So Hank Bachmeier has won the Boise State quarterback derby over Chase Cord. Here’s hoping Cord hangs in there, because you never know what might happen. And let’s get this reminder out of the way: Kellen Moore did not start as a true freshman (he redshirted in 2007), and he did not face his first BCS/Power 5 opponent until he had two games under his belt. Bachmeier is being thrown into the fire right out of the gate against Florida State. We don’t know how much better the FSU defense will be over last year’s 5-7 team, but we know it’ll be improved. The Seminoles’ “D” will have the advantage in size and speed, stocked as it is with primarily four-star recruits. But the Broncos are confident that the uncommonly mature Bachmeier can weather early storms and—sooner or later—play his game.
When Moore finished his high school days with a Washington state record 173 career touchdown passes, well, that was a freakazoid number. Here comes Bachmeier with a CIF Southern Section record 156 TD throws. That’s freakazoid in Southern California, with competition a bit different than what Kellen saw in Prosser. The previous mark was held by JT Daniels, the current starter at USC. May I note that Cord, now Bachmeier’s backup, holds the prep record for the state of Arizona with 137 touchdown passes. But Bachmeier has the keys to the car this Saturday against Florida State in Jacksonville. And he’ll dearly need his supporting cast to perform.
POSITIONAL PECKING ORDER AT LAST?
Today we should finally see a Boise State depth chart. Those who like deep dives into such things will be watching a few spots. Will there be an “or” between Robert Mahone and Andrew Van Buren at running back? And is George Holani all alone at No. 3? Maybe Mahone and Van Buren will be interchangeable parts until one of them breaks out. Will Stefan Cobbs sneak his way into the two-deep at wide receiver? As much as we talk about Hightower and Shakir and Thomas and Evans and Butler, Cobbs makes sure we don’t forget him. Finally, is Riley Whimpey full-go at weakside linebacker? And if not, where does Zeke Noa end up in the starting lineup?
KEEGAN DUNCAN, WE HARDLY KNEW YE
The weekend started with the news that Boise State’s Kaiden Bennett and Keegan Duncan have entered the transfer portal. This is the first time the new player process has really hit the Broncos full-force. Bennett’s transfer was expected (although not this soon). Many wondered why—as good as he is—he committed to Boise State after Bachmeier already had. The Duncan decision is a tough one. As an Idahoan who was a small-school superstar at Declo, everybody was rooting for him to become a standout for the Broncos. Only Duncan knows why he didn’t give it more time (he was out last week with some kind of leg injury). I was as anxious as anybody to see him develop.
NOW, HAWAI’I JUST NEEDS SOME FANS
The Mountain West season got off to a rousing start with Hawai’i’s wild 45-38 win over Arizona Saturday night at Aloha Stadium. It was the MW’s fifth straight victory over Pac-12 opposition. The ending was fantastic, with Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate taking off from the Rainbow Warriors’ 31-yard line on the final play and weaving his way toward the end zone—only to be tackled at the one with zeroes on the clock. UH quarterback Cole McDonald showed some good, passing for 378 yards and four touchdowns, and some bad, chucking four interceptions. And here’s some ugly: announced attendance was just 20,752.
AROUND THE HORN IN THE NFL
Denver coach Vic Fangio says Brett Rypien will get a chance to compete with Kevin Hogan for the Broncos’ No. 2 quarterback spot in the final game of the preseason Thursday night against Arizona. Drew Lock, Joe Flacco’s presumed backup, is out with a thumb injury. Rypien was spotty in 10-6 loss to the L.A. Rams Saturday night, going 14-of-23 for just 80 yards. Elsewhere, NFL Network reported Sunday that Doug Martin was going to be released by Oakland. The first thought was that Martin could go to Houston to replace Lamar Miller, who tore his ACL Saturday night. Turns out that the Raiders are placing Martin on injured reserve with what coach Jon Gruden has called a shoulder injury. Ironically, word is out that the Texans are considering…Jay Ajayi. The Jay-Train is still a free agent.
YOU PLAY GOOD GOLF – YOU GET YOUR JUST REWARD
Norwegian phenom Viktor Hovland was certainly the fan favorite as he carried a one-shot lead into the final round of the 30th annual Albertsons Boise Open. And we’ll be hearing Hovland’s name on the PGA Tour for years to come. But it was former South Carolina golfer Matthew NeSmith who drained a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole at Hillcrest Country Club and earned his first PGA Tour card. A year ago, NeSmith had just finished his second season on the MacKenzie Tour (PGA Tour Canada) and missed the cut in seven of 10 events. He went through Q-school for the Korn Ferry Tour and finished 22nd to earn a promotion. NeSmith improved steadily during the season, and now he has his first title and moves on to the Show. Hovland finished in a tie for second with Brandon Hagy.
SHERLE IS SURELY TOP-NOTCH
Two matches into her senior year, Boise State star Raimee Sherle is now the Mountain West women’s soccer career leader in points with 105. Sherle, the Rocky Mountain grad, scored the lone goal in the Broncos’ 1-0 win at Idaho Friday night. Then Sunday in a 5-2 pummeling of Eastern Washington at the Boas Complex, Sherle added two more goals and an assist. She has now tallied 48 career goals, also a conference record.
Gotta get one more thing in: the Boise Hawks snapped a nine-game losing streak Saturday night with an 8-2 win at Tri-City. Sunday night the Hawks took another step sideways, though, falling to the Dust Devils 4-2. Boise is now 2-10 on its Western Idaho Fair road trip with four games to go.
This Day In Sports…brought to you by COMMERCIAL TIRE…keeping you and your family on the road.
August 26, 1939, 80 years ago today: Major League Baseball game is broadcast on live television for the first time, as the station that would become WNBC-TV shows a doubleheader between the Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Dodgers from Ebbets Field. It was tied into the 1939 World’s Fair, where television was one of the prize exhibits. The medium was in its infancy, as there were only about 400 TV sets in New York City at the time. The Reds and Dodgers split the twin bill.
(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.)