Sunday, Nov 3 at 6:09 PM
Wednesday, October 20, 2010.
Two years ago, Titus Young played in Boise State’s opener, was suspended for the second game, played in two more, and then was suspended for the rest of the season. His final appearance as a sophomore was at home against Louisiana Tech on October 1, when he was last seen weaving his way 15 yards for a touchdown on a reverse. With lessons finally learned and discipline drilled in, it’s a much different Titus terrorizing defenses as a senior in his No. 1 jersey. He’s doing it every which way, on short, medium and deep routes, and on the ground with the fly sweep. Without any “hang loose” signs in camera lenses. Young leads the Broncos with 33 catches, 581 yards and four touchdowns. He has two 100-yard games and just missed two more.
Boise State had an undefeated regular season in 2008, Kellen Moore’s freshman year. But how much better would the Broncos have been with Young in a full-time position? The vertical passing game virtually disappeared when Titus did that year. Now, the offseason work on the deep ball between Moore and Young has played a key role in Boise State’s offensive exploits of 2010. “It’s scary when you leave him in one-on-one matchups,” said Moore. “You’re going to have a long day if you do that.” The pair has hooked up for four TDs of 43 yards or more the past five games. Moore’s first career completion was to Young, as was his 651st career completion last Saturday that broke the school record. Moore’s first career touchdown pass was also to Young, and Kellen’s scoring toss to Titus at San Jose State was the 80th of his career.
Tight end Tommy Gallarda isn’t piling up big statistics like Young, with the exception of one certain percentage. “Touchdown Tommy?” Yeah, you’d have to say so. With his touchdown catch from Kellen Moore last Saturday, Gallarda now has three TDs on all of six catches this season. That’s 50 percent—not a bad batting average. The one-handed scoring grab against Virginia Tech is still being shown on an ESPN promo. For his career, Gallarda now has nine touchdowns on 24 receptions. But his role remains master blocker. No better example last week than an easy 12-yard run by Doug Martin on Boise State’s first possession, made possible by Gallarda and fellow tight end Kyle Efaw lining up on the right side and creating what looked like one of those big cement barrier walls on the freeway.
One aggravating aspect of the case being advanced against Boise State in the BCS standings debate is the “sandwich game” concept. It was brought up Sunday night on ESPN’s BCS Countdown. The theory is that the Broncos have periods of rest between their big challenges—the ability to take weeks off here and there. But there are two “au contraires” here. First, if Boise State beat a team like San Jose State, say, 27-12, the Broncos would drop like a rock in the human polls. Second, BSU knows that. They can’t take any weeks off, and they haven’t.
With Ian Johnson back in town, there’s this update on a cherished career achievement. Don’t look now, but the much-celebrated WAC record for career rushing touchdowns set by Johnson two years ago may fall this season. And the guy who could break it is a quarterback. Nevada senior Colin Kaepernick has rushed for 12 touchdowns this season and leads the nation in active career rushing touchdowns with 51. Ian ended his career with 58 when he broke Marshall Faulk’s WAC record in the Poinsettia Bowl. Could Kaepernick score eight more TDs on the ground in his remaining seven games (including a bowl)? Yes, he could.
Idaho coach Robb Akey mentioned it himself last week—the fact that the Vandals need four conference victories to qualify for a bowl game. He’s counting. So let’s see what’s coming down the pike for Idaho. The 48-35 loss at Louisiana Tech last week certainly hurt. The Vandals can count on wins this week over New Mexico State and on the final Saturday of the season versus San Jose State, with both games in the Kibbie Dome. In between, they’ll have to win two of these five games: at Hawaii, home against Nevada, home versus Boise State, at Utah State, and at Fresno State. What do you think?
After an impactful return to the Jacksonville Jaguars lineup just 2½ weeks ago, Gerald Alexander is out of a job again. Quarterbacks David Garrard and Trent Edwards both went down with injuries in Monday night’s loss to the Titans, and the Jags needed another QB. So they re-signed veteran Todd Bouman yesterday and released Alexander, the former Boise State standout. Alexander had been among Jacksonville’s final cuts before the season started, but he was brought back for the October 3 game against Indianapolis. He was at the root of two game-turning plays in the Jags’ 31-28 upset of the Colts.
WAC men’s basketball coaches have nothing to go on regarding Boise State other than senior talent returning and a new coaching staff. But they apparently think things will be better this season for the Broncos, picking them fourth in the WAC preseason coaches poll. Utah State, New Mexico State and Nevada were ahead of Boise State, and Fresno State was tied for fourth with the Broncos. They’re picked sixth in the media poll. Idaho is eighth on both lists. The Vandals and Broncos flip-flop in fourth and fifth places in the women’s hoops polls.
Idaho Steelheads coach Hardy Sauter has had two games to survey his roster in game action and said yesterday on Idaho SportsTalk he has tweaked his on-ice combinations. What Sauter liked about what should have been a demoralizing 4-0 loss to Victoria last Saturday was the Steelheads’ effort in the third period when they could have mailed it in. “We created a lot of opportunities,” said Sauter. “We just didn’t score.” The Steelies, of course, scored a lot last Friday in their 5-0 blanking of the Salmon Kings. Now it’s north to Alaska to test the Aces Friday and Saturday.
This Day In Sports…October 20, 1990, 20 years ago today:
The Oakland A’s are swept in four games by the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series. This came two years to the day after the A’s were finished off in five games by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the ’88 Series. In that one, Oakland was never able to recover from the legendary Game 1 homer in the bottom of the ninth by the Dodgers’ hobbling Kirk Gibson.
(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.)