Boise State athletic director Jeramiah Dickey’s quest for “six games—six sellouts” this season has hit a pothole. On Twitter Wednesday night, Dickey said essentially that it’s back to a bubble for football and other Broncos sports. Happening the way it did on the first day of fall camp after momentum had been building on the buzz front and ticket sales had been on the rise, well, it has sucked the wind out of the sails for now. If Boise State really wants to sell out six games in Albertsons Stadium this fall, the first thing that will have to happen is masks. More than 36,000 masks. Really, how else can this go with the Broncos now going into a COVID-induced bubble for fall camp? The reaction to masks in this state would no doubt affect the numbers in the stands, and that’s a shame. But options are limited.
SPEAKING OF ALBERTSONS STADIUM
Despite the current COVID distractions, Boise State is moving ahead with Dickey’s long-planned “comprehensive facilities analysis.” I can think of thousands of Broncos fans who are saying, “You can start on the east side of Albertsons Stadium.” The pandemic derailed plans to renovate the east side with new suites and—most importantly—21st century restrooms and concessions facilities. But, of course, this involves the whole campus. It’ll take place over the next four to six months in conjunction with AECOM, a company that specializes in venue revitalization, “from comprehensive facility assessments, to economic impact and revenue analysis and full design services.”
CT THOMAS, THE TEXAS GUY
Legendary Texas and NFL running back Earl Campbell was known as the “Tyler Rose,” and Boise State wide receiver CT Thomas is on the Watch List for the college football honor named after him. Yes, it’s the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award. To be eligible, you have to be a Texan (Thomas is from Lancaster) and “exhibit the enduring characteristics that defined Earl Campbell, including integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, community and tenacity.” Thomas is a fit there. He enters his super senior year with a reception in 37 straight games, the second-longest active streak in FBS. Thomas had 20 receptions in seven games last year and averaged 17.3 yards per grab. That latter number was helped by a 75-yard catch from Jack Sears on the first play from scrimmage against Air Force on Halloween.
COMMITMENT COUNT REACHES 14
Two more commitments on Boise State’s big board, as linebacker Gavin Hambrick of Apple Valley, CA, and athlete Jake Ripp of Los Gatos, CA, gave their verbals on Thursday. Hambrick’s reasons for choosing the Broncos struck a familiar refrain. “I loved the people at Boise,” Hambrick told Greg Biggins of 247 Sports. “The people that live there are the nicest people I’ve ever met and that played a big role in my decision.” He’s also drawn to Boise State by a certain iconic feature. “I love that blue field too,” said Hambrick. “I didn’t realize how much the players and the people in Boise respect it, but it gives the players another reason to play hard. The visit overall was amazing.” Hambrick is 6-2, 220 pounds, and Ripp, who’s basic position is also linebacker, is 6-3, 210.
REAL FOOTBALL IN CANTON
Three of the four Boise State representatives in Dallas played in the NFL Hall of Fame Game Thursday night in Canton, OH, a 16-3 loss to Pittsburgh. One of them was a mild surprise (but not to me). The Cowboys want to see what Leighton Vander Esch has from the get-go this summer, and the linebacker from Riggins started but didn’t record a stat. Safety Darian Thompson also started—he didn’t log a stat, either. But this paragraph isn’t a total waste; Cedrick Wilson had two catches for 29 yards. DeMarcus Lawrence has been activated from the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, but it remains to be seen whether Dallas will let him see the field in the preseason.
YOTES RAMP IT UP, TOO
College of Idaho opened fall camp on Thursday, less than four months after the special spring season ended. The Coyotes finished the condensed campaign 3-1, and they go into the fall with the a slightly different quarterback competition than they had back then. Ryan Hibbs, a Capital High product and Jacob Holcomb started two games apiece in the spring, but former Sacramento State and Azusa Pacific QB Jack Rice now enters the mix.
THE HAWKS’ FISBECK: EN FUEGO
The Boise Hawks are back above .500 in the second half of the Pioneer League season, improving to 9-8 and moving into a tie for first place with a 10-4 romp at Grand Junction Thursday night. Nate Fisbeck, the guy who hit the three-run ninth inning home run to give the Hawks a win Wednesday night, just went off in this one. Fisbeck clubbed three more homers and knocked in five runs in his fifth game with Boise. If he played the Hawks’ full 96-game schedule, he’d be on pace for 76 dingers. Fisbeck is only the 17th player in the Pioneer League’s 82-year history to hit three homers in a game.
This Day In Sports…brought to you by ZAMZOWS…Nobody Knows Like Zamzows!
August 6, 1986, 35 years ago today: San Francisco Giants pitcher Steve Carlton strikes out Cincinnati Reds outfielder Eric Davis for his 4,000th career strikeout in a 2-1 win at Candlestick Park. Carlton became just the second player to achieve that milestone, joining Nolan Ryan in the exclusive club. Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens are the only others to do so since. Carlton would end up with 4,136 strikeouts over 24 years. The 329-game winner spent the best years of his career, 14 of them, with the Philadelphia Phillies.
(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.)