Scott Slant Wednesday Weekly: It’ll be fun trying to stop this guy Saturday

Oddsmakers have Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. No. 6 in the 2023 Heisman Trophy race. That means, for one thing, that Penix has to have a pretty strong body of work. I read somewhere recently that Penix “is primed for a major breakout in his final year of eligibility.” Major breakout? What would you call last season? In his first season at as a Husky, Penix amassed 4,641 passing yards, 362 completions, and 31 touchdowns. All those numbers exceeded his career total from his four seasons at Indiana. Penix also threw just eight interceptions and was sacked only five times. That last stat could be the most scary of all.

So here’s Boise State this Saturday with three new starters on the defensive line and two new ones in the secondary. In Seattle in front of maybe 70,000 fans. But that’s why they play the games. Ahmed Hassanein is a guy you have to root for at defensive end. We still don’t what to expect from Braxton Fely, as he shares the starter’s designation at tackle with Michael Callahan. Demitri Washington is going to have to be a rock at the EDGE. And as new starters on the back end, safety Alexander Teubner and cornerback Jaylen Clark, have to hold up if the Broncos aren’t able to get pressure on Penix.


Taylen Green kind of starts his redshirt sophomore year the way he did his redshirt freshman year, and he kind of doesn’t. A year ago in Corvallis, he was also facing a Pac-12 school, but the circumstances are so much different this Saturday at Washington. At Oregon State, Green went into the game as a backup—and by the early in the second quarter he was thrust into the fire when Hank Bachmeier flamed out. Bachmeier had thrown two interceptions and lost a fumble as the Beavers built a 17-0 lead. Green was running on instinct, and run he did—102 yards and two touchdowns on just 11 carries. He only threw for 155 yards on 28 attempts that night, but now, as a second-year starter, he’s a much more finished product. Of course, Green will need his A-plus game in Husky Stadium.


We don’t know what all goes on in practice, but the naming of Maddux Madsen as Boise State’s No. 2 quarterback behind Taylen Green is based on his intangibles. C.J. Tiller’s day will come, but Madsen, with one more year in the program, has an edge to him that translates into leadership and grit. He may be undersized at this level at 5-10, 201 pounds (eight inches shorter than Green), but Mad Dog” had a nice little stretch in his debut last fall at Nevada, the one and only game he played. Madsen went 3-for-4 for 43 yards and hit Mr. Deep, Eric McAlister, on a 35-yard strike down to the Nevada six-yard line. Don’t forget that Madsen combined for 86 touchdown passes as a junior and senior at American Fork High in Utah.


Mason Randolph was sight unseen during most of fall camp at Boise State. And we know now it’s a thing, as Randolph, a Freshman All-American last year, is missing from the Broncos’ depth chart going into this Saturday’s game. Guard Garrett Curran moves over to center, and Roger Carreon, who was pressed into duty at UTEP last year and had some rude awakenings, slides into the right guard spot. That is big news, as Boise State is going to have trouble finding room for George Holani and Ashton Jeanty if the offensive line can’t move UW’s defensive front in Husky Stadium, especially All-America candidate Bralen Trice coming off the edge. Doesn’t matter how good Holani and Jeanty are. It’s really the key to this game. One little switch like that can be massive. Can you say, “Trust the process?”


Week 0 wasn’t bad for the Mountain West. On the field, anyway. San Jose State lost at USC 56-28 and Hawaii fell at Vanderbilt 35-28, but both teams covered. San Diego State beat Ohio 20-13, but the story there was attendance. It was a beautiful day at Snapdragon Stadium as the Aztecs try to show that they’re Power 5-worthy after almost getting that invitation to the doomed Pac-12. Only 16,831 fans went through the turnstils (announced attendance: 23,867), and it did not look good on TV. Season ticket sales are down 33 percent at SDSU. Now Idaho State comes in for a visit in Cody Hawkins’ debut as Bengals head coach. At least it won’t be intimidating for ISU. You can’t blame it all on the “disappointment” that the Aztecs’ path to the Pac-12 blew up. Not good.


”The Turk” made his rounds Tuesday. You know, the guys who says, “Coach wants to see you. Bring your playbook.” Boise State alums were not immune. Caleb Biggers and Tanner Vallejo had already been released on Monday. Yesterday, they were joined by George Tarlas, John Ojukwu, John Hightower, John Molchon, David Moa, Curtis Weaver, Jeremy McNichols, Tyreque Jones and—last but not least—Brett Rypien. But let’s leave this on an upnote. Among the 11 former Broncos who stuck is Scott Matlock, the Homedale High Trojan who’s now a defensive tackle with the L.A. Chargers. And despite being behind the eight-ball all last winter due to a pectoral injury, JL Skinner is officially a Denver Bronco.


Chan Kim became the first Korn Ferry Tour event champion in the circuit’s 34-year history to go bogey-free over four rounds as he won the Albertsons Boise Open Sunday at Hillcrest Country Club, his second straight Korn Ferry title. With the victory, Kim clinched his first PGA Tour card for next season. “I can’t wait,” Kim said. He finished two strokes ahead of David Kocher, who will forever be a footnote to this tournament. Kocher shot a 12-under 59 in the final round, only the second 59 in Albertsons Boise Open history, matching Russell Knox’s gem 10 years ago.

There was more golf news in Boise last week: Broncos-Vandals. Next April, Boise State will be hosting its first home men’s golf event in 10 years when it faces Idaho at Hillcrest. I’ve been harping on this for a long time. Now we just need an outdoor home meet for the track and field programs. It hasn’t been 10 years for them, but it’s been long enough. The Broncos have Mountain West champions and even national champions who local fans have never been able to watch.


Not making any assumptions here, but Idaho should be heavily-favored in its season opener against Lamar Thursday night in Beaumont, TX. The Cardinals were 1-10 last year and are now under the direction of a new coach, Pete Rossomando. He’d like to pull a Jason Eck down there after the Vandals coach turned the struggling UI program around last year and got it into the FCS Playoffs. Idaho is just loaded on offense, featuring Jerry Rice Award winner Gevani McCoy and Preseason All-America wide receiver Hayden Hatten, he of the 16 touchdown catches last year. Not to forget that the Vandals actually had two 1,000-yard receivers last season—in addition to Hatten there was Jermaine Jackson. And he’s back, too.


College of Idaho has the benefit of a game under its belt when Southern Oregon comes to Simplot Stadium on Saturday. This will be the season opener for the Raiders, who went 3-7 last year and were picked seventh in the Frontier Conference preseason poll. It’s hard to tell where the Coyotes are after routing the great unknown, prospective NCAA Division II school Lincoln University of California. But the Yotes did it all last Saturday, beginning with quarterback Andy Peters, who threw for 214 and two touchdowns and ran for 45 yards and another TD. Four different Yotes netted more than 30 yards rushing, led by Allamar Alexander with 62.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by GREENWOOD’S SKI HAUS…their season is kicking off, too!

August 30, 2008, 15 years ago today: One of the Boise State’s most celebrated grand openings, and definitely the Broncos’ most celebrated debut. Bronco Stadium’s $36 million Steuckle Sky Center opened during a 49-7 win over Idaho State. Down below on the blue turf, quarterback Kellen Moore threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns in his first game at Boise State. The first of Kellen’s record 142 career touchdown passes went 80 yards to Titus Young. Moore’s other two TD throws that night were snagged by fellow redshirt freshman and Mountain View High grad Tyler Shoemaker.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *