The Boise State football program has a sense of normalcy now. That certainly wasn’t the case the last time the Broncos faced Oregon State. There was a feeling of unfinished business after an understandable lack of focus. It was Christmas Eve, 2013, and Coach Pete had already departed for Washington. Bob Gregory stayed behind to be interim coach, joined by some other UW-bound staffers, before they, too, went to Seattle. And Boise State went into the game with quarterback Joe Southwick having been sent home after an unfortunate incident a couple nights earlier. This was one discombobulated team at the Hawaii Bowl, and the Beavers took advantage in a 38-23 win.
The game was not as close as the score indicated. Midway through the third quarter, it was 38-6, with Oregon State outgaining the Broncos by more than 300 yards. The OSU running game had pierced the Boise State defense to the tune of 7.2 yards per carry. The most glaring statistic: two fumbles lost by the Broncos. The Beavers scored touchdowns on both of them. There are 17 seniors and one junior on this year’s Boise State squad who were active freshmen on that sour night. The most prominent among them were Gabe Perez (five tackles), Ben Weaver (three tackles and a pass breakup), Tanner Vallejo (two tackles and two pass breakups, and Thomas Sperbeck, who had one of his five freshman-year catches for 17 yards. At the end of the day at Aloha Stadium, they didn’t know which end was up.
There’s another Bronco who feels he has unfinished business, and it has nothing to do with the 2013 Hawaii Bowl versus Oregon State. It was just about a year ago that Brett Rypien burned his redshirt year against Idaho State and completed the first four passes of his career while directing an 80-yard touchdown drive. Against Washington State 10 days ago, Rypien connected on his first six pass attempts, four of them on Boise State’s 88-yard touchdown drive in the first quarter. After that, though, he was just 13-of-29, with one TD and three interceptions. Rypien’s angst was evident on his face after the game. The wait through the bye week for another shot has to be agonizing.
Maybe we’ll know more today, but the Boise State depth chart for the Oregon State game lists Jake Roh as the starter at tight end and Joey Martarano as sharing the starting spot at middle linebacker with Darren Lee. You never read too much into the official depth chart. Roh has not suited up yet this season after making a combined 68 catches for 765 yards and three touchdowns over the past two years. Martarano was injured in the first quarter of the opener at Louisiana-Lafayette and sat out the victory over Washington State.
Another one bites the dust, albeit with a $500,000 ESPN2 consolation prize. Boise State’s Mountain West opener a week from Saturday against Utah State will kick at 8:15 p.m. (er, 8:26?). At least it’s on legitimate national TV. But with start times such a contentious issue now, well, what can you say? It is indeed a big game, as the Aggies come to the blue turf for a rematch of their infamous 52-26 drubbing of the Broncos in Logan last October.
It was a big Mountain West-versus-MAC weekend, and the MW split its four matchups against its Group of 5 compadre. There were no surprises—San Diego State stopped Northern Illinois 42-28, and Nevada rolled over Buffalo 38-14. UNLV was overpowered at Central Michigan 44-21, and Fresno State was routed at Toledo 52-17. There wasn’t a signature win anywhere for the Mountain West, which lost two more games to Power 5 programs. New Mexico led 21-7 at Rutgers before losing 37-28, and Hawaii could not keep up at Arizona, falling 47-28 to the Wildcats.
One of College of Idaho’s few seniors, Nate Moore, hit rarified air yesterday when he was named NAIA National Defensive Player of the Week. The safety out of Mountain View High set a school record with 16 tackles in the Coyotes’ 20-7 upset of No. 10 Eastern Oregon in LaGrande Saturday night. Seven of Moore’s tackles were of the solo variety, one of them a momentous sack on a fourth-down play. He also broke up two passes. Moore also garnered Frontier Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors. He and the Yotes are back home at Simplot Stadium Saturday to face Rocky Mountain College.
There’s an unhappy camper in Dallas, and he puts it all on himself. Former Boise State star Orlando Scandrick would perhaps have excuses if he wanted them. Scandrick missed all of last season with a torn MCL, and he was affected by a troublesome hamstring going into Sunday’s 27-23 Cowboys win at Washington. But Scandrick will have none of that. “I’m playing like (expletive),” he said in the Dallas Morning News. “I don’t really know what to say.” Scandrick was beaten for an 11-yard touchdown on the Redskins’ opening drive of the second half, and in the season opener, he was beaten three times for 66 yards, according to STATS, Inc. He has seven tackles, a sack and a forced fumble through two games. “Yeah, but nobody cares at the end of the day,” Scandrick said. “I’m not playing good football right now.”
A closer look at the Web.com Tour Finals money list after two events shows that PGA Tour veterans D.A. Points and Rory Sabbatini are on the cusp of retaining their tour cards. The cutoff for the final 25 cards to be awarded will be somewhere around $35,000. Points tied for 53rd at the Albertsons Boise Open—he earned just $2,700 but has $35,075 banked in the Finals. Sabbatini missed the cut in Boise, but he earned $32,375 the week before at the DAP Championship. The 40-year-old South African is going the Web.com Tour Finals route because he finished 191st this season in the FedExCup standings (Points was 184th). The series moves on now to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Columbus.
Former Idaho Stampede guard Phil Pressey has signed with Golden State and will be in training camp with the Warriors. The one-time Missouri star averaged 13.7 points and 6.9 assists in 31 games for the Stampede last season. Pressey, the son of former NBA player Paul Pressey, has played 148 games in the NBA with Boston, Philadelphia and Phoenix. He was the Stampede’s first D-League callup last season, signing with the 76ers before the D-League season started, and he played in 14 games before being waived and returning to the Stampede. Pressey later signed two 10-day contracts with the Suns.
This Day In Sports…September 20, 2006, 10 years ago today:
Boise gets a world cycling champion, as Kristin Armstrong becomes only the third American ever to win the women’s time trial world title. And it wasn’t close. In Salzburg, Austria, she beat two-time defending champion Karin Thurig of Switzerland by 25½ seconds. Armstrong had already won the U.S. road race and time trial championships earlier in the year. She would go on, of course, to win a gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008—and would repeat at the London Games in 2012 and in Rio in 2016.
(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.)