Before we automatically skip ahead to the matchup with Washington State (again), a couple notes on Louisiana-Lafayette. Yesterday’s sudden, unfortunate and disappointing breaking news regarding Marquise Hendrix, Donzale Roddie and Darreon Jackson pre-empted the planned commemorance of the 100-day countdown until the 2016 Boise State football season kicks off on the Bayou on Saturday, September 3. Before we automatically skip ahead to the matchup with Washington State (again), a couple notes on the opener at Louisiana-Lafayette.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are in a different place than they were two years ago when they were looking forward to a trip to the blue turf. At that time they were defending Sun Belt champions, and—despite a 34-9 loss to the Broncos—would go on to a 9-4 season and a New Orleans Bowl victory. Last season they slipped to 4-8 and ended the year on a four-game losing streak. ULL has also had to vacate 22 victories between 2011 and 2014 due to NCAA recruiting violations.
If Louisiana-Lafayette’s hopes for this season start at quarterback, it starts with some uncertainty. Last year’s starter, Brooks Haack, is gone. The battle is between sophomore Jordan Davis and redshirt freshman Gunner Hudspeth, the son of Ragin’ Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth. The younger Hudspeth had some big moments during ULL’s spring game, but the father-son thing can be dicey in college football, especially when the son is a quarterback. Dan Hawkins, for example, couldn’t seem to catch a break while coaching at Colorado when he was starting son Cody at QB.
Chantel Jennings at ESPN.com pens a feature this week on Washington State coach Mike Leach and his “laissez faire” approach with his quarterbacks. Leach gives his QBs a lot of leeway with play-calling, often sending them out with just a formation and leaving the specifics up to them. “Over the past season and a half, current Washington State quarterback Luke Falk has earned more trust from Leach, making play calls and changing offensive formations between the sideline and the pocket,” writes Jennings. All Falk did last season was throw for 4,561 yards and 38 touchdowns against just eight interceptions with Leach’s long leash. The Cougars promise to be unpredictable in their first visit to the blue in 15 years.
It’s been a very uncomfortable couple of days for the Boise State football program. Dereck Boles, who was dismissed from the Bronco team three months ago today, has been arrested in Lakeland, FL, and is being extradicted back to Boise to face charges of felony mayhem. Boles allegedly bit off a portion of a man’s ear during an altercation in early February—sources say the victim was a Boise State teammate. The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that an arrest warrant on the felony charge was issued April 4.
The only positive thing associated with Boise State football yesterday was a report that the Broncos have received their first commitment for the 2017 recruiting class. Mike Young, a big offensive tackle from Queen Creek, AZ, gave coaches his verbal late Wednesday night. Scout.com says the 6-5, 305-pound Young also had Mountain West offers from Wyoming, Hawaii, Utah State and UNLV. Another listing puts Young at 6-6, 335 pounds.
If he had just been able to par the final three holes yesterday, Meridian’s Troy Merritt would have been one shot off the lead at the Dean & Deluca Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth. Instead, Merritt bogeyed Nos. 16 and 17 and took a double on 18 to end up with a one-under 69, in a tie for 27th going into the second round. Nampa’s Tyler Aldridge was up and down, but he also managed to join the group at one-under. Aldridge recorded five birdies and four bogeys on the day. Eagle’s Ty Travis struggled in his tournament debut as a professional, carding a two-over 74 in the first round of the Freedom 55 Financial Open in Vancouver, BC, the season opener on the PGA Canada Tour (also known as the MacKenzie Tour).
As part of NASCAR’s 600 Miles of Remembrance program—and to observe Memorial Day—all 40 Sprint Cup entries in Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 will feature the name of a fallen service member of the windshields of their vehicles. Boise’s Brian Scott is honoring the late John Borbonus, an old family friend and a former lacrosse teammate at Boise High. SPC Borbonus, a member of the 4th Brigade, was killed at the age of 19 while in the Army in Iraq in 2007. He had stopped an enemy truck from reaching his base’s main gate when the truck detonated.
There was heavy rain, wind and lightning yesterday as the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field West Preliminary Round got underway in Lawrence, KS. Or tried to. Those things happen back there, and opening day events were postponed until today. Boise State’s best hopes for nationals, distance runners Brenna Peloquin and David Elliott, were among those having to re-schedule. At the NAIA Championships yesterday in Gulf Shores, AL, College of Idaho’s Tiana Thomas decisively won her heat in the 400-meter hurdles. Thomas advances to the finals, as do the Lady Yotes’ Amy Pfaff and Lisa Klopfenstein in the 1500-meters. On the men’s side, C of I’s Max Hampton finished seventh in the finals of the 10,000-meters.
This Day In Sports…May 27, 1968:
The National League announces the addition of Montreal and San Diego, to begin play in 1969 as the Expos and the Padres. The Kansas City Royals and short-lived Seattle Pilots would join the American League at the same time, spurring the formation of East and West Divisions in each league for the first time. The Expos were Major League Baseball’s first franchise in Canada and played 36 seasons there before moving to Washington in 2005 and becoming the Nationals. The Pilots lasted just one year in Seattle before becoming the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970.
(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.)