When Rathen Ricedorff committed to Boise State in December—and was named a first-team junior college All-America quarterback a few days later—we wondered what his role would be, really. Was the one-time Arizona State QB, who threw for 4,082 yards and 47 touchdowns against just eight interceptions last season for Mesa Community College, brought in to push starter Brett Rypien? Not necessarily. “There’s going to be players out there that drive other players—I don’t see that in the quarterback room,” said coach Bryan Harsin at his press conference yesterday. “I think Brett is self-motivated.”
Ricedorff’s maturity can’t hurt, though. His senior season in high school was back in 2011, preceding an LDS mission. And he has faced adversity, with his wife Kizzy having just been released from the hospital two weeks ago following treatment for a mystery viral infection. The ailment derailed Kizzy’s plans to play volleyball for Boise State as a graduate transfer from ASU.
Harsin does think all of Ricedorff’s intangibles have done wonders for another Bronco quarterback. “It’s probably affected Jake Constantine more,” said Harsin. Constantine, who redshirted last year, has been kind of lost in the shuffle. But with Tommy Stuart gone now, the 6-1, 187-pounder from Camarillo, CA, is in the backup mix. Constantine still carries a self-described chip on his shoulder after being generally ignored by recruiters during his senior year. Injuries all but wiped out his sophomore and junior seasons. All he did in his final campaign was set a Ventura County record with 51 touchdown passes versus only six interceptions, leading Camarillo to a 15-1 record. “He’s really had a good spring—from where he was to where he is now,” Harsin said.
We talked yesterday about the relevance of UNLV football taking a hit in Las Vegas when the Raiders start stealing all the headlines and airtime, relegating the Rebels to background noise. San Diego State has a better shot at market share than UNLV does going forward, now that the Chargers have bolted for L.A. If, that is, the Aztecs can keep the peace in San Diego. SDSU has been criticized for turning a cold shoulder on what the media is calling the “SoccerCity stadium,” a proposed MLS facility with a capacity of 30,000 that San Diego State says doesn’t meet its needs.
Kevin Acee of the Union-Tribune researched actual turnstile figures as recorded by the city for San Diego State games at Qualcomm Stadium. Acee found that “SoccerCity” would fit virtually all Aztecs football crowds. SDSU averaged 25,617 fans through the turnstiles for its six home dates last season—the average was announced at 37,289 (including “tickets distributed,” a common reporting practice). The Aztecs have exceeded 30,000 in turnstile count just 11 times in 44 games the past seven years. “SoccerCity” is the only Qualcomm replacement project with a concrete plan.
Well, former Boise State star Shea McClellin is officially the last NFL player ever to legally attempt a vault over opposing linemen to block a placekick. It became his signature move of the 2016 season. But the maneuver was banned by the league yesterday, 7½ weeks after McClellin last tried it against Atlanta on an extra point in the Super Bowl. The pride of Marsing was flagged on the play, but not for the leap. McClellin isn’t exactly crestfallen about the decision. He tweeted a GIF of a sour-faced Steve Carell from “The Office.”
If the Idaho Steelheads want to prep for playoff hockey, their final home series of the season fills the bill. The Steelheads, who need just two points to clinch a spot in the postseason, host the first-place Colorado Eagles for three games beginning tonight in CenturyLink Arena. The Eagles are the team that logged a 17-game winning streak between January 25 and March 4. One of the reasons was goalie Clark Saunders, who was the ECHL Goaltender of the Month for February. Saunders went 8-0 with one shutout, a 1.85 goals-against average and a save percentage of .933 in eight appearances during the month. Those are amazing numbers. Last Saturday Saunders lost in regulation for the first time in more than two months.
This is the first time the Steelheads and Eagles have played since mid-January, when—after the Steelies had scored their fifth goal in a 5-3 win to open a three-game series—Michael Sdao fired a puck into the stands at CenturyLink Arena. Very dangerous, and unacceptable. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. Sdao was suspended for four games after that. Incidentally, Allen is still on Colorado’s heels in the ECHL Mountain Division, just three points behind in the standings. The Steelies are 12 points back.
Mike Klan of KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara reports that College of Idaho coach Scott Garson has interviewed for the head coaching job at UC Santa Barbara. Klan intimates that fans are looking for a bigger name, but the Gauchos could do far worse than Garson, who has gone 99-35 in four seasons with the Coyotes with two trips to the NAIA Division II National Tournament. Garson graduated from UCSB in 1999. While still in school, he coached the junior varsity and later the varsity at Santa Barbara High.
This Day In Sports…March 29, 2014:
The Philadelphia 76ers avoid infamy—sort of. The Sixers routed the Detroit Pistons, 123-98, to end a 26-game losing streak. Philly hadn’t won in two months and two days earlier had tied the NBA record for futility, Cleveland’s string of 26 straight losses in 2010-11. One more defeat would have broken the record for the longest losing streak in all major American professional sports (the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers also lost 26 games in a row in 1976 and 1977).
(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.)