Sunday, Nov 3 at 6:09 PM
Monday, October 4, 2010.
This week’s Sports Illustrated arrived in most stores and mailboxes Friday, leaving everybody to wonder what effect the unprecedented publicity would have on Boise State come Saturday. We should be used to this by now—the answer was absolutely none. Take one of the highlighted Kellen Moore quotes out of Austin Murphy’s SI piece: “’You know how Pete is,’ referring to (Chris) Petersen’s insistence than every Bronco share his Vulcan focus.” There you have it. The 59-0 win at New Mexico State Saturday night was the largest margin of victory in a road game in Boise State history, eclipsing the 55-point spread in the 58-3 triumph at UTEP in 2002. The SI cover jinx was on the Aggies.
The only prayer New Mexico State had of staying with Boise State was to force some freakazoid turnovers. Instead, that’s what happened to the Aggies—three times in the first quarter. And the Broncos were all over them. Shea McClellin knocked a Matt Christian pass skyward, and Ryan Winterswyk corralled it for his first career interception. Then NMSU’s Seth Smith heard footsteps on a pitchout and couldn’t handle the ball. Jeron Johnson walloped Smith, allowing McClellin to fall on the fumble. Finally, the emerging Michael Atkinson forced a fumble by Christian. The stats crew gave the recovery to Atkinson, but Canadian Bacon credited it to the Dutchman, Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe. International diplomacy.
There was a host of firsts in Las Cruces Saturday night. Two of them in particular may roll into a trivia question in a few years. Quarterback Joe Southwick completed his first pass (an eight-yarder to Aaron Burks) and his first touchdown pass (the 78-yarder to Chris Potter). The latter TD was also the first score of Potter’s career. I went to the well with related trivia last night on Sunday Sports Extra. Kellen Moore’s first career completion was a five-yarder against Idaho State in 2008, and his first TD pass covered 80 yards in that game. Titus Young was on the receiving end of both. The Broncos’ other quarterback, dues-paying senior Mike Coughlin, notched his first rushing touchdown at NMSU on his 15-yard option dash to open the scoring.
One guy who was happy to see the end zone in Las Cruces was Kyle Efaw. Endlessly hounded by his teammates for being habitually tackled inside the five-yard-line, Efaw left no doubt Saturday night in hauling in the first two touchdowns of his career to come from a quarterback. Moore hit the wide-open Capital High grad on strikes of 41 and 26 yards. Efaw’s only other touchdown at Boise State had come on a halfback pass from Matt Kaiserman in the win over Idaho last November.
Back to the subject of shutouts: there have now been 27 of them in Boise State history. But do you remember that between blankings during Skip Hall’s first year in 1987 and Dirk Koetter’s last in 2000, the Broncos went 12 seasons with zero shutouts? Dan Hawkins only had one during his five years at Boise State. So it does say something about the Bronco defensive evolution that Chris Petersen now sports six shutouts.
What was predicted last week has come to pass. Oregon vaulted Boise State in both polls for the No. 3 spot, although the Broncos did retain their one first place vote in the AP rankings. Looks like a 59-0 win over New Mexico State doesn’t matter to the voters when Oregon puts up 52 points on a top 10 team. Two thoughts here: 1) there’s not anything Boise State can do about it, and 2) hey, it’s only October 4. Nevada is the saving grace as far as the Broncos’ strength-of-schedule goes. The Wolf Pack moved up to 21st in AP and 23rd on the coaches’ list after dispatching UNLV, 44-26. It was the Wolf Pack’s sixth straight win over the Rebels, a record for either team in the rivalry series. The Mountain West placed a third team in the rankings this week, as No. 25 Air Force (AP Poll) joined No. 5 TCU and No. 10 Utah.
It was a bounce-back bonanza for the Idaho defense in the Vandals’ 33-13 win at Western Michigan Saturday. After being torched for 494 yards at lowly Colorado State the previous week, Idaho limited WMU to only 184. And the Vandals frustrated the nation’s leading passer, Alex Carder, who was 14-of-33 for just 104 yards and an interception. Despite the domination, Idaho led only 17-13 midway through the third quarter before scoring the final 16 points of the game to up its record to 3-2. Four Vandal turnovers made it more interesting than it had to be. Quarterback Nathan Enderle threw 50 passes in the game, completing 30 for 380 yards and two touchdowns—but with two picks. Idaho now has a bye week before beginning WAC play.
The Idaho Steelheads gather for training camp this morning with 14 of the 22 players on the roster having previously played for the organization. That’s a high number, especially considering there’s a new coach in charge, Hardy Sauter. It’ll be interesting to see how things develop between the pipes. The only goaltender in camp is Tim Haun, who was solid for Fort Wayne of the IHL last season. But the Steelheads’ starter is still expected to be Tyler Beskorowany, slated to be assigned to Idaho by the Dallas Stars. Another netminder, an ECHL veteran, is probably going to join the Steelies soon.
Graham DeLaet cobbled together a solid week at the Viking Classic in Madison, MS, finishing tied for fifth at 10-under-par. It was an important week, too—the beginning of the PGA Tour Fall Series, the tournaments that will determine the final pecking order on the Money List. The top 125 earn full-season exemptions to next season’s PGA Tour tournaments. DeLaet moved from No. 129 to No. 114 on the Money List with his performance at the Viking Classic, while fellow former Bronco Troy Merritt dropped from 119th to 123rd after missing the cut Friday. That is Bubble City.
This Day In Sports…October 4, 2003:
A record-shattering day for the Boise State in Ruston, LA. Ryan Dinwiddie became the first Bronco ever to throw for over 500 yards in a game, amassing 532 in BSU’s 43-37 win over Louisiana Tech. The senior quarterback was 40-of-60 on the day, on his way to 2003 WAC Offensive Player of the Year honors. Meanwhile, wide receiver Tim Gilligan broke a 30-year-old Bronco standard with 16 receptions. As a team, the Broncos set marks with 569 passing yards overall and 732 in total offense.
(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.)