The role of a Boise State backup quarterback depends on his skill set, but Chase Cord appears to have the chops to mirror a couple backups from the past. The redshirt freshman from Peoria, AZ, has running ability, and he hints that offensive coordinator Zak Hill may install some special packages for him. It wouldn’t be in Montell Cozart mode, but maybe more in the fashion of former Broncos Jared Zabransky and Grant Hedrick. Cord rushed for 2,393 yards and 38 touchdowns during his high school career. Boise State installed specific situationals for Zabransky when he was a freshman; he rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown in 2003. Before Joe Southwick’s injury in 2013, Hedrick had also been a change-of-pace QB for the Broncos, rushing for 181 yards and six TDs as a backup.
But Cord’s portfolio makes you anxious to see what role he can really play. His high school rushing stats were impressive enough. But Cord is also the state of Arizona’s career leader in touchdown passes with 137. He threw for 9,493 yards and tossed only 20 interceptions. Neither Zabransky nor Hedrick, as good as they were, brought in that kind of portfolio. It’s too bad the new NCAA redshirt rule wasn’t in effect last year. I can think of four games in which Cord would have given Boise State a valuable option—in more ways than one.
The one stat Chris Petersen has always paid attention to is pass efficiency rating, the best measure of a quarterback’s effectiveness. Safe to say Bryan Harsin doesn’t think any less of that formula. It’s no secret that Brett Rypien’s numbers were way down last year compared to his freshman and sophomore seasons. He threw for almost 800 yards fewer than in 2016 and almost 500 fewer than 2015. But here’s why Rypien has momentum going into this season. His pass efficiency rating in September last year was just 114.7. Over the final 10 games of the campaign it was 151.5. The guy overcame a lot of adversity. Rypien, by the way, has been named to his fifth preseason watch list, this time for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award that goes to the nation’s top college quarterback.
Ryan Dinwiddie became one of Boise’s all-time leaders in pass efficiency rating from 2000-03, just a fraction behind Kellen Moore. Now Dinwiddie will be tutoring the aforementioned Cozart in Canada. It was pointed out yesterday on Idaho SportsTalk that Cozart, who signed Wednesday with Calgary of the CFL, will now connect with Dinwiddie, the Stampeders’ quarterbacks coach. After his playing career in the CFL, Dinwiddie went into coaching, beginning with a stint on Dan Hawkins’ staff in Montreal. He stayed with the Alouettes after Hawk was fired. Dinwiddie’s in his third season in Calgary.
College of Idaho’s final scrimmage of fall camp is set for 7 p.m. tonight at Middleton High. One known quantity for the Coyotes is quarterback Darius-James Peterson, who goes into the season as the unquestioned starter. Peterson is already No. 2 on the Yotes career list with 29 rushing touchdowns, and he’s rushed for 1,859 yards over the past three years. Word out of the C of I camp is that Peterson is much sharper now in the passing game. One of his prime targets promises to be Keenan Patwell, the former Mountain View High star who scored six touchdowns in the Mavericks’ win at the 2016 state 5A championship game. College of Idaho gets a rivalry game right out of the gate this season, opening at Eastern Oregon a week from Saturday.
We’re anxious to see what’s up today with Karl Benson, who will reportedly announce that he is leaving his post as Sun Belt commissioner. Benson, a Boise State graduate and one-time Bronco baseball player, was WAC commissioner from 1994-2012 and went through two episodes of extreme tumult in that conference—first in 1998 when the mutineers announced they were going to form the Mountain West, and from 2010-12, when conference chaos resulted in the WAC eventually eliminating football. Benson departed for the Sun Belt just before the WAC’s final football season. His current contract expires in June, 2019. Benson turns 67 years old in December.
Salem-Keizer jumped on the Boise Hawks early last night, forging a 6-1 lead in the fourth inning and coasting home with a 6-1 victory. The offensive highlight for the Hawks was a solo home run by Cade Harris. It was his seventh homer of the season, tying him with Daniel Jipping for the team lead. Meanwhile, Volcanoes star Joey Bart went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Catch ‘em while you can—the Hawks and Salem-Keizer wrap up their series tonight, then the Hawks embark on their 11-game Western Idaho Fair road trip.
I’m sure there have been discussions in the offices high above CenturyLink Arena about this. The Idaho Steelheads may have a namesake in Seattle before too long, so what kind of naming rights documents do the Steelies have in their back pocket? A Seattle Times report says the local Seattle Sin Bin hockey website held a weeks-long, bracket-style, fan-vote contest between 32 potential names for the city’s future NHL team. “Steelheads’’ prevailed over a “Thunderbirds’’ moniker already used by the area’s WHL team. “Of 1,531 final-round votes, ‘Steelheads’ garnered 52 percent. Totems, Emeralds, Kraken, Sockeyes, Wolves and Sasquatch all made the Elite Eight round,” writes Geoff Baker. “Kraken?” Wikipedia says it’s a “legendary cephalopod-like sea monster of giant size.”
This Day In Sports…August 16, 2015:
Australian Jason Day wins the 97th PGA Championship by shooting 20 under par, a record for one of golf’s majors, eclipsing Tiger Woods’ mark set in the 2000 British Open by one shot. Day beat 22-year-old phenom Jordan Spieth by three strokes at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, WI. It was Day’s first victory in major, ending a long string of near-misses that included runnerup finishes in the U.S. Open in 2011 and 2013.
(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.)