Tuesday, September 21, 2010.
While Oregon was in rapid recovery mode last year from its season-opening debacle at Boise State, it got a Halloween visit from ESPN College GameDay for its Pac-10 showdown with USC. At the end of the show, coach Chip Kelly rode in on a motorcycle to deliver the Duck mascot’s head to Lee Corso. Any similar stunt in store for Broncos coach Chris Petersen Saturday? “I don’t know about that,” said Petersen. “That’s Chip’s deal.” Pete has no plans to appear on the show (even though he performs on his second ESPN commercial for it this week), but he does recognize what it’s accomplished. “That show has changed college football.” College GameDay is now in its 24th season. By the way, things worked out well for Kelly last year—the Ducks swamped the Trojans in Autzen Stadium that night, 47-20.
The guy who got out of the gates as fast as any Bronco this season, Shea McClellin, is day-to-day after suffering a concussion in the game at Wyoming. Petersen said yesterday McClellin will have to pass a battery of tests before he’s allowed to return to practice, which resumes today. Pete said there’s no foolin’ around with these injuries—McClellin will undergo a cognitive test, a physical systems run-through, and a workout. The former Marsing High star had 2½ sacks in the opener against Virginia Tech and scored his first collegiate touchdown on a fumble recovery versus the Cowboys.
Mitch Burroughs, meanwhile, isn’t even week-to-week after suffering a high ankle sprain when his leg got rolled about 2½ minutes into the second half at Laramie. The former Meridian High star could be out for at least a month, just when he was hitting full stride. Earlier in the game Burroughs had broken a punt return for a touchdown that was called back by a penalty. I asked Petersen yesterday if it causes him to revisit the redshirting of Kirby Moore—Pete said he’d like to stick to the plan with Moore. Even with Burroughs out, would Kirby get enough catches to make it worthwhile?
You think Saturday morning will produce a media frenzy at Bronco Stadium? Saturday night will find madness in the Steuckle Sky Center. There will be no less than six broadcast teams squeezed into various suites. You have the ABC telecast and national radio, plus English and Spanish crews for both Boise State and Oregon State. Good thing this didn’t happen three years ago in the days of the temporary “Bronco Treehouse.”
In other game-week weirdness, this was all over Facebook and Twitter yesterday: Oregon State’s little project this week. The Beavers painted one of their practice fields blue to try to acclimate themselves to Saturday night’s environment. And they’re going to don blue jerseys to try to get used to the Broncos blending into their field. It’s an odd approach to preparation for this game. Which brings up that point again: what’s the difference between Boise State’s blue-on-blue and Oregon’s or Michigan State’s green-on-green? “We don’t even think about it,” said Petersen of colors and backgrounds and types of turf. “If other people are, I guess that’s a good thing.”
For the national experts playing the “who-beat-whom-by-how-much” routine, here’s hoping they dissect Wyoming’s last two games. Kellen Moore would call them “self-style points,” but Boise State gave the national media what they wanted in the rout of Wyoming. Texas beat the Cowboys 34-7 at home and had 389 yards of total offense. The Broncos beat the Pokes 51-6 on the road and rolled up 648 yards. Boise State has been rewarded with early status as a 17-point favorite against Oregon State Saturday night. Yes, that’s 17 points. The contrarians in the “who-beat-whom-by-how-much” game will always bring up Virginia Tech. At least the Hokies rallied to drub East Carolina last Saturday.
Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick yesterday got the WAC Offensive Player of the Week award he easily could have won last week. The magnitude of the Wolf Pack’s 52-31 win over Cal did it, as Kaepernick accounted for 329 yards of total offense and five touchdowns against the Bears. Idaho took the other two WAC awards on the merit of its 30-7 win over UNLV. On defense it was defensive end Aaron Lavarias, who had three tackles for loss and a forced fumble; the special teams winner was kicker Trey Farquhar, who nailed all three of his field goal attempts, including a 50-yarder.
Former Idaho star Mike Iupati got his second start at left guard last night and went all the way for the 49ers on Monday Night Football. Iupati played well, most notably on a third quarter touchdown that gave the turnover-ravaged Niners their only lead of the game in a 25-22 loss to the Saints. He pulled to the outside and laid the key block, springing Anthony Dixon into the end zone. At 6-6. 331 pounds, Iupati certainly looks the part on the San Francisco offensive line.
The irrepressible Lance Allred has garnered another shot at the NBA, as long as that shot may seem. Allred, the former Idaho Stampede star, has been invited to the Indiana Pacers’ training camp, according to Yahoo.com. The 6-11 forward gained fame as the first legally deaf player ever to appear in an NBA game (for Cleveland in 2008). And for his book: “Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA.” Ironically, Allred is being brought in partially due to injury concerns over Josh McRoberts, a one-time Portland Trailblazer who was assigned to the Stampede in ’08. This may be the last NBA chance for Allred, who’s now 29 years old.
An outstanding rookie season has ended in bizarre fashion for former Boise Hawk Tyler Colvin. The Cubs outfielder remained hospitalized in Miami yesterday after being struck in the chest by a sliver from a shattered bat Sunday in a 13-3 win over the Marlins. Colvin was standing on third when the broken bat flew his way. It belonged to Chicago teammate and ex-Hawk Welington Castro, who doubled on the play, allowing Colvin to score. But the Clemson product was then transported to the hospital, where a chest tube was utilized to prevent a collapsed lung. Colvin batted .254 this season with 20 home runs and 56 RBIs.
This Day In Sports…September 21, 1990, 20 years ago today:
The first Boise Open tees off at Hillcrest Country Club, one of 30 events in the inaugural year of what was then called the Ben Hogan Tour. The tournament was 54 holes and had a purse of $100,000 (less than what the winner now receives by himself). The first Boise Open champion would be Ricky Smallridge, who took home $20,000 (this year’s winner, Hunter Haas, won $130,500 Sunday).
(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.)