as important are the overall numbers at the tackle position. The Broncos have one less option now, as Michael Ames will miss the rest of the season after shoulder surgery. Ames, the former Centennial standout, started the opener against Oregon last year at right tackle. Currently at that spot, Matt Slater is listed as starter. Slater came on late in the third quarter versus Virginia Tech when Brenel Myers was injured, although Petersen says Myers should be ready against Wyoming this Saturday.
Word is that the Boise State-Oregon State game will land on ABC a week from Saturday, so long as the Broncos and Beavers hold up their ends of the bargain this week. Kickoff would be at either 1:30PM or 6PM. It would be Boise State’s first game on ABC since the 1980 Division I-AA national championship win over Eastern Kentucky in Sacramento. Meanwhile, WAC commissioner Karl Benson says he’s expecting ESPN’s College GameDay to land in Boise that morning for the first time.
Did you want Chris Petersen to talk about the polls and the effect Virginia Tech’s loss to James Madison had on the Broncos? Really? Petersen was asked yesterday if he thought Boise State is held to a different standard in the polls. “Yeah, I don’t know. Good try,” joked Pete. From that standpoint, you know that the concept of “style points”—talked about so much by the national media as it pertains to the Broncos—is not in Chris Petersen’s DNA. “We will never be caught up in that, and I don’t care what anybody says,” Petersen said. “We’re just trying to win. And if that means by one point, that’s one point. It’ll never be to impress anybody else.”
The WAC has positioned itself for some kind of financial settlement with Nevada and Fresno State. To get to middle ground, the WAC is starting at the top by suing the two schools and the Mountain West Conference over the schools’ plans to leave for the MWC next year, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. The WAC wants Nevada and Fresno State to stay until June 30, 2012, and stick to conference schedules through that period. The WAC has demanded $5 million apiece from the Wolf Pack and Bulldogs, but the suit doesn’t mention the fee. It does request “relief as the court sees fit.”
I had this line prepared: Who else but Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick for WAC Offensive Player of the Week? Well, Bryant Moniz of Hawaii, I guess. Moniz threw for 343 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-28 win at Army, leading the Warriors to touchdowns in three of their first four possessions. And Moniz guided the drive that resulted in a game-winning field goal with seven seconds left. Kaepernick was his classic self in the Wolf Pack’s 51-6 demolition of Colorado State, rushing for 161 yards and two touchdowns, and throwing for 241 and two more scores. He’s currently the WAC’s rushing leader. Nevada did have the other two players honored by the WAC, linebacker James-Michael Johnson and kicker Anthony Martinez.
Kyle Wilson will always remember his first NFL game. Not fondly, mind you. The Jets’ first round draft choice out of Boise State was targeted by Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco on Monday Night Football. Consequently, Wilson got a lot of face time on ESPN. On the third quarter Ravens drive that produced what was ultimately the winning field goal in their 10-9 victory, Flacco went to Anquan Boldin for gains of 38 and 27 yards with Wilson in coverage. Wilson was also flagged for pass interference on Baltimore’s lone touchdown drive. It was the Jets offense that really stunk it up, though, recording only six first downs on the night. Wilson ended up with three tackles and two pass deflections—and he did have a fumble recovery. For the Ravens, former Boise State star Chris Carr started at left corner and had three tackles, including one for loss.
BSU product Legedu Naanee chalked up his first NFL 100-yard game last night, with 110 receiving yards on five catches in San Diego’s 21-14 loss at Kansas City. Naanee, starting in place of holdout Vincent Jackson, had a 59-yard touchdown catch from Philip Rivers. But the play that’s sticking with Naanee is a catchable ball that went off his fingertips on a fourth down play in the fourth quarter.
There were two big-news pro debuts at last year’s Albertsons Boise Open. One was Rickie Fowler. All Fowler has done is make the U.S. Ryder Cup team this month. The other was Sam Saunders, grandson of golf legend Arnold Palmer. And Saunders will be back this week, having accepted a sponsor invitation to the tournament that tees off Thursday at Hillcrest Country Club. The highlight of Saunders’ young career so far has been a top-20 finish at the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic in March. He’s split time this season between the big circuit and the Nationwide Tour.
There’s always drama when the Albertsons Boise Open rolls around on the Nationwide Tour. There are just six tournaments remaining ahead of the Nationwide Tour Championship, and the battle for a spot on what the tour calls “The 25” becomes paramount. The top 25 finishers on the money list earn PGA Tour cards for 2011, and one victory can make a huge difference. Take Michael Putnam at last week’s Utah Championship, for example. Putnam zoomed all the way from 47th to 15th on the money list, and suddenly finds himself in good shape for a move up next year. He is in the field this week.
This Day In Sports…September 14, 1985, 25 years ago today:
The first home game in the final season of green turf at Bronco Stadium. And UC Davis visits with a new junior college transfer quarterback named Chris Petersen. The Division II Aggies gave the Division I-AA Broncos all they wanted before falling, 13-9. Boise State was helped by a 56-yard Roberto Moran field goal, a school record that stands to this day. Petersen would go on to set UC Davis career records for completion percentage (69.7) and lowest interception percentage (2.5).
(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 served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)