About six hours after President Barack Obama speaks across the parking lot in the Caven-Williams Sports Complex, Boise State registers the largest margin of victory over a Division I opponent in school history. Obama had made Boise his first stop the day after his State of the Union address and appeared before 6,600 people who crammed into Boise State’s indoor practice facility. That evening, the Broncos drilled San Jose State 86-36 in Taco Bell Arena, led by Derrick Marks’ 19 points. That also broke the 27-year-old school record for biggest conference margin by 10 points.
The landmark 50-point win would be eclipsed against the same team on New Year’s Eve 2020 when Boise State romped 106-54 over San Jose State under the strangest of circumstances. Due to COVID-19 restrictions in California, some of the Spartans’ home games had been moved to a little gym in Phoenix called Ability 360. With the Mountain West schedule adjusted for the pandemic, the Broncos would play San Jose State there twice in three days. They had their way in the first game—and even made all 25 of their free throw attempts (seems unfathomable right now). Then two days later, incredibly, it was a dogfight, with the Spartans actually leading in the final minute before Abu Kigab scored the winning basket with 14 seconds left in an 87-86 victory.
(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.)