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Boise State football: ‘Welcome to the Mountain West’ moment

“Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.” In this case, history is happily repeated for Bronco Nation. It was an all-timer of a rout.
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Boise State running back Doug Martin (22) runs for a touchdown against Colorado State during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Fort Collins, Colo., Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

BOISE, Idaho — Thursday, April 16, 2020.

The “Bronco Throwback Classic” series on Twitter continues tonight with as one-sided a game as Boise State has ever played. But since you already know the outcome, sit back and enjoy, along with guest stars Aaron Tevis and Hunter White. It’s the 2011 Boise State-Colorado State game, the Broncos’ first conference tilt as a member of the Mountain West. And man did they lay down the gauntlet. That was the week the first shots were fired in Boise State’s proposed moved to the Big East, but the Broncos were not distracted in the 63-13 romp. They rolled up a then-school record 742 yards of total offense, with Kellen Moore completing his first 18 passes and Doug Martin rushing for exactly 200 yards. It was remarkable in its balance—349 yards passing and 393 rushing.

PASSIN’ OUT THE PROPS

The masked men were on the street Wednesday near Whitney United Methodist Church. Boise State spring football may have been wiped out, but the Broncos are keeping on with their community service in the face of the pandemic, and they need to be saluted. Boise State players, including Nick Crabtree, John Ojukwu, Kole Bailey, Avery Williams, Evan Tyler, Scott Matlock and Donte Harrington, helped the Boise School District with its “Fill The Truck” food drive. They were collecting canned goods in their masks—setting a good example, right? Donations went to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.

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Also, six Boise State players have received Hampshire Honor Society membership from the National Football Foundation. What’s that mean? These guys are smart, peaking during their final season of eligibility last fall. The Broncos recognized include tight end Garrett Collingham, defensive tackle Matt Locher, offensive guard John Molchon, safety Kekoa Nawahine, long snapper Nicholai Pitman and placekicker Eric Sachse. Players must have maintained a 3.2 cumulative GPA throughout their careers while meeting all NCAA-mandated progress toward degree requirements.

THE COUNTDOWN CRUNCH

With every postponement, suspension and delay, we get ominously closer to the college football season. I want to be as hopeful as the next guy, but with all activities on the Boise State campus now canceled until at least July 5, the Broncos football season is on the line. That’s exactly two months before the home opener against Georgia Southern. Would that game be played in an empty Albertsons Stadium? Sure doesn’t look like it. The College Football Playoff committee told Vice President Mike Pence Wednesday that there won’t be college football games played without students being back on campuses around the country. We have to be ready for anything.

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HOOPS ODDITIES

Little-known fact that came out of B.J. Rains’ feature on Justinian Jessup in the Idaho Press: Jessup led Boise State in blocked shots each of the last two seasons. That demonstrates what a well-rounded player Jessup was, but it also magnifies an area that has to improve for the Broncos. Jessup’s totals were 15 blocks his senior year and 17 as a junior. Not very much for a team leader. Now Boise State has a chance to up the ante with Mladen Armus, the 6-10 Serbian who transferred from East Tennessee State. Armus led ETSU with 34 blocked shots in 2018-19, exactly double Jessup’s number that season. The Broncos have also added 6-10 Center Lukas Milner from Johnson County Community College in Kansas last week. Milner’s signing was officially announced Wednesday.

Little-known fact out of College of Idaho’s “complete season wrapup” posted Wednesday: how rare it is for a team to finish a league rschedule undefeated like the Coyotes did in the Cascade Conference this past season. No Pac-12 team has achieved the feat in the last 42 years (the last to finish unbeaten was UCLA in 1978). No Mountain West team has ever finished with a spotless conference record—San Diego State had a chance this year until it stumbled against UNLV. The last team to go through a Big Sky schedule unscathed was Weber State in 2003. And as good as Gonzaga has been the past 20 years, the Zags’ have gone through the West Coast Conference undefeated three times in that span. Their clean slate in 2019 was their first in 10 years.

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THIS DAY IN SPORTS…April 16, 2009:

An iconic sports building makes its debut, and an iconic sports figure bows out. The new Yankee Stadium opened, replacing the storied ballpark next door that had served the Bronx for 86 years. It didn’t go so well on the field, as the Cleveland Indians routed the Yanks, 10-2. And John Madden, the former Oakland Raiders coach who became arguably the most popular NFL color analyst of all-time, retired after 30 years in the broadcast booth. Madden made his mark working alongside Pat Summerall on CBS and Fox, then cemented his legacy working with Al Michaels on ABC Monday Night Football and NBC Sunday Night Football.

(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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