If you just glanced at the game-by-game diagrams, the one for the Senior Night finale November 18 may have caught your eye. Boise State released its Albertsons Stadium color schemes for 2016 yesterday. A fairly ordinary announcement these days. But if you just glanced at the game-by-game diagrams, the one for the Senior Night finale November 18 may have caught your eye. It looks like it’s meant to be a blue-and-orange checkerboard design—until you see the fine print: “Wear any Boise State color.” So it’ll be a smorgasboard of blue and orange and black, etc. But the Broncos should try the checkerboard. It’s been done before; I’ve seen Tennessee do it. It would just take a huge push for fans to check and double-check their section, row and seat number. It would be cool.
The Colorado State game on October 15 will feature the 15th annual Orange-Out as Boise State celebrates the 10th anniversary of the 2006 Fiesta Bowl season. Which gives me a chance to talk about the first Orange-Out. The Broncos were ahead of the curve on the color scheme thing. Then-athletic director Gene Bleymaier concocted the first one for the Fresno State game in 2002. It was the first regular season Bronco game ever telecast nationally from the blue turf by ESPN, and it was also Boise State’s first Friday night home game. No matter—it was a total sell-out, and a total annihilation, as the Broncos beat the Bulldogs 67-21 one year after BSU had shocked No. 8 Fresno State in Bulldog Stadium. What’s the Scott Slant without a little history?
The home opener against Washington State will be a tri-color night, adding white to the alternating sections mix. That was first tried for the landmark win over Oregon in 2009. Utah State will split orange and blue, BYU will be a Blue-Out (an attempt to make all those Cougar fans disappear), and the San Jose State game features what has become the annual Albertsons Stadium Black-Out.
ESPN marked the 100-day checkpoint ahead of college football’s kickoff yesterday (Boise State’s 100-day countdown begins tomorrow) with “100 stats for the 2016 college football season.” A few stuck out. As Boise State celebrates the 30th anniversary of the blue turf, two other Mountain West teams won’t be celebrating this 30th anniversary: “No. 36—San Jose State (24) and Fresno State (12) combined to be called for 36 penalties on Oct. 4, 1986. That is the most combined penalties by two teams in FBS single-game history.” I like this about one of the Idaho Stampede’s early stars in his football days: “No. 41—Wake Forest QB Rusty LaRue completed 41 passes in the second half of a loss to Duke on Oct. 28, 1995. That was the most completions by one player in one half in FBS history.”
Bronco Nation has to appreciate this one: “No. 67—Nevada scored 67 points in a 69-67, four-overtime loss to Boise State in 2007. It’s still the most points scored in a loss in FBS history.” And Bengal Nation won’t appreciate this one: “No. 80—UNLV was the only FBS team to score 80 points in a game during 2015, recording an 80-8 win over Idaho State in Las Vegas on Sept. 26.”
Former Idaho Stampede coach Bryan Gates is being hired by a one-time D-League foe, as he heads to Sacramento to join the staff of new Kings coach Dave Joerger. Gates wasn’t retained in Minnesota by Tom Thibodeau, who has taken the reins with the Timberwolves. Gates was the most successful coach in Stampede history, going 101-51 in three seasons and winning the franchise’s only NBADL title in 2008. He departed Boise for his first NBA assistant’s job with Sacramento in 2009. Gates’ first season as a coach in the D-League was Joerger’s last—the latter led the Dakota Wizards in 2006-07 and had previously coached the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
Jason Hammel, the one-time Treasure Valley Community College Chukar, is happily back with the Chicago Cubs for his second tour of duty after half a season in Oakland in 2014. And the Cubs are happy to have him. Last night Hammel rapped a two-run double before even throwing a pitch in a 12-3 win at St. Louis. On the mound, he resumed his magnificent start—bouncing back from his first loss of the season to go 7 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on four hits. Hammel is now 6-1 this season with a sparkling ERA of 2.17. He played for TVCC in Ontario in 2001-02. Hammel’s now now in his 11th major league season.
Hammel’s former Cubs teammate, Jeff Samardzija, who was traded with him to the A’s less than two years ago, was also on the mound last night. Samardzija started for San Francisco and faced another Hawks alum, San Diego’s Andrew Cashner, at AT&T Park. It was tight between the two until the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Giants pushed across two runs off Cashner to take a 3-1 lead. Samardzija loaded the bases in the seventh before Bishop Kelly grad Josh Osich came in to get the third out. The Giants went on to rout the Padres, 8-2. Samardzija is now 7-2, while Cashner falls to 2-4.
Congratulations to Timberline High shortstop Parker Price, the first in Idaho history to win the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year honor in back-to-back seasons in baseball. Price hit an incredible .539 this season and struck out only four times. His next stop is Gonzaga. Despite the Wolves missing out on the 5A state championship last weekend, it’s been a pretty good run for the Price family, as dad Larry Price retires with exactly 600 career coaching victories.
College of Idaho’s Tiana Thomas has been named the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field West Region Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Thomas, a senior from Middleton, won four individual Cascade Conference titles this spring, helping the Coyotes to their fourth-straight women’s championship. She and 12 other Yotes men and women start competition tomorrow at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Gulf Shores, AL. Elsewhere, the NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round begins tomorrow in Lawrence, KS, with 10 Boise State Broncos represented.
This Day In Sports…May 25, 1935:
In one of the greatest one-man shows in track and field history, Jesse Owens of Ohio State ties the world record in the 100-yard dash and sets world marks in the 220-yard dash, the 220-yard low hurdles, and the long jump—all in less than an hour at a meet in Ann Arbor, MI. Owens, of course, would win four gold medals the following year at the Summer Olympics in Berlin.
(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.)