Friday, August 11, 2017.
Whereas there aren’t any veteran seniors threatening Boise State career records this year (Cedrick Wilson, as a junior college transfer, is only in his second season), there is a junior who will climb various lists. Quarterback Brett Rypien could even surpass a couple all-time marks this season. For all of Kellen Moore’s accomplishments from 2008-11, he left a few career records reachable. Rypien is within shouting distance of Moore’s mark for 300-yard passing games this fall—he has 11 to Kellen’s 16. Rypien is 396 passing attempts behind Moore’s career record of 1,219. Rypien threw the ball 423 times in 2016. The standard for career 400-yard games, four, isn’t even held by Moore. He and Rypien have three, one behind Ryan Dinwiddie. Again, Rypien has two seasons to go.
When I speculated this spring on Boise State's prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft, I never considered there could be an early entry for a fifth consecutive year. If there’s going to be one, David Moa would be the guy. Moa, who was second in the Mountain West last year with 8.5 sacks, has bubbled under on a number of draft boards. This spring, one site listed him as a top 10 defensive tackle in the 2018 draft. The watch list mentions sure have been pouring in for Moa—yesterday he was named to the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year watch list for the second straight year. It should be pointed out that Moa was a Chris Petersen commit in Boise State’s ill-fated 2014 recruiting class—and decided to stay after Coach Pete left for Washington.
Now to USA Today’s projected records this season. Paul Myerberg predicts the battle between Boise State, Wyoming and Colorado State to be one of the two tightest divisional races in college football. Myerberg has the Broncos going 6-2 (9-3 overall) and winning the Mountain Division in a tiebreaker over the Cowboys, who are also predicted at 6-2 in the Mountain West. The Rams are projected to be 5-3 in league play. Elsewhere, Myerberg doesn’t forecast a repeat of Idaho’s strong 2016 season. He sees the Vandals going 8-4 overall and 3-5 in conference play in their final season in the Sun Belt.
Boise State coach Bryan Harsin has often mentioned during the early stages of fall camp that scrimmages are different. The coaches aren’t on the field next to the players. There are no do-overs and no margin for error. That’s why it would have been cool to be a fly on the wall at last night’s closed scrimmage. Of all the positions we wonder about with the Broncos, I keep coming back to wide receiver—beyond Wilson.
Harsin specifically mentioned true freshmen Octavius Evans and CT Thomas as being impressive. But did Bryan Jefferson make a bid to be in the rotation? Did AJ Richardson and Sean Modster support the depth chart that has them written in—heavily in pencil—as starters? Incidentally, there will be one scrimmage open to the public before Opening Day after all. The final scrimmage of fall camp will be attached to Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday, August 26.
Dallas opens the NFL preseason tomorrow night against the LA Rams. Dak Prescott is expected to start at quarterback, which should push Kellen Moore back to the second quarter or the second half. The Cowboys will be without former Boise State standout Tyrone Crawford, though (no surprise). The early diagnosis from Crawford’s injury in practice Tuesday is a lateral right ankle sprain, not a bone fracture. That means he could likely be back for the start of the regular season.
Par was a tough number yesterday in the first round of the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, but one of the guys to come in under was Graham DeLaet. The former Boise State star is tied for 15th with a one-under 70 after capping the day with a birdie on his final hole. Only 24 golfers came in under par. DeLaet is just two shots behind leader Thorbjorn Olesen and Kevin Kisner. It’s a nice bounce-back on a big stage after back pain forced him to withdraw during the third round of the Barracuda Championship last Saturday in Reno. It was a tough day out there in Charlotte—Jordan Spieth was one-over, Bubba Watson six-over, and Phil Mickelson eight-over.
You never know what’ll happen in a Northwest League game. So, leading Eugene 4-3 going into the bottom of the eighth last night, the Boise Hawks felt they needed some insurance runs. They got two of them, and guess how? Yes, Sean Bouchard hit a two-run homer, and the Hawks went on to a 6-3 victory at Memorial Stadium. It was the former UCLA standout’s sixth homer of the season and the team’s 51st. Boise has slowly been recovering from its 10-game losing streak late last month and has pulled back to within one game of .500 again.
Former Boise State star Kurt Felix gets his shot today at the World Track and Field Championships in London. Felix, a two-time Olympian decathlete representing Grenada, is making his third appearance at Worlds. He’s seeded sixth, coming off a career-best 8,509 points at a meet in Germany last month. Felix won the NCAA championship in the decathlon for the Broncos five years ago. (Fellow Boise State alum Jordan Andrade, running for Cape Verde last Saturday, finished sixth in his heat in the 400-meter hurdles and did not advance.)
There’s a sports smorgasboard in the valley this weekend. The US National Arena Soccer Team is set for an international friendly against Brazil tonight in CenturyLink Arena. It doesn’t have the allure of, say, the Basque Soccer Friendly two years ago in Albertsons Stadium. But it’ll be much higher-scoring, as the arena game is soccer’s answer to hockey, with the boards up and the penalty box active. The USA and Brazil are on a three-game Northwest tour in preparation for the World Minifootball Federation World Cup this October in Tunisia. Also, the 10th annual BAM Jam Boise, the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in Idaho, will fill courts surrounding Capitol Park in Downtown Boise tomorrow and Sunday. And the 46th annual Nightfire Nationals occupy Firebird Raceway through Sunday on the trtack along Highway 16.
This Day In Sports…August 11, 1961:
Future Hall of Famer Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves wins the 300th game of his big league career. No telling how many victories Spahn would have amassed had he not missed three complete seasons when he took part in World War II, earning himself a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. His final total was 363, still baseball’s record for left-handers. Spahn won 20 or more games 13 times, including in 1963, when he went 23-7 with a 2.60 ERA at the age of 42.
(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.)