We now switch from tracking Curtis Weaver’s watch lists and All-America honors and Boise State sack totals to his projections for the 2020 NFL Draft. The Broncos star, as expected, announced over the weekend he is foregoing his senior year to enter the NFL Draft. And most early mock drafts have Weaver going in the first round next spring. His final career sack number was 34.5, second in Boise State history behind Erik Helgeson and the most all-time in the Mountain West. And he did it in three seasons. His 46.5 tackles-for-loss are tied for fifth in the Broncos record book.
Weaver will be remembered for establishing himself quickly as a redshirt freshman in 2017. In the season opener on the blue turf, he recorded a momentum-changing third-quarter sack against Troy, one of two he logged in his collegiate debut. The following week at Washington State, Weaver picked up a fourth-quarter fumble by Luke Falk and rumbled 55 yards for a touchdown, giving Boise State a 31-10 lead. The Broncos, of course, would let that get away and fall 47-44 in triple-overtime, but everyone knew who No. 99 was. Weaver’s ebullient personality made him one of the Broncos’ most popular players ever. Now we’ll see what happens on Sundays.
Three months ago this may not have been a topic of conversation, but Boise State does have a leading candidate to replace Weaver (as hard as that’s going to be) going into the offseason. Demitri Washington really caught fire down the stretch for the Broncos. Washington had 5.5 sacks this season, and 4.0 of them came in the last five games. He also made his lone fumble recovery in the Mountain West championship game against Hawaii—and it was a big one. A friend texted me after his sack of Jacob Eason during the Las Vegas Bowl asking, “What year is Demitri Washington?” Redshirt freshman.
BOLT HEADED FOR JERRY’S WORLD
Borah High star Austin Bolt may have to miss home basketball games against rivals Boise and Capital in a few weeks, but for good reason. The Boise State football signee has been selected to play in the third of January’s Blue Grey Football All-American Bowls. Bolt’s game is at AT&T Stadium in Dallas on Monday, January 20. So how will he of the 38 touchdowns be utilized in this one? Bolt was signed as a tight end by the Broncos, but he did everything for the Lions this past season.
OUTLOOK IN THE STANDS FOR THE FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
There’s a chance of rain this Friday, but the high is forecast to be 46 degrees, so things are setting up nicely for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl between Nevada and Ohio on the blue turf. What that will do for attendance remains to be seen. Lower-tier bowl games are crowd-challenged. Announced attendance at last year’s Boise bowl was 18,711, and that’s as good as it’s going to get these days since BYU was appearing for the first time. It looked better on TV, with the west side upper deck of Albertsons Stadium was condoned off, moving fans to the east side (in camera view). But the Wolf Pack won’t bring many people this week. Nevada fans don’t even travel well to Mackay Stadium.
KIGAB’S COMFORTABLE IN THE CORRAL
When Boise State lost by 31 points at Oregon last month, we wondered, “Will Abu Kigab make that much of a difference for this team? Well, 1) the Broncos have improved quite a bit since then, and 2) yes, Kigab will make a difference. The Oregon transfer hit a career-high in scoring by halftime on the way to a 33-point, 11-rebound eye-opener in his ExtraMile Arena debut in a 103-72 romp Saturday over Cal State Northridge. It’s believed to be the first time a Bronco has ever scored 30 points in his first home game. Kigab is a good fit. “Credit to our guys for the way they’ve kind of seamlessly got him in there and credit to him and the kind of personality he is with how hard he plays,” said coach Leon Rice. Kigab has some moxie.
Not to be overlooked are the 24 points put up by Justinian Jessup, who was 9-for-10 from the field and 6-for-7 from three-point range. If Jessup can get the consistency thing down in conference play, look out. In the previous five games from beyond the arc, the senior went 1-for-6 versus UTEP, 2-for-5 against Portland, 1-for-6 versus Georgia Tech, 5-for-10 against Alabama State, and 1-for-6 at Tulsa. Jessup now has 270 career three-pointers, moving up to No. 2 in Boise State history and No. 5 in Mountain West history. He needs six treys to break Anthony Drmic’s Bronco career record of 275. Boise State now resumes Mountain West play against the 5-9 Wyoming Cowboys at home on New Year’s Night.
STEELIES’ PARADOXICAL SPLIT
It’s all about putting the biscuit in the basket, and it happened with great regularity for Allen Saturday night in CenturyLink Arena. The Idaho Steelheads pelted the Americans with 49 shots, but only two went in. Allen managed only 22 shots on goal but converted five in a 5-2 victory that snapped the Steelheads’ six-game winning streak. Friday night’s game was very different. The two teams were scoreless through regulation and overtime before Idaho came away with a 1-0 shootout win. Tomas Sholl was magnificent in goal for the Steelies, recording his 10th career shutout to tie Steve Silverthorn’s franchise record.
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December 30, 1999, 20 years ago today: Boise State plays its first FBS bowl game ever—at home in Bronco Stadium—beating Louisville 34-31 in the Humanitarian Bowl before over 29,000 fans. Redshirt freshman tailback Brock Forsey was the MVP with 269 all-purpose yards, and quarterback Bart Hendricks got serious national notice for the first time after throwing for 335 yards and a touchdown and scoring another TD on the ground. The Broncos rolled up 533 yards overall, while the Boise State defense came up big—helped by an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown by Shaunard Harts. The Broncos finished 10-3 in the season that started it all.
(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.)