Boise State started very badly but finished very nicely last night in a 76-61 win at Utah State. Boise State started very badly but finished very nicely last night in a 76-61 win at Utah State. It was the BSU’s biggest road win ever over the Aggies. That’s not rocket science, though—there have only been two of them. But it was, in fact, Boise State’s biggest margin of victory all-time against USU. In the first half, you’d have thought the Broncos had left their concentration somewhere near Snowville as they piled up a stunning 12 turnovers before the break. That was more than their season average of 11.5 per game going in. It wasn’t the atmosphere in Logan. The Dee Glen Smith Spectrum was a shadow of its former intimidating self last night, especially in the holiday break-depleted student section. Maybe that dawned on Boise State in the second half, when it turned the ball over only four times.
If I had told you this season’s Boise State squad would beat Utah State by 15 points in Logan with Anthony Drmic going scoreless, well, you know. But there was Drmic, who’s been bulldozing toward the Broncos’ career scoring record, going 0-for-4 from the field. The only other time in his career Drmic has been blanked was during his true freshman season in a loss at LSU more than four years ago. It didn’t look like he was affected by that bothersome ankle, as he did lead the team with a season-high nine rebounds. The term “Drmic-less” is not accurate.
To say the rest of the Boise State roster picked up the slack for Drmic would be an understatement. The Broncos were hot, shooting just under 60 percent from the field (almost 71 in the second half). They won their eighth game in a row with tremendous balance—Mikey Thompson led the way with 17 points in another driving-dominated effort, while Chandler Hutchison added a dunk-dominated 15. Nick Duncan also put up 15 points, and James Webb III had 12. Boise State is now 2-0 in the Mountain West and 11-4 overall as it heads home for a Saturday date with Fresno State.
By the way, it’s been announced that Boise State’s home game against San Diego State on January 16 will tip off at 8 p.m. That’s a late tipoff, but it’s okay, for two reasons. It’s a Saturday night, and fans can manage that (it’s not a 3½-hour football game). And, it’s on ESPN2, so it’ll have a legit national audience. This will be the first ESPN2 telecast of a Bronco game from Taco Bell Arena in more than 13 years.
Boise State’s Kamalei Correa has been named to the AP All-Bowl Team as a linebacker after recording two sacks and forcing a fumble in the 55-7 Poinsettia Bowl rout of Northern Illinois. Of course, we know Correa is technically a defensive end, but this award might be prophetic. He is skipping his senior year with the Broncos to enter the NFL Draft, and at 6-3, 248 pounds, he fits the mold of a ‘backer a lot better. NFLDraftScout.com, for example, lists Correa as an outside linebacker and ranks him No. 8 among draft prospects at that spot. Also, Thomas Sperbeck’s circus reception against Wyoming in October has a solid lead in final voting for the Yahoo! Sports Catch of the Year. As of this morning, Sperbeck leads Francis Owusu of Stanford, 88 percent to 12 percent. The winner will be announced next week after the national championship game.
National Letter of Intent Day is four weeks from today. For Boise State (and for all schools), it’s a matter of who’s still coming aboard—and who’s staying aboard. One player the Broncos don’t have to worry about, though, is offensive lineman Kole Bailey of Twin Falls, who has graduated early and is set for early enrollment at BSU next Monday. The 6-4, 285-pounder, one of Boise State’s first commits back on June 19, will mark the occasion today. “I’ll be having a little mock signing/farewell Wednesday in the TFHS foyer,” Bailey tweeted.
Insiders in Dallas suggest one scenario that would favor Kellen Moore, even if the Cowboys select a quarterback with the No. 4 overall pick in the NFL Draft this spring. Let’s say it’s Paxton Lynch of Memphis or Jared Goff of Cal. Moore knows the Dallas offense and coordinator Scott Linehan so well, he could serve as the No. 2 QB behind Tony Romo for a season or two to allow the draft pick to totally absorb the Cowboys system and NFL life in general. An Aaron Rodgers situation for the newcomer as opposed to David Carr’s nightmare, if you will. Of course, if owner Jerry Jones succumbs to the temptation of bringing in Johnny Manziel, that blows everything up. (In fact, I think it blows up the Cowboys.)
No word yet on Jeron Johnson’s status with Washington for the NFC Wild Card game this Sunday against Green Bay. Johnson, the former Boise State standout who made five tackles last Sunday while defending various Dallas Cowboys, some of whom had caught passes from Moore, left that game in the fourth quarter. Is it a hamstring problem? Hammies have plagued Johnson this season—and the previous two years with the Seattle Seahawks. The fifth-year safety started two of the 14 games he played during the regular season for Washington, making 23 tackles.
Alex Marvel of FoxSports.com tweeted that former Boise State coach Dirk Koetter is “on the radar” for an interview for the Philadelphia Eagles’ vacant head coaching job. Koetter just finished his first season as Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator after a three-year stint in Atlanta. Despite a 6-10 record, the Buccaneers were fifth in the NFL with 375.9 yards of total offense per game. Koetter is still only 56 years old (although KTIK’s Jeff Caves said he underwent a hip replacement this week). He was 66-44 combined in nine seasons as head man at Boise State and Arizona State.
With the growth of the NBA Development League, the 12th annual D-League Showcase has ballooned to 19 games this year. The event, hosted in Boise in 2008 and 2010, draws myriad NBA scouts, general managers and player personnel executives. It tips off this morning in Santa Cruz, with the Idaho Stampede playing the opener against the Canton Charge at 11 a.m. The Stampede’s second Showcase game is set for Saturday against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
There’s another certificate on the wall for Joey Nebeker as he and the College of Idaho prep for a Portland road trip this weekend. The Melba High grad and Boise State transfer has grabbed the Cascade Conference Player of the Week honor for the third time this season. Nebeker led the Coyotes to a pair of conference wins last week, scoring 34 points against Evergreen State and 20 versus Northwest University. He also had 15 points in last week’s exhibition loss at Utah. Nebeker, who now has six 30-point games this season, is second in the CCC with 21.6 points per game.
This Day In Sports…January 6, 2011, five years ago today:
The longest game in Boise State basketball history results in a 102-101 Bronco victory at San Jose State. The contest went four overtimes after Boise State had blown a 15-point second half lead. The Broncos thought they had won it at the end of the third OT when senior guard La’Shard Anderson hit a three-pointer at the buzzer, but it was waved off after a video review. They persevered, though, when Anderson, who led all scorers with 31 points, made a steal with one second left in the fourth OT.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)