Halfway through the 2019 season, let’s update some Group of 5 portfolios, understanding that the CFP committee could seriously shuffle the deck on November 5. Boise State is 6-0, of course, and leading the Group of 5 in the major polls (No. 14 in AP and No. 13 in the Coaches Poll). The Broncos’ season-opening win at Florida State is lukewarm considering the Seminoles’ struggles (FSU is 3-3 after its 45-14 loss at Clemson Saturday). Marshall has been a disappointment, also sitting at 3-3. No telling how much a win at BYU this week would help Boise State. A loss, of course, would be devastating in the New Year’s Six bowl discussion.
Two teams chasing Boise State, one from the American conference and one from the Sun Belt, are also still undefeated. SMU has a three-point win over TCU, and Appalachian State, coached by former Bronco offensive coordinator Eli Drinkwitz, has a three-point victory over North Carolina. Neither triumph is enough to trump the Broncos at this point. The Mountaineers do have a game at South Carolina on November 9, and a win there would be significant. Among the one-loss G-5 teams, Cincinnati has that upset of UCF but lost 42-0 at Ohio State. And Temple has defeated Maryland and Georgia Tech but has a 16-point loss at Buffalo. The mantra inside the Bleymaier Football Center has to be, “Just win baby.”
IT’S ONLY ‘SEASON-INTERRUPTING’
The information coming from Boise State coach Bryan Harsin hasn’t changed since his postgame press conference following the win over Hawaii. Hank Bachmeier’s apparent hip injury in the second quarter Saturday night is “not season-ending.” Harsin didn’t talk about who would start for the Broncos this week in Provo. But the consensus, at least among media hacks, is that Chase Cord will get the call at BYU and Bachmeier will have to sit out. Boise State has a bye next week—perhaps Bachmeier could return for the game at San Jose State on November 2. Harsin praised Cord Monday (as he often does), this time for staying so mentally focused after he tore his ACL one year ago. “For me, that’s one thing I always admire,” said Harsin.
ANOTHER HIGHTOWER HIGH POINT
Some national notice for Boise State wide receiver John Hightower (and there’ll likely be more). Hightower was named Monday to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll for Week 7 after his big game against Hawaii. Hightower had seven receptions for 141 yards, including touchdown catches of 26 and 42 yards. The latter marked the 10th scoring play of 40 or more yards in Hightower’s Bronco career. Cord judged Hightower’s elite speed perfectly on that one, and he simply ran the ball down far behind the Rainbow Warriors defender. Hightower also rushed for eight yards and had a 34-yard kickoff return. He leads Boise State with 444 receiving yards and five TD catches.
SOUR FIESTA BOWL MEMORIES
BYU linebacker Chaz Ah You talked Monday about the matchup with Boise State this week being a rivalry game. Ah You also talked about why it’s personal for him. “Ever since I was a little kid, when they beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl on those little trick plays,” he said. “My uncle, C.J. Ah You, was playing for Oklahoma, so ever since then, I’ve had hard feelings for Boise State.” But it’s more about getting the Cougars out of the doldrums. They’re beset by injuries, and they’re 2-4. “We know we’re better than that, and so it hurts,” running back Lopini Katoa said. “We couldn’t ask for a better game than to get Boise State at home and play in front of our fans.”
YOTES HOLD STEADY – ANOTHER HONOR FOR DJP
Getting up to No. 8 in the nation is like getting close to the end zone: there’s not a lot of room to move. Undefeated College of Idaho remains eighth in the new NAIA Coaches Poll after its 47-14 takedown of Carroll College Saturday in Helena. Montana Tech is ranked 19th, and it’s the Orediggers who come to Simplot Stadium to face the Coyotes this Saturday. Meanwhile, Yotes quarterback Darius-James Peterson has been named Frontier Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the sixth time in his career. Peterson had 400 yards of total offense at Carroll, the fifth time in his career he has recorded 400 or more yards in a game.
CEDRICK’S THE BRIGHT SPOT
While gripes over coordinator Kellen Moore’s offense grip Dallas, another former Boise State star is finally getting his chance to shine. Amari Cooper left the Cowboys’ loss to the New York Jets in the first quarter Sunday, and fellow wide receiver Randall Cobb was out with a bad back. That opened the door for Cedrick Wilson to make the first five catches of his NFL career, covering 46 yards. Wilson accomplished that on six targets (he was called for a phantom offensive pass interference penalty). Injuries could produce another opportunity for Wilson this Sunday against Philadelphia. He may have already earned it on merit.
FORMER HAWK TRACKER
There are only two former Boise Hawks left in the MLB Playoffs, Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees and Robinson Chirinos of the Houston Astros. Both are in the American League Championship Series, and both are Venezuelans, but that’s where the similarities end. Torres, the Yanks’ star 22-year-old second baseman, is having a stellar postseason. He’s batting .409 with two home runs and nine RBI. Torres was a Hawk for about a week and a half five years ago. Chirinos spent the 2002 season in Boise and is 35 now. He signed with the Astros this season after six years with the Texas Rangers. Chirinos’ postseason has not been so stellar—he is 2-for-16. The ALCS is tied at a game apiece, with Game 3 set for this afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
This Day In Sports…brought to you by POOL DOCTOR & SPA…so many ways to soak and save!
October 15, 1994, 25 years ago today: Idaho State rallies in the final seconds to upset Boise State, 32-31, at Holt Arena in Pocatello. The Bengals overcame a big night by BSU tailback K.C. Adams, who became just the second Bronco ever to record 100 yards both rushing and receiving in the same game. Boise State had gone into the game 6-0, and it would be the only blemish on the Broncos’ magical 1994 season until they fell to Youngstown State two months later in the Division I-AA national championship game.
(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.)