Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes. David Bowie, RCA Records. March, 1972. “I still don’t know what I was waiting for. And my time was running wild—a million dead-end streets.” Good luck if you find any clue in there, because yesterday Boise State coach Bryan Harsin wouldn’t reveal any of the specific “changes” he said were coming in his postgame press conference following the disappointing loss to Virginia. “That’s internal, and I’m not talking about it now,” said Harsin. “We’ve made changes in practice—we’ve made changes in personnel,” he added. “I say changes—(actually) tweaks.”
The followup to that was obviously Robert Mahone at tailback after he had the only successes of any of the running backs against the Cavaliers. But the redshirt freshman is still third on the depth chart. Mahone, as you recall, carried the ball on three consecutive second-quarter snaps versus Virginia and gained 21 yards. Then he didn’t touch the ball again (unless you count a second half dropped pass and a blocked punt toward the end of the game). Here’s another song for you. “All we are saying…is give Rob a chance.” That’s actually “Give Peace A Chance.” John Lennon, Apple Records. June, 1969. Mahone hasn’t really had a chance yet. He has a season total of six carries for 34 yards—5.7 yards per attempt.
If there was one newcomer Boise State had high hopes for last spring, it was Mike Young, the junior college transfer cornerback from Dodge City Community College in Kansas. Turns out Young has played sparingly in the Broncos’ last three games after not suiting up for the opener. Now his DUI arrest has resulted in a ban from Boise State team activities. Young was charged early September 24, essentially the night after the loss to Virginia. He is off the depth chart now—Avery Williams and Jalen Walker are the backup corners behind Reid Harrison-Ducros and Tyler Horton.
BYU coach Kalani Sitake said yesterday any one of five Cougars quarterbacks could take the field Friday night versus Boise State. Sitake hasn’t yet ruled out a return for Eagle’s Tanner Mangum, who’s been out since a leg injury he suffered toward the end of the September 16 loss at Utah. “He’s from Boise, so I think that’s a personal thing for him,” said Sitake after the Utah State game last Friday. “We’ll have to evaluate it. We want to win but not at the expense of hurting their livelihood.” Backup Beau Hoge’s status is uncertain as well after an injury in Logan. Odds are that Koy Detmer Jr., the nephew of offensive coordinator Ty Detmer, will start this week. Detmer was 7-of-20 for 91 yards with three interceptions against USU. Joe Critchlow and Kody Wilstead are returned LDS missionaries who are classified as true freshmen.
Mangum has had this game circled on his calendar. Two years ago in Provo, he famously threw a Hail Mary for the second straight week to beat Boise State in a game that ended up 35-24 after a final-minute pick-six. Mangum was 17-for-28 that night for 309 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He had to watch from the sidelines last year as Taysom Hill played wire-to-wire in BYU’s 28-27 loss on the blue turf. It would seem to have been a wasted year for Mangum, who had (and still has) a redshirt year available. But his parents told me last December that it was Tanner’s choice not to redshirt last year—he didn’t want to be a 26-year-old quarterback in 2019 (he turned 24 on September 8).
What must it be like for UNLV this week? Forget the fact that the Rebels host the Mountain West’s best team this Saturday night in Sam Boyd Stadium. UNLV is reeling just like the whole of Las Vegas after the largest mass shooting in American history Sunday night. The university’s athletic director, Desiree Reed-Francois, said in a statement that the Rebels’ varsity athletes, coaches and athletic department personnel “are accounted for and safe.” But UNLV assistant hockey coach Nick Robone was shot in the chest during the massacre across from Mandalay Bay—he’s expected to recover (hockey is a club sport at UNLV).
Former Boise State star Rees Odhiambo was suddenly hospitalized after what reports initially said were a heart contusion and sternum injury in Seattle’s win over Indianapolis Sunday night. Thankfully, he was released yesterday. Odhiambo took an apparent hit after a Colts interception in the third quarter and was tended to by the Seahawks medical staff on the sideline. But he came back into game and played every snap the rest of the way. Then in the locker room after the game, Odhiambo had trouble breathing and was placed on a stretcher and taken to the hospital. Coach Pete Carroll said yesterday it was not a heart contusion, but a bruised sternum that caused Odhiambo’s problems.
You go, Coach Pete. Chris Petersen’s frustration with late kickoff times certainly began in his Boise State days, and it has boiled over at Washington. Petersen is wondering if the Huskies will have a single kickoff before 5 p.m. this season after it was announced that two more UW games—at home against Cal this Saturday and on the road at Arizona State next week—will start at 7:45 Pacific. Petersen apologized to Washington fans, saying, “I don’t think they even kind of care about my voice, or probably any of the coaches’ voices. I don’t think there is one coach out there, or probably school, in the West that wants to play our games at late night and all of that. Everyone wants to play in the daytime.”
Troy Merritt’s golf season is over—and he could have hardly finished it more consistently. The Boise State product carded a three-under 68 yesterday in the rain-delayed final round of the Web.com Tour Championship, same as he did Saturday, and same as he did Thursday (he shot a 69 Friday). Merritt tied for 32nd in Atlantic Beach, FL, after having already clinched his 2017-18 PGA Tour card a week earlier. Now for some R&R during the offseason. Right. The new PGA Tour campaign begins Thursday with the Safeway Open at the famed Silverado Resort in Napa, CA.
This Day In Sports…October 3, 2012, five years ago today:
Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers becomes the first player in 45 years and only the 10th in modern major league history to win baseball’s Triple Crown. Cabrera hit .330 with 44 home runs and 139 runs batted in, edging Angels rookie Mike Trout in batting average and nudging the Yankees’ Curtis Granderson and the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton by one homer. Cabrera was a runaway winner for the RBI title. Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski had been the last Triple Crown winner back in 1967.
(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.)