SCOTT SLANT: Broncos perched in the polls again

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Wednesday, September 4, 2019.

And just like that, the streak continues. Boise State has debuted in the major polls—the 18th straight year the Broncos have appeared at some point of the season. They’re 24th in both the AP and Coaches Polls following their 36-31 takedown of Florida State. It’s especially impressive on the AP side, as Boise State was eighth in line to get into the Top 25 in the preseason, and no ranked teams lost over the weekend. The Broncos are the only newcomer in AP. There are no other Mountain West teams getting even honorable mention in AP, but the list of “others receiving votes” is much longer in the Coaches Poll. Fresno State and Hawaii each garnered three points and Wyoming one.

OUT-COACHED BY PITMAN, TOO

Florida State hadn’t so much as received a vote in the preseason polls—now the Seminoles are really back at square one. This thing about conditioning is getting comical. While Broncos strength and conditioning coach Jeff Pitman deserves a game ball for all the work the team did getting ready for this, Seminoles coach Willie Taggart says he has spoken with FSU’s medical staff about hydration after seeing his players cramp up while Boise State did not. Hey, you live there, you’ve practiced in that stifling stuff for a month. What are we missing here? Boise State went to the no-huddle early last Saturday, not realizing that it would help achieve a stunning 108 plays of offense and gas a big, fast ACC defense.

A BATTLE OF CHUNKS FRIDAY NIGHT?

Marshall didn’t receive a vote in the polls this week despite coming off a 9-4 season and opening last Saturday with a 56-17 rout of VMI. The Thundering Herd was certainly docked in voters’ minds for a win over an FCS team, but this is a really good crew. The Herd racked up 620 yards on the Keydets, one fewer than Boise State had at Florida State. Both the Broncos and Marshall were among the top three teams in the country in Week 1 in chunk plays of 10 yards or more—Boise State with 28 and the Thundering Herd 29. The Herd has been looking forward to this. “The good thing is, we prepared for Boise all summer,” coach Doc Holliday said after the VMI game. “We’ll add the Florida State game to it.”

BACHMEIER’S FIRSTS – TEAMMATES EDITION

The accolades are being distributed in the wake of Boise State’s win in Tallahassee. Eric Sachse, he of the five field goals at Florida State, is one of four kickers on the Lou Groza Award Stars of the Week list. And quarterback Hank Bachmeier is not only one of eight QBs on the Manning Award Stars of the Week list, he’s the Athlon Sports national Freshman Offensive Player of the Week. It’s a good time to make note of the first pass completion of Bachmeier’s career, a three-yarder to CT Thomas on the Broncos’ first drive, because it came on third down. Bachmeier completed eight throws that moved the chains on third down on the day. And his first career touchdown pass will always be remembered as a big one—the toss to Khalil Shakir that was placed only where No. 2 could get it.

DAVIE HOPES FOR RAPID RECOVERY

New Mexico has a bye this week, and the timing couldn’t be better. Lobos coach Bob Davie is recovering from “a serious medical incident” he suffered right after his team beat Sam Houston State 39-31 last Saturday night. In a statement on Sunday, Davie said he expects a “full recovery.” He would love to be on the sidelines a week from Saturday when UNM visits Notre Dame, where Davie coached from 1997-2001. But that is still to be determined. The Lobos have practiced without him this week so far.

KELLEN MOORE’S MOMENT OF TRUTH

Former Boise State great Kellen Moore is just four days away from his official debut as Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator, and now he’ll have a key weapon at his disposal (if it’s ready in time for Sunday’s opener against the New York Giants). ESPN reports this morning that the Cowboys and running back Ezekiel Elliott have come to terms on a six-year, $90 million contract extension. John Owning of the Dallas Morning News writes about the anticipation surrounding Moore’s first year in this position. “Through the training camp practices, it became readily apparent that Moore will certainly add his own flavor to certain aspects while tinkering with the way things are presented in other aspects of the offense, which—in theory—should lead to a more efficient and effective offense as a whole in 2019,” writes Owning.

BIG NEW SIGN ON THE OL’ BSU PAVILION

The new signage at what was formerly known as Taco Bell Arena was officially unveiled on Tuesday. ExtraMile Arena is a visible reality, with a much larger sign (10 feet by 43 feet) on the building than its predecessor. ExtraMile is a joint venture between Jacksons Food Stores and Chevron, with Jacksons’ 22 Chevron-branded stores in the Treasure Valley set to switch to ExtraMile. Boise State announced a 15-year, $8.4 million deal with ExtraMile in June for the 37-year-old facility, originally called the BSU Pavilion. The first basketball game under the new moniker will be a men’s exhibition on Halloween versus West Coast Baptist College.

HAWKS PUT 2019 BEHIND THEM

It was a forgettable season for the Boise Hawks—not at the gate, but on the field. The Hawks left fans with one final win last Saturday night in a 6-4 victory over Hillsboro upon their return from the Western Idaho Fair road trip. But a 13-5 loss to the Hops Monday night completed a 27-49 season, the Hawks’ worst in 16 years. Boise’s leading hitter was Adam Schunk at .306, and first-round draft pick Michael Toglia led in home runs with nine. Hawks starters struggled all season, but the club did have a solid closer in Jacob Wallace, who notched 12 saves and a 1.29 ERA.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by POOL DOCTOR & SPA…so many ways to soak and save!

September 4, 1972: Swimmer Mark Spitz sets an Olympic record that would stand for 36 years, winning his seventh gold medal of the Summer Games in Munich. Spitz set world records in all seven events, four of them individual races and three of them relays. Though only 22 years old at the time, he then retired from competition. Fellow swimmer Michael Phelps broke Spitz’s mark with eight golds at Beijing in 2008.

(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.)

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