Friday means another early-bird celebration of Albertsons Stadium’s 50th anniversary, and we go to the heart of the Kellen Moore era—in September of 2010. In terms of before sunrise to after sunset, you could call it the biggest day in Boise State football history. ESPN College GameDay originated from the blue turf for the first time, drawing 13,250 fans at dawn. Then a record crowd of 34,137 turned out for the main event, a clash between the third-ranked Broncos and 24th-ranked Oregon State. It was Boise State’s first regular season game ever broadcast on over-the-air network television, and the Broncos gave the ABC audience a 37-24 win over the Beavers. Only special teams gaffes and penalties kept the margin of victory from being larger—Boise State outgained OSU 469 yards to 237.
It was hard to imagine the ESPN College GameDay extravaganza going any better. It was amazing to see the line to enter Bronco Stadium snake down Broadway, onto University Drive and all the way down to the Student Union Building before 6 a.m. The placement of the set on the blue turf worked out great (I’d never seen the sun rise in the stadium before). The fans played their part perfectly for Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, Lee Corso and Erin Andrews. Picabo Street’s selection as celebrity picker was surprising, but she came prepared and did a fine job.
REMEMBER JAKE CONSTANTINE?
Consider this when you recall Jake Constantine, who was a backup quarterback at Boise State as a redshirt freshman in 2017. Constantine transferred to Weber State after spring football that year. Let’s say he had stayed. Constantine would have been a junior last fall. Even if he had been No. 3 on the depth chart, opportunity could have knocked for him. The door that opened for Jaylon Henderson could have just as easily opened for Constantine. He ended up starting at Weber most of the last two seasons, throwing for 4,428 yards, 33 touchdowns and 22 interceptions as the Wildcats advanced to the FCS quarterfinals in 2018 and the semifinals last year. Constantine entered the NCAA transfer portal in January, though, and he announced on Twitter Wednesday that he’ll play his senior season at Towson in Maryland.
ANOTHER EVENT IS A COVID CASUALTY
Boise State’s season opener against Georgia Southern may go on, but a big event the night before will not. The university has postponed the Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony to the fall of 2021 (tentatively) due to coronavirus concerns. “We have six inductees that deserve to be celebrated and honored,” athletic director Curt Apsey said. “Not knowing what social distancing measures will be in place this fall has made planning for this event difficult, and we also don’t feel like we could hold the type of ceremony our inductees deserve at this time.” The 2020 class includes former NCAA 10,000-meters champion Emma Bates, former athletic director Gene Bleymaier, former NCAA wresting champion Ben Cherrington, former NCAA decathlon champion Kurt Felix, football great Korey Hall and tennis great Luke Shields.
BRONCO WOMEN FILL OUT THEIR BENCH
Former Oregon star Nia Jackson, a 2010-11 All-Pac 12 pick, has been hired as an assistant coach in the Boise State women’s basketball program. Jackson spent the past two seasons on the Ducks staff as the director of creativity, a role which included video coordinator duties, camp staging, and promotion. Now it’s full-fledged hoops again. In Jackson’s two years on Oregon’s staff, the Ducks went a combined 64-7 overall and reached the 2019 Final Four. Prior to returning to Eugene, Jackson spent four seasons at Loyola-Marymount. She replaces Cody Butler, who had been placed on leave in January after a sexual abuse lawsuit related to a previous job surfaced. Butler ultimately was not retained by coach Gordy Presnell.
BOGEYS & BIRDIES
Troy Merritt teed off on the very quiet No. 1 fairway at the Travelers Championship yesterday and promptly took a bogey. Things improved from there, and the former Boise State standout birdied four of nine holes in the middle of the round. A double-bogey on No. 15 brought Merritt back down to earth, and he finished with a two-under 68. He’s tied for 56th—so just like last week, if Merritt plays well today he’ll make the cut, and if he doesn’t, he won’t.
This Day In Sports…brought to you by ZAMZOWS…Nobody Knows Like Zamzows!
June 26, 1990, 30 years ago today: Jennifer Capriati beats Helen Kelesi 6-3, 6-1 in the first round to become the youngest winner of a match in Wimbledon history. The 14-year-old Capriati would make it to the fourth round before falling to Steffi Graf. Capriati had reached the semifinals of the French Open earlier that month, losing to eventual champion Monica Seles. Injuries and off-court problems would essentially end Capriati’s pro career at the age of 28.
(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.)