Revisiting some numbers I had the other night on Sunday Sports Extra—Boise State’s 2016 passing game distribution. The Broncos amassed 253 pass completions last season, with 179 going to wide receivers, 43 to running backs and 29 to tight ends (quarterback Brett Rypien and offensive lineman Steven Baggett had one each). With Thomas Sperbeck and Chaz Anderson gone, can A.J. Richardson, Sean Modster and friends combine with Cedrick Wilson to approach 179 catches this season? With Jeremy McNichols now a Buccaneer, can Alexander Mattison, Ryan Wolpin and company come anywhere near 43 receptions? You know where this is going. Bronco tight ends contributed just 29 catches last year. This year, the tight ends can change the dynamic.
Let’s put Boise State’s 2016 tight ends number, 29 receptions, in perspective. The previous season the group put up 59 catches, and it had 47 in 2014. That production during the last Fiesta Bowl season represented a bounce-back from just 20 in 2013, when (no coincidence) senior Gabe Linehan spent most of the season injured. Jake Roh played injured last year, but he is healthy again, and Alec Dhaenens and Chase Blakley are also capable of assembling some significant numbers. Jake Knight’s departure may simply open the door for Matt Pistone and John Bates. If the tight ends can produce, Richardson and Modster won’t need to make 50-60 catches apiece, and Mattison and Wolpin won’t have to pull in, like, 35 receptions at the running back spot. The offense could cefrtainly tilt toward the tight ends.
Like KTIK’s Michael Fisher said, the preseason AP Poll released yesterday looks like the Coaches Poll run through a ditto machine. Boise State is in the “others receiving votes” category, fourth in line to get in the Top 25 (just like the Coaches’ list). The only Group of 5 team in the rankings is South Florida at No. 19—the Bulls were No. 21 in the Coaches Poll. There’s just one team in the AP Poll that wasn’t included by the coaches: Washington State. The Cougars begin at No. 24. Troy, who visits the blue turf a week from Saturday, did not receive votes after garnering six points in the Coaches Poll.
Dallas defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford’s spirits are certainly higher than a couple weeks ago, when he suffered a lateral sprain of his right ankle in practice. Crawford says he’s on track to return for the Cowboys’ season opener September 10. The former Boise State standout made news over the weekend for his heart. With the Cowboys’ training camp wrapping up in Oxnard, CA, Crawford was faced with shipping his king-size mattress back to Texas. But then he thought, why not just donate it to a family in need? So Crawford presented the barely-used mattress to a single mother of three boys from Santa Barbara. When fellow D-lineman Maliek Collins heard about Crawford’s gesture, he donated his mattress to the same mom.
Austin Rehkow didn’t get much of a training camp shot in Buffalo, and now the former Idaho star has been released by the Bills. Rehkow, an undrafted free agent, kicked off twice in preseason games, made both of his point-after attempts, and punted twice for a 44.5-yard average, placing one inside the 20-yard line. Rehkow is the Vandals’ career leader in field goals and punting average and was the first-team All-Sun Belt punter the past three seasons.
Sunday’s final round of the Wyndham Championship was the last day for PGA Tour players to qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs. The top 125 after the final putt dropped were in, and Troy Merritt was not. The former Boise State star, at No. 151, has lost his exempt status on the tour and is headed for the Web.com Tour Finals, including next month’s Albertsons Boise Open. Nos. 126-200 in the FedExCup standings will battle the top 75 from the Web.com circuit for 50 PGA Tour cards (although 25 are already guaranteed to the top 25 on the Web.com Tour money list). Graham DeLaet has advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs, as he is 67th in the standings. The postseason begins Thursday with The Northern Trust.
The Boise Hawks’ bats did a 180 last night in Eugene. The Hawks managed only five hits and were shut out for just the second time this season in a 6-0 loss to the Emeralds at PK Park. Boise, by the way, has landed its second consecutive Northwest League Player of the Week award. Infielder Danny Edgeworth was honored after batting .469 with eight runs batted in, three doubles and two stolen bases from August 14-20. Boise’s Bret Boswell won the award last week. Edgeworth extended his hitting streak to 19 games in last night’s defeat.
Bishop Kelly grad Josh Osich is in troubled waters in San Francisco. The former Oregon State pitcher’s struggles have resurfaced with the Giants, who are in the process of mapping out their future as a miserable 2016 season hits the home stretch. Osich hadn’t allowed an earned run this month until he was summoned Saturday night during Philadelphia’s seven-run sixth inning that spurred a 12-9 Phillies win. The Bishop Kelly grad recorded just one out while allowing two hits and four earned runs on 15 pitches. That sent his ERA skyward to 6.14 for the season. A month ago it was 3.77.
This Day In Sports…August 22, 1965:
San Francisco Giants pitcher Juan Marichal hits Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Johnny Roseboro over the head with his bat, giving baseball one of the more bizarre moments (and most famous photos) in its history. Marichal was angered when Roseboro returned a pitch from Dodger hurlers Sandy Koufax too close to Marichal’s ear. The Giants star was suspended for nine days and fined $1,750.
(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.)