BOISE, Idaho — Wednesday, September 11, 2019.
Boise State is not BYU’s primary football rival (hello, Utah), but the Cougars fill the bill for the Broncos these days. How could they not? The schools announced Tuesday that they’ll take a year off from their football series in 2024—then resume it from 2025 through 2034. It’s been nine years now since Boise State and Idaho played (see “This Day In Sports” below for the roots of that rivalry). The Broncos don’t play Nevada and Fresno State every year. The only teams other than BYU they do face annually are Utah State, Air Force, Wyoming, Colorado State and New Mexico. USU is kind of a rival, but those matchups haven’t generated the electricity that the ones versus the Cougars have. I miss the Broncos-Vandals rivalry as much as the next guy, but BYU will certainly do.
KTIK’s Bob & Chris wondered Tuesday which kids currently aged 3-7 will be playing for the Broncos in 2034. Hey, I know one. When Kellen Moore was in town a year and a half ago for his Boise State Athletic Hall of Fame induction, he had his son Kyler with him. Kyler was born in 2015. Let’s anoint him as the Broncos’ redshirt freshman quarterback when this extension of the BYU series ends 15 years from now. Next month’s game between the Broncos and Cougars will be the eighth in the current 12-game series. Boise State is 5-2 during this run and 7-2 against BYU overall.
THE NATION’S MASTER SACKER
Update on Curtis Weaver. Boise State’s star STUD end/linebacker notched his second sack of the season last Saturday night versus Marshall, and he’s the nation’s active career leader in sacks with 22.5. Weaver has also now moved into the top five in Mountain West history. The MW record is 28.5, held by BYU’s Jan Jorgensen and TCU’s Jerry Hughes (you remember him from the 2010 Fiesta Bowl). Weaver is only a junior, but he’d have to get that done this year, as it’s a foregone conclusion that he’ll be in the NFL after this season. He’ll miss Boise, though. There’s a great feature on Weaver by Autum Robertson this week in Boise State’s student newspaper, The Arbiter. “I chose (Boise State) because the atmosphere is crazy,” Weaver told Robertson. “There’s a lot of college towns out there, but these people I feel like really love you.”
THE TEAM THAT ‘MADE AMERICA SWOON’
As part of its year-long initiative marking the 150-year anniversary of college football, ESPN ranks the 150 greatest college football single-season teams of all time this week. You know I wouldn’t mention this if Boise State wasn’t in there somewhere. Yes, the 2006 squad is No. 138. The narrative: “The Broncos made America swoon with their 43-42 overtime upset of No. 7 Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Though Boise State finished as the only unbeaten FBS team, Oklahoma was the only ranked team the Broncos faced.” The 2009 Boise State squad is not on the list. Which team was better? The Broncos are flanked by the 1973 Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 137 and the 1920 Cal Bears at No. 139. Who’s No. 1? The 1971 Nebraska Cornhuskers.
CUE THE C OF I MOVIE TRAILER
“In a world…where college football attendance is a challenge almost everywhere…” Well, College of Idaho is going against the grain this Saturday, attempting to break the all-time Simplot Stadium attendance record in its Homecoming game against Southern Oregon. The mark was set in 2014, the Coyotes’ first year back on the field after a 37-year hiatus, when 5,356 fans turned out for a 35-31 win over Montana State-Northern. The Yotes have two things going for them in their quest: they’re 2-0 this season and are really good, and they’re looking at a beautiful day for football—the forecast says sunny and 82.
VANDALS VS. WYO’S ACHILLES HEEL
Idaho goes right back into the FBS fire this week. Not a Penn State-type fire, but Wyoming will be a formidable foe Saturday in Laramie. The Cowboys are off to a 2-0 start with a memorable 37-31 win over Missouri and a 23-14 victory at Texas State. They’re looking like Mountain West Cinderellas. Wyo does have some warts in the passing game, though. Can the Vandals take advantage of them? The Pokes are averaging only 82 yards through the air on offense and are allowing 408 passing yard per game on defense. And that latter number isn’t all due to Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant with Mizzou. Texas State threw for 394 yards against Wyoming last Saturday. Mason Petrino will have to light it up for Idaho, though—he’s averaging less than nine yards per completion so far this season.
DAVIE WILL TAKE IT SLOW
This Saturday was supposed to mark Bob Davie’s return to South Bend, IN, where he coached Notre Dame from 1997-2001. It’s not going to happen, though, as the “serious medical situation” he suffered after New Mexico’s season opener a week and a half ago will keep him in Albuquerque. Davie has appointed Saga Tuitele, New Mexico's offensive line coach and run game coordinator, as the Lobos’ acting head coach—at least against the seventh-ranked Fighting Irish, and almost certainly beyond. Davie said Tuesday he will be back. He just doesn’t know when. "I'm smart enough to know when I'm right and when I'm not," Davie said. "So I'm not going to go charging back down that hill right away until I'm 100%.” Added Davie, "I'm not being too dramatic by saying (the doctors) saved my life.”
HOOPS NAMES TO FILE AWAY
Boise State’s basketball teams are setting the table for the future. Both the men and women picked up key 2020 commitments the past few days. On the men’s side, Burke Smith of Richmond, VA, has given Leon Rice a verbal. Smith is a 6-11 power forward who had several offers, but none of them major. Guys that size don’t grow on trees, though, and Rice is capable of developing them. The Boise State women have a commitment from Abby Muse, a 6-3 power forward from Brentwood, CA. Muse also considered Nevada and New Mexico.
This Day In Sports…September 11, 1971:
Boise State and Idaho play each other in football for the first time. Coach Tony Knap had an ambush waiting in Bronco Stadium, as his team beat the Vandals, 42-14, behind quarterback Eric Guthrie and wide receiver Don Hutt before a standing room only crowd of over 16,000. Then on this day in 1976, Idaho spoiled the debut of Knap’s successor, Jim Criner, with a 16-9 win in Bronco Stadium. The late Robert Taylor ran back the opening kickoff 100 yards to set the tone for the evening.
(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.)