Now that Ryan Finley has won Boise State’s starting quarterback job, it appears that Brett Rypien is No. 2. Let’s revisit something I threw out there during spring football. Now that Ryan Finley has won the competition for the Boise State starting quarterback job, it appears that true freshman Brett Rypien is No. 2. The Broncos could do with Rypien what they did with Joe Southwick when the latter was a true freshman in 2009. He was going to be the guy if Kellen Moore had been injured that season, and Southwick prepared for every game and traveled on every road trip as if he was the No. 2 quarterback. Of course, the Broncos never had to use Southwick that season, allowing him to complete a redshirt year. They could work things the same way with Rypien. The Spokane sensation is committed to the Boise State program, having graduated early from Shadle Park High to enroll in time for winter conditioning and spring football. Patience will be a virtue.
Rypien had some ups and downs in last Friday night’s open scrimmage. His interception was a downer. And hey, he was just 10-of-19 on the night. But when he was good, he was impressive. And his body of work this summer matched that. “I think Brett Rypien did a nice job and had a great fall camp,” said coach Bryan Harsin. “He’ll have to physically improve, just like every true freshman has to.” Does that mean more meat on Rypien’s 6-2, 199-pound frame? (The same could be said for Finley, who’s 6-4, 200 pounds.)
Rypien needs to be ready for whatever, despite the fact that only twice in the past 15 years has Boise State had to replace a starting quarterback because of injury. The first time was in 2002, when Ryan Dinwiddie broke his ankle in the second game of the season at Arkansas. Senior B.J. Rhode came off the bench to lead the Broncos to four straight victories and started a fifth (Dinwiddie returned to play the final three quarters of a 67-21 rout of Fresno State). Then in 2013, of course, Joe Southwick broke his ankle on his first play from scrimmage against Nevada, and Grant Hedrick took over to lead a 34-17 win over the Wolf Pack. Hedrick started the last year and a half of his Bronco career.
Boise State’s other two backups, Tommy Stuart and Alex Ogle, will prepare for every game nonetheless, and offensive coordinator Eli Drinkwitz indicated Sunday that all three (including Rypien) could travel to most of the road games this season. Stuart, who has continually drawn praise from the Bronco staff for his playmaking ability, had a tough scrimmage last Friday. The junior was 4-for-8 for 25 yards with two interceptions—and would have had a third had a pick by Chanceller James not been ruled a lateral. What the coaches wanted to see from Ogle was consistency and improvement, and they got both in the scrimmage. Ogle was 11-of-16 for 108 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.
Finley was actually the third player to be announced as the new starting quarterback of a Mountain West team in a week’s time. Nick Stevens had gotten the nod at Colorado State a week ago; then Nevada settled on Tyler Stewart as Cody Fajardo’s successor. Stewart, a junior, has one start in his career—that was back in 2013 when Fajardo was injured. Stewart went 14-of-20 for 202 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-9 win over Hawaii (he’s thrown only two passes since then). But Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal predicts, “Backup Hunter Fralick will start more games than Stewart this season. The back-to-back Arizona and Texas A&M games are a killer and could lead to a quarterback change in an attempt to add a spark to the offense.” There’s a quick quarterback controversy for you.
Ten days out from the Boise State-Washington game, there is no quarterback named yet to guide the Huskies. The delay should tell you true freshman Jake Browning is keeping the waters muddy in Seattle. Browning is really, really good, and he’s pushing senior Jeff Lindquist and redshirt freshman K.J. Carta-Samuels really, really hard. UW offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith, the Broncos’ one-time quarterbacks coach, says all three QBs continue to share reps in practice. Lindquist has never had much of an edge, having gone just 10-of-30 last year with a pass efficiency rating of 89.7.
Doug Martin showed some serious signs of life last night for Tampa Bay. The former Boise State star logged 59 yards on just six carries, including a 30-yard scamper to the one-yard line in the Buccaneers’ 25-11 preseason win over Cincinnati. Martin also had one reception for nine yards as he tries to re-establish himself as the Bucs’ feature back. On the other side, former Bronco George Iloka started for Cincy but didn’t record a tackle. But ex-Idaho Vandal Shiloh Keo came on to lead the Bengals with six tackles, two of them for loss.
He would seem like an instant roster replacement for the newly-dismissed Dez Trent, but Boise State men’s basketball has two scholarships available now, and he fits better in the supplanting of 6-9 Kevin Allen, who transferred earlier this summer. His name is Robin Jorch, and he’s a 6-10 forward from Germany who’s set to transfer into the Bronco program from Liberty University, according to the Statesman’s Dave Southorn. Jorch was released from his letter of intent with Liberty due to a coaching change. He played four seasons for the German national team and is 21 years old, so his eligibility this season and his year-in-school academically will be determined with the esteemed help of the NCAA.
The Boise Hawks and Vancouver traded single runs in the first and fifth innings last night in British Columbia. What would become of the 2-2 game? The teams traded runs again in the seventh, but the Hawks plated three and the Canadians just one. That made it 5-3, and that’s the way it finished as the Hawks have now won five of their last seven games. Vancouver pitchers issued nine walks in the game, while Boise’s Logan Sawyer hurled six strong innings to even his season record at 4-4. Game No. 3 of the five-game series is tonight.
Here we have a mention of former Hawk Kris Bryant for the second straight day. And why not? Bryant homered with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning yesterday to lift the red-hot Chicago Cubs to a 2-1 victory over Cleveland Monday in a makeup of a June 15 rainout. It was the 20th homer of the year for the rookie, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 Major League Draft. “He’s definitely not intimidated by the moment,” said Cubs manager Joe Maddon. The Cubbies have won five straight games and 21 of their last 26.
There are different athletic temptations in Australia, and Hugh Greenwood has followed one of them. Greenwood, the former New Mexico basketball star and occasional thorn in Boise State’s side, has abuptedly dropped his new career in pro basketball Down Under to pursue Australian Rules Football. Greenwood had just signed a three-year contract with the Perth Wildcats this summer, but he wants to fulfill a promise he made years ago to his late grandfather, a legend in Aussie football. “I told him I’d get him that last game for the family,” Greenwood told the Albuquerque Journal. His grandfather, Peter Marquis, was an AFL Hall of Famer.
This Day In Sports…August 25, 1952:
Detroit’s Virgil Trucks pitches his second no-hitter of the year, this time against the defending world champion New York Yankees no less, in a 1-0 Tigers win. Pretty good year for Virgil Trucks, eh? His record for the season: 5-19.
(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.)