Curtis Weaver was at his level-best Saturday night, which puts him at another level in Boise State lore after the 45-10 win over Portland State. Weaver tied a school record with four sacks—shout-out to Chris Wing, the last Bronco to do it 23 years ago—in one of the best defensive performances ever seen on the blue turf. And he’s atop the list of career sacks in Boise State’s FBS era. Weaver actually passed Ryan Winterswyk for the FBS mark last week, but you have to consider the company he’s keeping. The rest of the top five includes Shea McClellin, Kamalei Correa and DeMarcus Lawrence, who were all high draft picks (and Winterswyk had a cup of coffee in the NFL as a tight end). Correa and Lawrence left Boise State following their junior seasons. Which, of course, is what Weaver is expected to do.
WHEN HANK’S HOT, HE’S HOT
Hank Bachmeier’s performance on third down is the stuff of legend through the first three games of his career. And so are other stretches of brilliance. Against Portland State, Bachmeier was 6-of-8 for 91 yards and a touchdown on third down. One of the completions was a 25-yarder during a particularly brilliant drive in the second quarter, when he hit all four of his throws—on consecutive snaps—for 74 yards, capped by a 23-yard touchdown to John Hightower. Bachmeier’s hottest when it’s most important. The rest of the game he was 7-of-14 for 98 yards with an interception. On third down for the season, the true freshman is now 21-of-29 for 356 yards and three touchdowns, converting 17 third downs.
The key footnote from this game is that Bachmeier actually played just the first half, plus one third-quarter series. When Bachmeier was replaced by Chase Cord, the score was 28-10, not yet a blowout. Coach Bryan Harsin said he wanted to see Cord play extended snaps, and he did it in the heat of the battle. Cord certainly looked ready to be the guy should he have to come in again—and with the slew of hits Bachmeier has been taking, that could be any time. Cord, who ran for a touchdown on a specially-designed first quarter play, lofted a beautiful 33-yard touchdown pass to CT Thomas on his second throw of the night, and he busted off a nifty 29-yard scramble in the fourth quarter.
CROWD EXCEEDS, POLLS MEET EXPECTATIONS
I was wrong about prospects for attendance Saturday night. With an 8:15 p.m. kickoff and an FCS opponent, I called it a “foregone conclusion” that the crowd count would dip below the 30,000 level. Instead, the turnout was comparable to the Marshall game at 31,068. The student section was full to the gills again, and the noise throughout Albertsons Stadium was up to its loud standard. Meanwhile, Boise State jumped two spots to No. 20 Sunday in both the AP and Coaches Polls on Sunday. That’s about right. The Broncos are five spots behind UCF in AP and four back on the Coaches’ list. But it’s hard to argue that the Knights weren’t short-changed in the rankings after slicing and dicing Stanford 45-27.
NEW RECRUITS & OLD RECRUITS
Three-star defensive end Robert Cooper visited Boise State over the weekend, and all must have gone well. 247 Sports reports that Cooper, a 6-4, 230-pounder from Bethel High in Spanaway, WA, has committed to the Broncos. He’s the seventh commit of the 2020 recruiting class. Remember June 19, 2018? That’s when Declo High star Keegan Duncan gave his verbal to Boise State. Duncan went through fall camp last month—then entered the transfer portal a week before the season started. He has now tweeted that he’s headed for…Utah State. Duncan told the Statesman that USU is a “better fit.” He confirmed to the paper that he tore his ACL in fall camp and had surgery last Wednesday.
AIR FORCE HAS MOMENTUM, DO YA THINK?
The Mountain West has its seventh win over the Power 5 this season, and guess who produced it. Air Force, this Friday night’s fired-up guest on the blue turf, brought down Colorado 30-23 in overtime in Boulder. The Falcons frittered away a 13-point fourth quarter lead before the OT, but their running game wore out the Buffaloes, rolling up 289 yards. And oh by the way, Air Force had 155 yards through the air on just seven completions. There were four Mountain West losses against the Power 5. UNLV had a second-quarter lead at Northwestern before falling 30-14, and Colorado State, tied with Arkansas after three quarters, gave up 21 unanswered points in the fourth in a 55-34 defeat. New Mexico and Hawaii were routed by Notre Dame and Washington, respectively.
WHAT A WIN IT WOULD HAVE BEEN
It didn’t have the fireworks of the 2016 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, but Idaho’s performance at Wyoming Saturday, albeit in a 21-16 loss, may have been the Vandals’ most impressive since that epic 61-50 win over Colorado State. Keep in mind this is a Cowboys team that had beaten Missouri in Laramie two weeks earlier. The Idaho defense made it a game. The Pokes managed just 287 yards of total offense and were 4-of-13 on third down. Wyoming quarterback Sean Chambers, who likes to run, managed just 24 yards on the ground. And he didn’t compensate through the air against the Vandals, going just 4-of-12 for 50 yards. Idaho, which had two TDs called back in the fourth quarter due to penalties, flat-out competed.
2019 YOTES KNOW HOW TO WIN
The next NAIA Top 25 poll will be released today. College of Idaho has been No. 15 since the preseason poll came out, but the Coyotes should take a leap after moving to 3-0 with their 41-38 win over Southern Oregon Saturday. The Yotes rallied from a 17-16 halftime deficit and dominated the second half before a Raiders’ surge at the end. College of Idaho needs to win games like this against a traditional Frontier Conference power if they’re going to break into the championship circle the way they hope. It was the Yotes’ ninth straight victory, giving them their second-longest winning streak in school history. C of I didn’t break its single-game attendance record—the crowd was 4,170—but the sun-toasted fans will be back for more after an entertaining afternoon at Simplot Stadium.
KELLEN IS 2-FOR-2
Not every game is going to be a masterpiece for Kellen Moore as offensive coordinator for Dallas, and it didn’t look like it would be on Sunday when Dak Prescott threw an interception and Washington went up 7-0. Then the Cowboys mounted consecutive touchdown drives of 97, 83 and 75 yards. In the end, Moore’s offense racked up 474 yards on the way to a 31-21 victory. And Prescott is the first Dallas quarterback to throw seven TD passes in the first two games of a season since “Dandy” Don Meredith in 1966. Former Boise State star Cedrick Wilson, promoted from the practice squad, made his NFL debut for Dallas. Wilson didn’t have a catch, but he did have one punt return for no yards. Elsewhere Alexander Mattison carried four times for 25 yards for Minnesota in his second NFL game, a 21-16 loss in Green Bay.
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September 16, 2013: The San Diego Padres, are the only major league franchise without a no-hitter, but a former Boise Hawk comes very close. Andrew Cashner produced the best pitching performance ever by a Boise alum, tossing a one-hit shutout in the Padres’ 2-0 victory over Pittsburgh. Cashner had a perfect game going into the seventh inning, when Jose Tabata singled for the Pirates. Tabata was erased by a double play, though, and Cashner faced the minimum 27 batters in the first complete game of his career. Cashner was a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2008 and played for the Hawks that summer.
(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.)