Well, the question now becomes: will we ever see Kellen Moore wearing college colors again—Boise State or whatever? Dallas made it official Thursday, naming perhaps the most beloved Bronco ever as its offensive coordinator. What could be down the pike for Moore? Jerry Jones, after all, is not expected to extend coach Jason Garrett’s contract beyond this year. Hmmm. But that’s a discussion for another day. Once upon a time, on a questionnaire before the annual Bronco Football Summer Softball game, Moore filled in a line about what his future job might be. He simply wrote, “Head coach, Boise State University.” But unless he grows tired of the NFL culture at some point, his career is on a much different tack than we thought.
Props to the Cowboys for not caving to the doubters. They know what they have in Moore and are betting big on his upside. Kellen is one of the greatest offensive football minds any of us around here has ever seen (you notice I’m not leaving out Coach Pete and Bryan Harsin here). Along those lines, Chris Petersen raised eyebrows when he named Harsin his first O-coordinator at the age of 29. How about the waves this makes in the NFL? Kellen Moore is 29 years old. The new quarterbacks coach working under him, Jon Kitna, is 46. Tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier, the former Idaho star, is 48. ESPN.com reports, “According to sources, multiple teams sought permission from the Cowboys to speak with Moore about coordinator positions but were denied.”
A BRONCO-LESS SUPER BOWL
Sunday will break a streak of four straight Super Bowls featuring a former Boise State Bronco, unless the L.A. Rams suddenly activate Donte Deayon from the practice squad (probably against the rules this late in the going anyway). The last three years have produced Super Bowl champions: Jay Ajayi with Philadelphia last year, Shea McClellin with New England in 2017 and Matt Paradis with Denver in 2016. Jeron Johnson played for Seattle four years ago when the Seahawks lost to the Patriots.
REALITIES OF ROUND 2 IN RENO
What Nevada has done lately gives you an appreciation for the Herculian effort Boise State put forth against the Wolf Pack 2½ weeks ago in that 72-71 loss in Taco Bell Arena. Since the unbelievable 27-point loss at New Mexico last month, the Pack has won six games in a row. All have been by double digits—except for the one in Boise. Nevada, known in Las Vegas as “UNR,” toyed with UNLV Tuesday night in an 87-70 victory, the Wolf Pack’s 20th of the season. An upset in Reno tomorrow could launch the Broncos on the path to a winning season, a goal that has become daunting as they currently sit at 10-11. At least they know they can play with the Pack.
No. 8 Nevada will be the highest-ranked foe Boise State has played on the road in more than four years. The Broncos faced No. 3 Wisconsin in November of 2014 and were blasted 78-54. That’s more representative of the challenge Boise State faces Saturday in Lawlor Events Center. Although it’s not a particularly loud place, the arena will be sold out with 11,000 or so fans. And the Wolf Pack still puts an all-star lineup on the floor, led by Jordan Caroline and the Martin twins, Caleb and Cody. Caroline and Caleb Martin are both top 5 in scoring in the Mountain West, and Caroline’s also the No. 2 rebounder. And there’s this: Boise State is 0-17 all-time against top 10 teams. The highest-ranked squad the Broncos have defeated at home, on the road, or anywhere else was an 83-70 triumph at No. 11 Creighton in 2012.
Most current Mountain West stats are true to all the preseason prognostications. Nevada leads in scoring offense at 80.9 points per game—and in scoring defense with an average of 65.8 points allowed. Here’s where Boise State harbors some hope. The Broncos’ shooting has actually been very good, as they’re second in the conference at almost 47 percent. And they’re coming off their second-best shooting night of the season at just under 58 percent in Tuesday night’s win at Colorado State. It was Boise State’s eighth game of the 2018-19 campaign over 50 percent.
STEELIES SPREAD THE PUCK AROUND
Balance has benefitted the Idaho Steelheads on the offensive end this season. Going into the two games at Allen this weekend, the Steelheads don’t have anybody in the top 25 in ECHL scoring despite sporting the league’s fifth-best record. But they do have Nos. 27 and 30 (two guys part of a tie for the latter). Steve McParland has 37 points with 17 goals, Brad McClure 36 points with 18 goals, and A.J. White 36 points with 10 goals. The Steelies hold a one-point lead over the Tulsa Oilers in the ECHL Mountain Division standings.
MORE WEEKEND HOOPS
The Boise State women try to maintain their share of first place in the Mountain West Saturday against Nevada in Taco Bell Arena. All Bronco eyes are on the Wolf Pack’s Jade Redmon, who Boise State coach Gordy Presnell calls a “Bronco killer.” The senior guard has been in double-figures every game this season. Redmon scored 16 points in the first matchup against Boise State. The Pack’s eyes will be on Bronco junior Riley Lupfer, who appears to have her mojo back.
The College of Idaho men, No. 4 in the NAIA Division II poll, are on the road at Evergreen State tonight and Northwest University Saturday night. The Coyotes aim to protect the top spot in the Cascade Conference. The NNU men go to Montana State-Billings Saturday night after rallying for a thrilling 96-93 victory at Central Washington Tuesday night. And the Nighthawk women, who dropped from No.1 to No. 8 in the NCAA Division II SIDA poll this week following their first loss of the season, bounced back with a 77-43 rout of Western Oregon last night in Nampa. NNU is now 18-1 and hosts Concordia Saturday night.
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February 1, 2004, 15 years ago today: The New England Patriots win their second Super Bowl in three years, beating the Carolina Panthers, 32-29, on Adam Vinatieri’s 41-yard field goal with four seconds left. The two teams combined for a record 37 points in a wild fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium in Houston. But the Patriots prevailed behind MVP Tom Brady, who was 32-of-42 for 354 yards and three touchdowns.
(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.)