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Boise State football: Albertsons Stadium 50th anniversary, Caves edition

It may not truly be one of the greatest moments in Albertsons Stadium’s 50-year history. But it is today. A salute to the departing Jeff Caves.
Credit: Boise State University
Bronco Stadium as seen after construction in 1970

BOISE, Idaho — Friday, July 17, 2020

In my Friday early-bird celebration of Albertsons Stadium’s 50th anniversary, I go a different direction on this: Jeff Caves’ final day on Idaho SportsTalk. 

It was October 1983, during a 42-0 blanking of Montana State on what was then the green turf. Earlier in the game, star defensive end Michel Bourgeau had his college career prematurely ended by a torn ACL. Caves, a fellow senior, had played alongside Bougeau for four years and was close to him. 

In the fourth quarter, an interception fell into Caves’ lap, and he rumbled 70 yards for a touchdown. He ran all the way through the end zone, pointing at the Varsity Center, where Bourgeau’s knee was being treated. Caves’ pick-six remains one of the top 15 longest interceptions in Boise State history, and is still the longest one ever by a defensive lineman.

Let’s also mark Caves’ finale after 35 years with a look at KTIK itself. 

It’s been his baby. Idaho SportsTalk was on KANR 1340AM in the early 1990s. Bill Pereira, the majority owner of Diamond Sports, was paying the station to carry Boise Hawks games. Pereira’s son, Cord, was in the Hawks front office at the time, and the ever-enterprising Caves told him, “Hey, you’re paying us x dollars for running the games—why don’t you just buy the station?” 

Pereira purchased KANR in 1994 and cut Caves in as a part-owner.

Consequently, Caves left his K-106 sales position to launch KTIK. The station eventually moved to 1350 on the AM dial—and then to its current spot at 93.1 FM (while retaining the 1350 signal).

IS THERE A ‘SWISS ARMY KNIFE’ AWARD?

Boise State wide receiver Khalil Shakir has been named to the preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff Award that goes to the nation’s top receiver. 

Shakir was the Broncos’ leading receiver last season with 63 catches for 872 yards and six touchdowns, including seven grabs for 89 yards and a TD in the Mountain West championship game win over Hawaii. Shakir added three rushing touchdowns and even threw a TD pass last year. 

My favorite piece of Shakir trivia: his first touch as a Bronco was a rushing attempt, albeit an 11-yard loss on a reverse at Troy in the 2018 season opener. Shakir was one of Boise State’s top recruits two years ago—now he’s a centerpiece of the Boise State offense.

PHIL STEELE PROPS FOR WILLIAMS

Boise State has said it wants to keep Avery Williams fresh this year so that he can do what he does best: wreak havoc on special teams. 

Phil Steele, the guy with the most detailed preseason college football magazine in the land, has Williams as a second-team All-American as a punt returner. He was 2019 Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year after leading the conference and finishing seventh in the country with 13.2 yards per punt return. 

It was the second time in three years that Williams was tops in the MW.

ON THE LOCAL PRO FRONT

Troy Merritt was steady at the turn Thursday in the first round of The Memorial tournament, sitting at one-under. Then the back nine blew up on the former Boise State star, and he shot a three-over 75. 

He’ll be a long shot to make the cut today. And the Idaho Steelheads will have Will Merchant on the ice for a fourth straight season. Merchant has agreed to terms for 2020-21 after playing all 61 games for the Steelies last season, scoring 18 goals with 18 assists. Through 230 career games in a Steelheads uniform, Merchant has tallied 61 goals and 81 assists for 142 points.

DRMIC’S NEW DIGS DOWN UNDER

Boise State’s second-leading all-time scorer continues to live a good basketball life in his native Australia. 

The National Basketball League free agent signing period began Wednesday, and former Bronco Anthony Drmic signed a two-year contract with the Brisbane Bullets, with an option for a third. 

Drmic spent his first four pro seasons with the Adelaide 36ers. Last season he averaged 10.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, his best campaign yet in the NBL. The 2020-21 NBL season is set to begin in December. 

Drmic finished his Boise State career in 2016 with 1,942 points, two points short of Tanoka Beard’s career record.

GLOWING REVIEWS ON NEW BRONCO MUSE

Success on the court begets success on the recruiting trail for Boise State women’s hoops. 

As first noted by B.J. Rains of the Idaho Press, Broncos incoming freshman Abby Muse, a 6-3 post, is ranked No. 92 nationally in the final ESPNW Top 100 rankings in the 2020 class. Muse was a great get, a four-star prospect from Brentwood, CA, who was the Bay Valley Athletic League MVP and an All-Bay Area Preps HQ pick last season. 

She averaged 14.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game.

THIS DAY IN SPORTS…July 17, 2016:

40-year-old Henrik Stenson edges Phil Mickelson in a riveting final round of the British Open to become the first Swedish golfer to win a major championship. 

Stenson fired a 63 on Sunday, equaling the best final-round score ever by the winner of a major. At 20 under par, Stenson tied the mark for lowest score in major championship history relative to par and set the record for lowest raw score at 264. 

The 46-year-old Mickelson, a five-time major winner in his 25th season as a pro, posted the lowest round of his majors career, a 65, and still lost.

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Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.

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