Jeremy McNichols is trending upward in Tennessee Titans camp. Will the former Boise State star finally break through this season? McNichols has been all but forgotten since May 4, when he was cut by Jacksonville after spending time with the Jaguars during the offseasonBut then he was re-signed last Wednesday by the Titans, the team that waived him at the end of training camp a year ago. “Jeremy really had a great camp for us last year, was kind of right on the edge there,” Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel said in an SI.com story by David Boclair. “We felt like (he was) just a guy that we that we would be able to put in there and would understand what we’re doing in all three downs and also having an impact on fourth down.” He was the Titans’ second-leading rusher during the 2019 preseason with 109 yards on 27 carries.
McNichols actually signed with Boise State in 2014 more as a wide receiver, and that’s what gave him his first shot as a true freshman. His redshirt year was burned just after star senior wideout Matt Miller was lost for the season in Week 4. McNichols was one of Boise State’s early entries into the NFL Draft, forgoing his senior year in 2017 after rushing for 3,205 yards and scoring 55 touchdowns overall in three seasons. He was drafted in the fifth round that year by Tampa Bay. But McNichols has not been able to gain any traction in the NFL in three seasons, appearing in just five regular-season games and rushing for eight yards on four carries in his career.
LIVING LIFE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH OPPONENTS
Georgia Southern should be preparing for Boise State right now. Instead, the Eagles are gearing up for Campbell. As in, the Campbell University Fighting Camels, an FCS team from North Carolina. GSU is heavily-favored, as the Camels dropped their final four games of 2019 and limped home with a 6-5 season. Georgia Southern was 7-6 after a loss to Liberty in the Cure Bowl. The Eagles have an 11-game schedule planned this fall.
THE TALLAHASSEE ANNIVERSARY
Nothing to look ahead to this week in Boise State football, so—with the help of Hank Bachmeier—everyone was able to look back on Monday. Back to August 31, 2019. Tweeted Bachmeier: “1 year ago today! It was hot and sweaty with butterflies in the belly!!! What a win for Bronco Nation!” That’s when the Broncos trailed Florida State 31-13 with four minutes left in the first half at Doak Campbell Stadium. Thoughts of Georgia 2005 started to creep into worried heads. But then came the rally and the 36-31 victory. Then there was Bachmeier. Not only did he throw for 407 yards in his debut as a true freshman, he broke the Boise State record for most passing yards in a season opener. Bachmeier was also the first Broncos quarterback ever to notch a 400-yard game against a Power 5 opponent.
NOT-SO-GENTLE GIANT IS GONE
Part of the magic of the NCAA Tournament coming to Boise nine times over the past 37 years is the people you get to see. We were all fortunate enough to watch John Thompson coach Georgetown in 1992 in what was then the BSU Pavilion. To say the 6-10 Thompson was a presence along the bench is an understatement. His Hoyas drilled South Florida 75-60 in the first round—and then were eliminated by Florida State 78-68 two days later in Alonzo Mourning’s final collegiate game (the same afternoon as Shaquille O’Neal’s final college appearance for LSU). Thompson passed away Monday at the age of 78. He didn’t suffer fools. He fought for what was right. John Thompson will be missed, especially now.
OSICH ON THE MOVE AGAIN
We’ve been following former Bishop Kelly star Josh Osich’s big league journey in the Scott Slant for more than five years now, and there’s reason to again. Osich, back in the majors this year, was dealt Tuesday at the trade deadline from Boston to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later. The Cubs are posturing for the expanded playoffs, and they needed another lefthanded arm in the bullpen. Osich, in his sixth big league season, was 1-1 for the Red Sox in 13 appearances with a puffy ERA of 5.74. In 15 2/3 innings he allowed six home runs. One former Boise Hawk was involved in the trading frenzy—catcher Robinson Chirinos went from the Texas Rangers to the New York Mets.
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September 1, 2007: Regarded as the biggest upset in the history of college football, Appalachian State goes into the “Big House” at Michigan and stuns the Wolverines 34-32 before 109,000 fans. The two-time defending Division I-AA national champions dominated the first half but saw Michigan take the lead in the fourth quarter. The Mountaineers then booted a 24-yard field goal with 26 second left—and blocked a Wolverine field goal attempt on the final play of the game to put a dramatic exclamation point on the victory. It was the first time a I-AA team had ever beaten a ranked I-A school.
(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.)