Since the “Back In Black” headline has already been taken, I’ll date myself here. “Black Is Black,” Los Bravos, Parrot Records (August, 1966). Yes, Boise State will dust off the black uniform idea—this time in newly-designed duds to “Black Out The Blue” on Friday, September 20, against Air Force. This will be the first time in almost four years the Broncos have gone with the all-black look. The last time: the shocking loss to New Mexico in Albertsons Stadium in 2015. So there’s redemption at stake as a sidebar. Have you seen the promotional video Boise State produced featuring Curtis Weaver in the black uni? Kind of eerie. Maybe they should “Black Out The Blue” in late October. Unfortunately, the Broncos are on the road on either side of Halloween.
COMMITMENT NO. 4
It’s quality over quantity early-on in Boise State’s 2020 recruiting class, just like last year. The Broncos have landed a commitment from Donovan Clark, a 6-3 cornerback (that’s right, a 6-3 corner) from Lincoln High in Tacoma. Clark chose Boise State over offers from—among others—Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State and Utah State, according to 247Sports. The site rates him as the No. 15 recruit in the state of Washington. “As a player, I fit perfectly with their defense, but the coaching staff is what got me hooked in the most,” Clark told 247. “My family was just excited as the coaches. Even my parents felt that it was the perfect place for me.” Clark said he may or may not enroll early.
REMINISCING IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Matt Brown at The Athletic is celebrating the 150th anniversary of college football in myriad ways. Monday it was “Best of the 2000s.” On his All-2000s Team is former Boise State offensive tackle Ryan Clady, with this note: “The Broncos deserve recognition in this space, and Clady is the best bet for a spot.” The 2007 Fiesta Bowl? It’s only No. 4 under “best game.” Much of the nation would surely disagree. Writes Brown, “Boise State’s win against Oklahoma was the first David vs. Goliath upset in a BCS bowl. Boise State had been an FBS program for only 10 years, and Chris Petersen achieved perfection in his first season, capped by an awe-inspiring show of creativity against the Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl.” Meanwhile, Coach Pete is not on the list of top 10 coaches of the 2000s. Go figure. Oh well.
QUARTERBACK IS KIND OF KEY UP NORTH
There will be those filing away this quote from Idaho coach Paul Petrino on the eve of the Vandals’ fall camp: “I’m as excited going into this year as I’ve ever been. I’m going to stay that way. Nobody is going to get me in a bad mood this year. I’m going to be excited and happy and coach every day with great passion and our team’s going to play that way. And we’re going to improve.” Can it last? Petrino plans to split quarterback reps to start with between his son, Mason, and Colton Richardson. It’s imperative that the Vandals get high-level play out of one of them if they’re going to turn things around in their second season in the Big Sky. Mason Petrino was eighth in the Big Sky in pass efficiency last year with a below-average rating of 118.6. Richardson is listed on Idaho’s roster as weighing 285 pounds now.
UNPRECEDENTED HEIGHTS FOR YOTES
Five years after reviving its football program, College of Idaho has broken new ground. The Preseason NAIA Coaches Poll was released Monday, and the Coyotes are No. 15, a program record. The Yotes are the highest-ranked of four Frontier Conference teams in the Top 25. C of I is coming off a remarkable finish to the 2018 campaign, winning its final six games after an 0-5 start to salvage a winning season and a No. 22 ranking. The Yotes open fall camp this Sunday.
KELLEN CLOSES IN ON FIRST DRESS REHEARSAL
Just two years after muddling through as Dallas’ third-string quarterback, Kellen Moore is the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator and looks forward to his first preseason test Saturday night in San Francisco. Anyone surprised by the former Boise State great’s rapid rise should rewind to 2010, when he went to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist. The angle ESPN chose for Kellen’s profile, diagramming plays on a clear glass screen, was prophetic. Moore’s best line as he scribbled his X’s and O’s: “We call this a ‘yes/no’ route. If Titus is in one-on-one coverage, it’s ‘yes.’” Current Cowboys are Kellen believers. Even star tight end Jason Witten. According to WFAA-TV in Dallas, when asked if he thought he’d ever be seven years older than his offensive coordinator, Witten responded in disbelief, “He’s only 30!?”
INSIGHT INTO DOUG MARTIN’S SITUATION?
The “Hard Knocks” series for 2019 premieres tonight on HBO, this time featuring the Oakland Raiders. You may not see much of the local ties, running back Doug Martin of Boise State and defensive end Benson Mayowa of Idaho. But you’re likely to see plenty of first-round draft pick Josh Jacobs, who’s ahead of Martin on the depth chart. There should be some spice between Jacobs and coach Jon Gruden, based on a recent Gruden quote at NFL.com: “You have to see how much the man can eat. How long can he stay at the table? … He’s got to prove he can get up, time and time again. These are car crashes, some of these hits these guys take. You’ve got to be a tough guy.”
HAWKS CONTRIBUTE SOME SOLID ALL-STARS
The 2019 Northwest League/Pioneer League All-Star Game takes over Memorial Stadium tonight, chock full of probable future major leaguers. Among the five players representing the host Boise Hawks is outfielder Joe Aeilts, who’s batting .331, fourth in the NWL. (Third baseman Aaron Schunk was selected for the game but is being held out as a precaution—he’s fifth in the league with a .329 average.) The Hawks also contribute Michael Toglia, the Colorado Rockies’ first-round draft pick this year out of UCLA. Toglia is tied for fourth in the NWL with four home runs. He’s a likely participant in the Home Run Derby, which will precede the game this evening at 5:45.
This Day In Sports…brought to you by MAZ-TECH AUTOMOTIVE…your car says, “Take me to Maz-Tech!”
August 6, 1999, 20 years ago today: San Diego’s Tony Gwynn notches a four-hit game to reach the 3,000-hit plateau as the Padres beat the Expos, 12-10, ay Montreal. Gwynn’s historic evening came six years to the day after his 2000th hit, and both milestones came on his mom’s birthday. Vendella Gwynn was there, but only 13,539 other fans joined her at Olympic Stadium, underscoring the attendance problems that would eventually trigger the Expos’ move to Washington, D.C.
(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.)