Look who’s starting in Denver

Denver was favored to beat the New York Jets this week before this announcement Tuesday. Now, oddsmakers have it as a tossup. But Brett Rypien still has a chance to become the first former Boise State quarterback to win a start in the NFL. Rypien has been named the Broncos starter for the Thursday Night Football matchup after a steady debut last Sunday in which he went 8-of-9 for 53 yards with an interception. It was easy to see Rypien’s comfort level in the pocket, and that’s what Mike Klis of KUSA-TV in Denver says got him the job. “(Jeff) Driskel had a tough time reading the pressures and getting rid of the ball,” said Klis Tuesday on Idaho SportsTalk. “Then Rypien went in there, and the ball came out of his hand quick. He has NFL quarterback characteristics.”

Oh Jay Tust, you’ve done it again. Where does the KTVB Sports Director find this stuff? Tweeted Tust Tuesday: “On Sept. 30, 2001, 24 y/o Tom Brady makes his first career NFL start. The Patriots beat the Colts, 44-13. On Sept.27, 2020, 43 y/o Tom Brady starts for the Bucs against the Broncos. 24 y/o Brett Rypien makes his NFL debut for Denver.” So I had to learn more. Brett Rypien’s uncle, Mark, had returned to the NFL after three seasons off and played in four games for Indianapolis that season at the age of 39.


Hank Bachmeier’s offensive coordinator at Boise State is now Eric Kiesau, and you can bet they’ve spent a lot of time together since Kiesau took over in January. Kiesau had an interesting perspective on Bachmeier last year as wide receivers coach, and it’s sharpened since he became O.C. “He’s got to settle into his footwork,” Kiesau told the media Tuesday. “He was really all over the place last year.” But Kiesau’s expectations are high. “Last year everything was new,” he said of Bachmeier. “He’s had a year to settle in. I’m looking for a big jump from him.” For Bachmeier’s part, he’s like a sponge. “We’ve watched games from last year, and Hank’ll say, ‘Ah yeah, man, I can see it,’” said Kiesau.


Boise State’s All-Decade team voting this week moves onto the defensive backs. There are three shoe-ins in my mind: George Iloka, Darian Thompson and Jamar Taylor. Iloka was one of the most imposing safeties in Broncos history. His career stretched into the first two years of the decade before he was picked in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. Thompson grabbed the most career interceptions in Boise State’s FBS era, with 19. And Taylor was a big-play corner at the beginning of the decade. The highlight of his career was a 100-yard pick-six against Arizona State in the 2011 Las Vegas Bowl. The fourth member of the crew is up for debate. Donte Deayon had just two fewer career interceptions than Thompson, but he was never named first-team All-Mountain West. Fellow cornerback Tyler Horton was a first-teamer twice.


Wyoming has a plan set for attendance in War Memorial Stadium, at least for its season opener. The Cowboys will allow 7,000 fans in the stands, about 24 percent of the facility’s capacity of 29.181. If Boise State followed that blueprint at Albertsons Stadium later this month, there would be just over 8,700 allowed inside. Of course, the coronavirus infection rate is far lower in Laramie than it is in Boise. Wyoming fans are clamoring for the high-altitude Cowboys to up the capacity to 7,220—for marketing and psychological reasons.


One of the more prominent former Boise Hawks in the majors over the past 10 years may be at the end of the line. But by all accounts, Jeff Samardzija isn’t looking at it that way after being released by the San Francisco Giants over the weekend. Samardzija appears bent on trying to revive his pitching career in 2021. Now 35, he spent the last five seasons with the Giants, but two of the last three weren’t pretty. Rewind to 2006, and Samardzija was on the mound for the Hawks at Memorial Stadium. He left just over halfway into the season, though, as he had to return to Notre Dame for his senior season as a wide receiver. After helping lead the Irish to the Sugar Bowl, Samardzija opted for baseball and signed a five-year, $10 million contract with the Cubs.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by ZAMZOWS…Nobody Knows Like Zamzows!

September 30, 1999: After 40 seasons, the San Francisco Giants play their final game at Candlestick Park. Appropriately, it was against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Inappropriately, the Dodgers won, 9-4. Built on a point on San Francisco Bay that is a wind-tunnel from the Pacific Ocean, “The Stick” was inhospitable, even on most summer days. The weather is best there in the early fall, and it would remain home to the 49ers through the 2013 season.

(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.)

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