When Hank Bachmeier made his college football debut two years ago at Florida State, he played with reckless abandon. No pressure. Nothing to lose. Now it’s Year 3, and coach Andy Avalos has named him Boise State’s starting quarterback, back in the state of Florida, this time against UCF. “Reckless abandon” would get Bachmeier into trouble later in his true freshman year. Last year, when healthy, his decision-making was sketchy and he never really caught fire. If it’s going to work this season, mutual confidence will have a lot to do with it—Hank’s in the new offense, and new offensive coordinator Tim Plough in him. I harken back to former Boise State quarterback Bart Hendricks and what happened in 1999 when coach Dirk Koetter turned him loose and opened up the offense. That’s the kind of déjà vu we could see.
WINNING THE ‘GETTING OFF THE BUS’ DERBY
The other major revelation Friday was Avalos’ confirmation that Markel Reed and Tyric LeBeauf will be Boise State’s starting cornerbacks at UCF. Reed is a slightly-above-average six feet tall, but LeBeauf is 6-2—they may be the tallest pair of starting corners in Boise State history. Now, can they cover, read, adjust, close, and force turnovers? Reed has 29 career tackles and is still looking for his first career interception (like lots of Broncos are). LeBeauf logged just one tackle last season, but he had one of Boise State’s two interceptions on the final play of the game (in the opener against Utah State).
CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THESE
The biggest moment of the weekend in Boise State football was the Hank Bachmeier announcement. The coolest moment came in a team meeting, when Khalil Shakir asked tight end Tyler Eiguren to check his phone for a text message—than asked him to read it aloud. Eiguren obliged. “Good morning, Tyler,” it read. “Your team wants you to know we appreciate your ability to compete every day and the impact you’re having. You have earned yourself a scholarship.” Eiguren had barely gotten the “ship” out before his teammates erupted and mobbed him. There’s nothing quite like a reveal when a walk-on gets a scholly. Eiguren comes from a distinguised line of Broncos from Fruitland the past 10 years. The three before him, Joe Martarano, Alec Dhaenens and Garrett Larson, were all scholarship players out of high school.
THE PANDEMIC PARAGRAPH
Former Boise State coach Bryan Harsin began the weekend news cycle by testing positive for COVID and going into isolation at Auburn. Joseph Goodman of the Birmingham News rips Harsin for not only refusing to say whether he’s vaccinated, but for not promoting it for his team. Goodman’s digs can be summed up by this one: “This is how an ‘Auburn Man’ takes care of the family? Nah. Harsin’s mismanagement of Auburn football is infuriating, but his stubborn neglect for the safety of people he is paid to shepherd into adulthood is unacceptable.” Harsin, I’m sure, would dispute that. Also, spectators will not be allowed at Hawaii’s home opener on September 4 at their new temporary on-campus facility. At the very least. And hospitals in Orlando, where the Broncos are headed, are running low on liquid oxygen.
Idaho held its second scrimmage of fall camp Saturday in the Kibbie Dome. The Vandals’ quarterback competition continues and won’t be decided until a couple games into the season, according to coach Paul Petrino. The opener against NAIA Simon Fraser a week from Saturday will provide an ideal live audition. Freshman QB CJ Jordan made his mark in the scrimmage, as he and wide receiver Connor Whitney were a consistent connection on offense, including a 65-yard touchdown early in the session. It was big for Whitney. He’s trying to stand out in a wideout group that’s been bolstered by three transfers: Terez Traynor from Western Kentucky, Mechi Stevenson out of UNLV and Michael Graves from American River College.
SIGG NAILS A SIGNATURE WIN
Greyson Sigg overcame Aaron Rai on the 18th hole at Hillcrest Country Club Sunday to win the 32nd Albertsons Boise Open. Rai led going into the final hole but took a double-bogey while Sigg parred—and Rai fell into a second-place tie with J.J. Spaun. For Sigg, the former Georgia Bulldog, it was his second Korn Ferry Tour victory of the season, but it was much bigger than the first. Sigg moves to the top of The 25, the Korn Ferry points standings. If he can stay there through the final two tournaments of the Korn Ferry Finals, he’ll earn full exempt status on the PGA Tour in 2021-22 and an exemption into The Players Championship.
Rai came so close to a storybook finish before stumbling on the 72nd hole. The 26-year-old Englishman, who defeated Tommy Fleetwood in a playoff at the 2020 Scottish Open, entered the week No. 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking. “The overriding emotion right now is disappointment after finishing that way,” said Rai. “It was very tough.” Rai, however, did secure his first PGA Tour card with his top-five finish. “To have status on the PGA Tour after the first event of the Finals is incredible really if I take a step back,” he added.
OF ADDITIONAL LOCAL SIGNIFICANCE
Former Boise State All-American Marisa Howard, who just missed out on an Olympics bid in Eugene in June, returned to Hayward Field Saturday for the prestigious Prefontaine Classic. Howard finished ninth in an elite 3,000-meter steeplechase race won by Tokyo silver medalist Courney Frerichs, running a personal best time of 9:22.69. And the first Boise State win in any sport in the 2021 fall season was impressive—a 1-0 road conquest at Utah Sunday in women’s soccer. Freshman Kenzie McMillan scored the game’s lone goal in the 74th minute off the laces of a broken cleat.
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August 23, 1999: The South-Central Boise All-Stars begin play at the Little League World Series with a 4-0 loss to Tom’s River, NJ. The Boise kids would go 1-2 in pool play, falling to Phenix City, AL, 12-0 before finishing on a high note with a 2-0 victory over Brownsburg, IN. Much of the South-Central team would form the nucleus of Borah High’s state championship team in 2005. The roster included Stephen Fife, who went on to the University of Utah and made the big leagues in 2012 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
(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.)