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Idaho Sports Talk with Bob Behler


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This grilling season, be the king of tailgating with some of these easy and delicious recipes hot off the grill!
Bacon Candy

Buy a package of good quality thick cut bacon and cut into half inch pieces. Make a slurry mixture using 3 quarters of a cup brown sugar, some maple syrup and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Combine with the bacon and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 to 30 minutes.

When done… Use tongs to place the bacon pieces on a cooking cooling rack that's set over newspaper.

Beer Can Chicken

Set up your grill by placing an aluminum drip pan in the center and hot coals on each side. Heat to around 350. A 4 pound bird works great.

Massage with a little oil and then your favorite barbecue rub.

Take a half full beer and lower the chicken on to the can. Carefully set that rascal above the drip pan and roast for about an hour and a half. Check with your meat thermometer.

At 180 degrees, do your touchdown dance.

Beer Cocktails

Tailgate nation really likes two beverages for those early kick-offs:

Bloody Marys and Beer: For a RED beer, just take a couple shoots of bloody mary mix and add to a beer!

Another awesome BEER-TAIL is the Michelada! In a glass filled with ice:

  • Mix the juice of two limes with
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce,
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Pour in your favorite lighter style beer.

Cheers!

Brat Hot Tub

You don't have to be from Sheboygan to master THE BRAT. The secret: moderate heat.

Pre-heat the gril to medium—yes medium. If you want crispy brats, brush with oil and gril for 4 to 6 minutes per side. Execute the perfect pork play by inserting an instant-read meat thermometer in the end of the brat. They're done around at 170 degrees.

For a grill­top brat ­hot-tub, combine beer, butter and grilled onion slices in a large disposable aluminum pan.

Brining and Bricks

Grill a better bird through brining! All you have to do is mix two tablespoons of course sea salt per one quart of water. Soak your chicken breasts in the brine for at least an hour before grilling and you won't be called for a foul on your fowl.

Another technique to better bird is to wrap bricks in aluminum foil. When the grills ready, arrange your chicken breasts on the hot grate and place a foil wrapped brick right on top of each one. Grill for about four to six minutes per side.

Gameday Burgers

If you want to make a better game day burger, think butter.

When your grill is 500 degrees, brush the beef with melted butter on one side and place the patties butter side down for about 4 to 5 minutes. Then, butter the top side of the burger before flipping.

Another trick: the inside out method. Combine equal parts butter with bleau cheese and some fresh black pepper. Place a portion of the cheese butter in the center of your burger patties. Ohhh yeaaa!

Grilled Wings

Deep fried chicken wings are a game day staple in sports bars. But we're tailgating, so let's take that bird outdoors on the grill for some great eatin. The secret: bamboo skewers.

Starting about an inch from the wing tip, insert a bamboo skewer and extend each wing straight. Grill about 8 to 12 minutes per side over medium heat. Baste with your favorite sauce. Place a little foil under the exposed wood ends so the skewers don't burn. Easy as that!

Grilled Deserts

Add an extra point to your tailgate menu with a grilled dessert. Pineapple is perfect! Dip slices of canned pineapple in melted butter, then coat in a wide bowl containing a cup of sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Grill 4 to 6 minutes per side and serve over ice cream or slices of grilled pound cake.

For grilled smores, spoon NUTELLA on the graham cracker, top with marshmallow and grill. The secret is to lay down a bed of aluminum foil first.

Jalapeno Poppers

First, cut off the tops of your jalapenos and scrape out the seeds and membrane. Combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, chopped ham, hot sauce, and garlic salt.

Stuff the peppers and wrap in foil. Now, "pepper grillers" to stand them up are great if you have one.

Roast on indirect heat with the lid down around 25 minutes.

It's even better to wrap the peppers in bacon. Sooo Good! Just increase the cooking time to 40 minutes or so.

Shrimp on the Barbie

Tailgate Australian style with shrimp on the Barbie!

Here's a couple keys to killer grilled crustaceans:

  • 1. Use a marinade--a soak in a flavorful liquid is guaranteed to keep the shrimp moist.
  • 2. To protect the delicate meat....Grill the shrimp in the shells--either whole, or cut in half< lengthwise.
  • 3. Skewer your shrimps on two skewers instead of one. They will spin around less and you'll have a much better result.

Shrimp cook quick! When they turn pinkish white, they're done.

Tomato Salad

Every party picks up the PACE with A little Salsa. You'll have them dancing all the way to New York City with grilled tomato salsa. Like the dance, this dish is one, two, three—DIP!

Char some tomatoes on all sides.

Char some jalapenos on all sides.

Pull em off the grill. Chop off the stems and pop those grilled garden goodies in the blender with a little onion, lemon juice and cilantro and you've got fresh, charred tomato salsa right off the fire.

Hotdogs!

On gameday, ya gotta have a hotdog. My favorite: THE CHICAGO DOG.

In a pan on your grill, bring enough water to cover the dog to a boil, then cut back to a simmer. Simmer, don't boil, the dog for 10 minutes.

Nestle that all beef weiner inside a poppy seed bun, hit it with ballpark mustard, then drag it through the garden: Tomatos, onions, what they call SPORT PEPPERS, and brilliant kryptonite green relish!

Marinated Flank Steak

Ready to call a new play for your tailgate? We promise you'll score with a juicy marinated FLANK steak.

MIX:

  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • A little salt and pepper

Soak a 1 1/2 pound flank steak for at least a few hours.

Sear the meat directly over your grill flames. Then move the steak away from the coals and roast to about 130 degrees for medium rare. You're gonna thank us later, trust us.

Mexican Fudge

When it comes to terrific tailgates, the more you cook ahead of time, the better. Here's an easy make-ahead appetizer.

Just mix together:

  • 4 cups of shredded cheddar.
  • 2 eggs
  • A small can of chopped chilis
  • And a jar of sala verde. (Now if can't roll your R'S, that's the green salsa)

Pour into a 13 inch baking dish and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. After it sits for a bit, cut into squares and enjoy!

The Perfect Steak

All over tailgate nation grillers will either overcook, undercook or serve up a steak that's as tough as a baseball glove. It's enough to make a grill girl cry!

Get that grill super hot! It can't be hot enough to get that steak house char. Season simply with sea salt and fresh black pepper. Finally, when it's done, give it a rest! Never serve a steak hot off the grill, let it rest a minute or two on a warm platter.

Pimento Cheese Sauce

Football in the South is almost a religion, and so is PIMENTO CHEESE. Traditionally a dip for crackers or celery, pimiento cheese can transform mac and cheese or be used to crown grilled Pimento cheeseburgers.

Now you're gonna need a mixture of cheeses to total 3 cups. One half extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese, the other half, finely grated white cheddar cheese.

Mix with 1 cup mayonnaise, and 1/4 cup diced drained pimiento peppers straight from the jar. Add a pinch of cayenne.

Plank Grilling

Grilling fish is super easy with cedar planks. These little miracle workers are available in lots of stores.

First, soak the plank in water for about an hour.

Heat the grill to medium temperature.

Brush the plank with oil on top and place it right on the heated grill. You want it to smolder, But NOT burn. Carefully place the fish on the board. Count on about 50% more cooking time than regular grilling.

Plank grilling…it's time to get on board. You know that's right!

Rosemary Garlic Sweet Potatoes

A super easy and awesome potato dish that pairs perfect with pork: Rosemary and garlic sweet potatoes. They're delicious!

First, Peel about 5 good size sweet potatoes and cut into half inch slices. Combine the sliced potatoes with:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • A couple tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • And 24 unpeeled garlic cloves smashed with the side of your knife.

Toss those ingredients in an aluminum grill pan and roast on the grill for about 50 minutes. You won't have any vampires show up!

Spoon Cornbread

Look like a pro with this easy side dish to take to your next tailgate, ­it's deeeee-lish.

Mix together a box of JIFFY CORN MUFFIN MIX with…

  • 2 cans of creamed corn
  • A cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
  • 2 eggs
  • A cup of sour cream
  • And half a stick of butter.

Pour into 13 inch baking dish and bake at 350 for about 35 minutes. Pair it with some barbeque and your plate will be GREAT.

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TWILIGHT CRITERIUM: EVENT ORGANIZER

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IDAHO SPORTS TALK WITH CAVES & PRATER: Lance Armstrong hits Boise, Olympic gold-medalist Kristin Armstrong shares her mixed feelings on the cycling icon, Twilight Criterium update and Things That Make You Go Hmmm

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SCOTT SLANT: Sheen shows that Steelheads continuity counts

(TOM SCOTT’S COLUMN WILL RETURN TUESDAY.)

Presented by BACON.
Friday, July 12, 2019.

Everett Sheen has paid his dues for the Idaho Steelheads organization, serving as coach Neil Graham’s assistant the past three seasons. With Graham off to Texas of the AHL now, the Steelheads have elected to stay the successful course and promote Sheen to head coach. The 32-year-old native of Lethbridge, AB, becomes the second-youngest hire in Steelies history (Graham was the youngest) and he’s also the second-youngest active coach in the ECHL. Sheen’s speciality has been defense and the penalty kill, and last season Idaho ranked in the ECHL’s top-10 in penalty kill percentage and shots allowed per game and placed in the top-five for goals against per game. Sheen’s first goal is to take the Steelheads deep into the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The only cloud over the team has been earlier-than-desired postseason exits in recent years.

THE WORLD LOSES SOME INFECTIOUS ENERGY

Word started to circulate on Twitter Thursday that former Boise State linebacker and fullback Dan Paul had passed away. It hit his former teammates hard, as Paul was a favorite on and off the field. Memories include his three catches from Kellen Moore in a pivotal win over Nevada late in the undefeated 2009 season, with all three going for touchdowns—and Paul going bonkers each time he scored. But he mainly made his mark leading interference for guys like Jeremy Avery, Doug Martin and D.J. Harper. It was a monster block by Paul that sprung Martin into the end zone for the winning TD against TCU in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl. Paul was 30 years old. He had been working for the family business, Paul Brothers Comstruction, in his hometown of Boring, OR.

PUB FOR COACH PIT (AND JOHN MOLCHON)

Veteran writer Bruce Feldman, now with The Athletic, has spotlighted “the biggest freaks in college football” around this time for about 15 years. The premise, Feldman says, is to “showcase guys who generate buzz inside their programs by displaying the type of rare physical abilities that wow even those folks who are used to observing gifted athletes every day.” No 42 on Feldman’s new list is Boise State left guard John Molchon. The 6-5, 317-pound fifth-year senior hang cleans 425 pounds and power cleans 365 through two reps. His vertical jump is 27.5 inches. “John is an explosive athlete that stops all activity in the room when he maxes because everybody wants to watch him,” says Broncos strength coach Jeff Pitman, one who should know. “He lifts his team’s energy level when he is in the room.”

HEARING SAM UKWUACHU’S NAME AGAIN

True freshman defensive end Sam Ukwuachu was kicked off Boise State’s squad by Chris Petersen in 2012 before transferring to Baylor and igniting a firestorm. Now, a Texas appeals court has again overturned Ukwuachu’s 2015 sexual assault conviction involving a former Baylor women’s soccer player. Judges determined that prosecutors improperly used records from his roommate’s cell phone in his trial. The incident opened the Pandora’s Box on sexual violence at Baylor. Ukwuachu had been sentenced to 180 days in jail, 10 years’ felony probation and 400 hours of community service, and he had to register as a sex offender. “We respectfully disagree with the decision of the 10th Court of Appeals,” Assistant District Attorney Tom Needham said. “We are confident that the decision will be reversed.”

ISLANDS ITINERARY

Boise State now knows its first-round opponent—and its bracket—in this year’s Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu over Christmas. The Broncos meet Georgia Tech for the first time to open the tournament on December 22 in an ESPNU game at Hawaii’s Stan Sheriff Center. The winner advances to the semifinals against either Houston or Portland. In the opposite bracket are Ball State, Hawaii, UTEP and Washington. This will be a very different-looking Bronco squad. It’ll be interesting to see how far along the team is at that point. Oregon transfer Abu Kigab will be eligible by then. If Boise State can replicate its last performance in the Diamond Head Classic in 2013, it’ll be exciting. The Broncos routed South Carolina and advanced to the championship game, falling to 14th-ranked Iowa State, 70-66.

PRO POTPOURRI

Troy Merritt began last week with an average round and turned it into a top 10 finish over the weekend at the 3M Open. On Thursday, the Boise State grad started with a below-average round, and it’s going to take a miracle to recover enough to make the cut at the John Deere Classic. Merritt carded a two-over 73 and is tied for 134th. And at Memorial Stadium Thursday night, Hillsboro plated three runs in the top of the second inning, and they held up in a 3-1 win over the Boise Hawks. The Hawks have now lost four of their past five games to drop below .500 at 13-14.

TAKING IT TO THE DOWNTOWN STREETS

After the 33rd annual Twlight Criterium takes over Downtown Boise Saturday night, a quirky companion event will ride around and out of town on Sunday. It’s called the Gran Fondo Hincapie. Boise is the fourth city added to the series, which is kind of a cycling festival, “with catered rest stops and epic routes.” The inaugural Boise event will feature courses of 15, 50 and 80 miles, and riders will include Boise’s three-time Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong—and Lance Armstrong. Yes, that Lance Armstrong.

The ninth annual Famous Idaho Potato Bowl High School 7-on-7 Tournament gets underway later today at the Optimist Football Complex. It’s summer bonding for the best prep programs in the state, and the matchups are fast-paced and intense. All the top teams in the Treasure Valley are entered, including reigning 5A state champion Rocky Mountain, Mountain View, and all five Boise schools, along with top programs from Eastern Idaho, including Highland and Madison.

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July 12, 1979, 40 years ago today: It’s “Disco Demolition Night” at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. Fans got in for 98 cents if they brought a disco record to burn between games of a doubleheader between the White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. Comiskey had been drawing only 15,000 fans per game that season, but more than 50,000 turned up to see the spectacle that evening. A crate of disco records was blown up, damaging the playing surface—and when fans rushed the field and refused to leave after the bonfire, the second game of the twin bill was forfeited to the Tigers.

(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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SCOTT SLANT: The Bronco handicapping is underway

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Thursday, July 11, 2019.

The ESPN Football Power Index, a fluid set of numbers, has begun its run for 2019. ESPN calls its FPI “a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward. Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI. Ratings and projections update daily.” The first set of numbers has Boise State at No. 42, the third-highest ranking in the Group of 5 behind UCF and Cincinnati. The Broncos’ record is projected to be 10-3 (actually dialed down to 9.8-2.9). BYU is just two spots behind Boise State, and the computer model favors the Cougars in the game between the two teams October in Provo (that must be based on homefield advantage, right?).

Here’s where the crescendo to the Broncos’ season opener in Jacksonville amps up even more. The FPI has Florida State ranked No. 21 (with a predicted record of 8-4 after last year’s infamous 6-7). There’s no projected result for that one yet. The next-highest Mountain West school in the FPI is—are you ready?—Air Force at No. 69. Utah State is all the way down at No. 83, with the metrics showing the Aggies in a struggle to go .500 this season. USU is favored in only five of its 12 games.

HUTCH UPS IT A NOTCH

Chandler Hutchison, still shaking off the rust from months of inactivity, was much more prominent in Chicago’s 75-72 win over Charlotte Wednesday in the Las Vegas Summer League. The former Boise State star played 31 minutes and scored 18 points with nine rebounds. The downside: Hutchison was just 5-for-17 from the field and 0-for-4 from three-point range. But apparently that’s not the primary thing Bulls coach Jim Boyle is looking for. “I want him to try and become the best defender he can become,” said Boylen of Hutchison. “We need a lockdown defender. We have very difficult matchups in our division alone, let alone the league.”

MERRITT CLIMBS ABOARD THE JOHN DEERE

Troy Merritt has some serious momentum going into the John Deere Classic outside Chicago today. The Meridian resident and former Boise State standout roared throught the holiday weekend and tied for seventh at the 3M Open last Sunday, earning $179,733 and climbing back into the top 100 of FedExCup standings at No. 99. Merritt’s season earnings now total $946,868. He has seven top 25 finishes and three top 10’s. Merritt has played the John Deere in four of the past seasons, making the cut three times.

OSICH’S SECOND SHOT IN CHICAGO

My “This Day In Sports” item below got me to wondering how Boise’s Josh Osich is doing with the Chicago White Sox this season. Osich, who was not re-signed by the Giants last winter following a long slide over a period of several seasons, had a cup of coffee with Baltimore before landing with the White Sox in March. Osich, whose ERA had ballooned to 8.25 last season with San Francisco, has made 26 appearances as a Chicago middle reliever this year with an ERA of 4.99. He threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings in his latest outing last Saturday, a loss to the Cubs.

MORE BRONCO SUMMER SUPERLATIVES

Boise State swimmer Lauren Sale added a silver medal to her haul at the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa on Wednesday with a runner-up finish in the 100-meter butterfly. Sale, competing for Samoa, took gold in the 200 backstroke on Tuesday. And Bronco senior Courtney McGregor will represent New Zealand at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in October in Stuttgart, Germany. McGregor hopes to seal a second straight Olympics bid after competing in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

YOU CAN FEEL IT

You know football season is in the wind when the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl High School 7-On-7 Tournament unfolds at the Optimist Football Complex. This year’s event will be played Friday and Saturday and features a record 20 varsity passing teams, 12 junior varsity passing teams and 12 lineman squads, consisting of more than 865 athletes and 170 coaches. Then again, you know you’re in the heart of the summer when the Twilight Criterium takes over Downtown Boise. The 33rd annual race is this Saturday night, followed by Boise’s first Gran Fondo Hincapie on Sunday. Three-time Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong is scheduled dust off her spokes to ride in the inaugural 80-mile event.

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July 11, 2015: Bishop Kelly grad Josh Osich becomes only the third native Boisean to record a major league victory, joining Borah High alum Stephen Fife a couple years before with the Dodgers, and Pat House, who won two games for Houston in the late 1960’s. Osich got the Giants out of a jam against Philadelphia, retiring the one batter he faced in the top of the sixth. Osich was the pitcher of record when the Giants scored five runs in the bottom of the inning—and ended up winning 8-5. Boise High grad James Hoyt of the Houston Astros has since become the fourth native Boisean with a big league win.

(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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MADDEN 20: NEW FEATURES

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SCOTT SLANT: Kellen and the court of public opinion

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019.

There’s an interesting take on Kellen Moore at Dallas fan site TheLandryHat.com. First you see the headline: “Why Kellen Moore won’t last long as offensive coordinator.” And you think, “Okay, here we go, more cynicism surrounding the former Boise State great.” Writes Chris Hill, “His issue will be one of impatience.” Par for the course, it seems. But, Hill adds, “Not on the part of the Cowboys, but rather by one of a handful of general managers across the NFL who are looking for the next hottest coach to lead their organizations.” Say what? “If Moore comes in and has the success Cowboys fans so desperately want, it will only take two top-5 type seasons by the Dak Prescott-led offense for general managers around the league to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” Are Dallas fans actually starting to buy in?

“All it takes is a quick glance at how the Boise State passing concepts bewildered college defenses during Moore’s four years under center as the Broncos’ quarterback to understand the Cowboys made the right call,” writes Hill. He has some suggested reading material for you. One is a “very in-depth analysis of Moore’s offensive mentality” at InsideThePylon.com called “Simplified Confusion: Formations, Motion, and Numbers.” Hill points out this was further reinforced in The Landry Hat’s own story, “Amari Cooper on Dallas Cowboys new offense: Same plays, but disguised.” Now that sounds like a Kellen Moore offense.

JORDAN LOVE: NFL PROSPECT?

Sports Illustrated’s Top 100 college football players is out for 2019 (out of about 10,000 FBS scholarship athletes, writer Joan Niesen points out). One of the seven biggest snubs, according to Niesen, is Jordan Love of Utah State. Niesen’s narrative: “Love is a quarterback who has lost a ton of talent around him, leading some to wonder if he can replicate his bonkers 2018 numbers. A year ago, Love was a breakout star, throwing for 3,567 yards and 32 touchdowns while tossing just six interceptions as Utah State finished the year 11–2 and proceeded to lose most of its staff when Texas Tech hired head coach Matt Wells. At 6-4, 225 pounds, Love looks the part of a quarterback who can thrive at the next level. It’ll be interesting to follow how he lifts the new faces around him on offense.”

NEW BUILDING FOR THE RAINBOW WARRIORS

More facilities news from around the Mountain West. On Monday, Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed into law legislation to begin funding a replacement for decaying Aloha Stadium. “It has become clear that we need to take action to move forward on this important facility,” Ige said in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Man, is that an understatement. The stadium is going into its 45th season as home for the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. It was high-tech when it opened in 1975, with its moving sections of stands and all. But now it’s a rusty hulk of its former self. The target date for a new stadium currently revolves around 2024. It’ll be funded by public-private partnerships. That’ll be the tricky part.

BARSH IN BOISE – AND A FORMER VANDAL IN VEGAS

Boise State made it official yesterday, announcing R-Jay Barsh as Leon Rice’s new men’s basketball assistant. Barsh has been head coach at NAIA Southeastern University the past seven years. And those checking up on former Boise State star Chandler Hutchison in the box scores from the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League may have noticed the name Perrion Callendret. Idaho fans recognize Callendret as a former Vandal standout, and he’s on the roster of the Chicago Bulls entry with Hutchison in Vegas. Callendret, a 6-2 guard, has appeared in the past two games for the Bulls, playing a combined 14 minutes with four points, three rebounds and two assists. He played 113 career games at Idaho from 2013-18, averaging 8.0 points and 2.9 rebounds.

HOPS DROP THE HAWKS

After an 8-2 loss at Hillsboro on Tuesday, the Boise Hawks’ record isn’t ideal, but it is symmetrical. Boise is now 13-13 on the season—10-3 at home and 3-10 on the road. Today the Hawks get their version of an All-Star break—the first day off of the 2019 season. They’ll open a three-game home series against the Hops Thursday night at Memorial Stadium. It was pretty quiet for the six former Hawks in the All-Star Game Tuesday night, won 4-3 by the American League. Gleyber Torres of the Yankees picked up one of the AL’s eight hits, and David Dahl of the Rockies collected one of the NL’s five.

TRACKING BRONCOS BEYOND ALLIE O

Boise State doesn’t have Allie Ostrander anymore, but the Broncos’ distance-running stable still goes deep. Two Boise State athletes are participating in the 30th Summer Universiade, otherwise known as the World University Games in Naples, Italy. Representing Australia is Clare O’Brien, a junior from Queensland who logged the ninth-fastest time in the 10,000-meters in the Games. Representing Somalia is sophomore Ahmed Muhumed, who finished eighth in his 1500-meter heat. Muhumed is also set to run in the 5000-meters this Saturday. Meanwhile, Boise State junior Lauren Sale became the first Bronco swimmer to capture a gold medal at the Pacific Games in Samoa on Tuesday, winning the 200-meter backstroke. Sale is also the first Samoan female swimmer ever to win gold.

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July 10, 1999, 20 years ago today: With a Rose Bowl crowd of 90,185 rooting them on, the U.S. women’s soccer team produces one of the great moments in American female athletics. After the final went scoreless in regulation, the U.S. defeated China 5-4 on penalty kicks to win the FIFA World Cup. It was the Americans’ second World Cup crown, but the first to attract massive attention across the country. The game-winning kick—and one of the most replayed highlights in history—came from Brandi Chastain, who promptly ripped off her jersey, revealing what became soccer’s most famous sports bra ever.

(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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COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW: BIG TEN

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SCOTT SLANT: The Jay-Train’s looking for a station

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019.

This certainly has nothing to do with any past feelings David Carr harbors toward Boise State. But the former Fresno State and NFL quarterback, now an analyst for NFL.com, predicts that Jay Ajayi will still be looking for a new team through Week 1 of the season in September. The former Boise State star, of course, saw his 2018 campaign in Philadelphia end just a month in due to a torn ACL. And with training camp just a few weeks away, Ajayi remains unsigned. Kyle Crabbe of USA Today mentions Ajayi’s displeasure with the pass-heavy Philly offense the first part of last season, but Carr feels Ajayi is still out there due to health reasons, not attitude. And he still needs time to rehab his knee. Once Ajayi is totally healthy, he (and his agent) can survey the NFL scene and determine where the need for a running back is the greatest.

NEW RESIDENTS ON CAMPUS

They’re heeeeere. The holiday weekend served as move-in time for Boise State’s 2019 recruiting class (a few of the players were already on campus). That means Californian George Holani is here. And Declo’s Keegan Duncan is here. And the Broncos’ running back sweepstakes are underway. In a perfect world, these guys will push incumbents Robert Mahone and Andrew Van Buren, and at least one jewel will be left standing when Boise State opens the season against Florida State in Jacksonville. First, Holani and Duncan need a crash course on Boise State’s culture and playbook during player-run practices this summer. No doubt they’ve been cramming already, but there’s nothing like putting it to work on the blue turf.

DIGGING DEEPER INTO WEAVER’S STAT SHEET

Curtis Weaver’s long 4th of July weekend started off nicely. Weaver earned his second preseason All-America honor, this time a second-team nod from Sporting News. Weaver was named to Athlon Sports’ fourth team All-America squad last month. Boise State’s star STUD end/linebacker ranked second in the Mountain West and 20th in the nation with 9.5 sacks last season. And did you know? In two seasons, Weaver has already racked up 20.5 sacks, tied for sixth on the Bronco career list with former NFL first-round draft pick (and Chicken Dinner Road resident) Shea McClellin. With three more sacks, Weaver will jump all the way up to third all-time at Boise State. But he’d need another 34 sacks to reach career leader Erik Helgeson. Even if Weaver stays for his senior season next year, that would be a ton.

GRAHAM BRANCHES OUT ON STEELIES’ COACHING TREE

Derek Laxdal was one of the most successful coaches in Idaho Steelheads history, and he still knows what makes the team tick. Laxdal, who won a Kelly Cup with Idaho in 2007, is now the coach of the Texas Stars, the AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars and the next rung up the ladder from Boise. And he has hired Steelheads coach Neil Graham as an assistant. Graham, still only 34 years old, has been at the Steelies’ helm the past four seasons, compiling a regular-season record of 166-91-31 with ECHL playoff bids each year. He was a Steelheads assistant under Brad Ralph for three seasons prior—in fact, he was a player-coach in 2012-13. The Texas gig is a natural progression for Graham.

THEY CALL HIM “VOGEY”

There are six former Boise Hawks on the rosters for tonight’s All-Star Game in Cleveland. The Chicago Cubs contribute Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Willson Contreras, Gleyber Torres was a late add from the Yankees, and David Dahl comes from the Colorado Rockies. But the most intriguing Hawks alum is Seattle first baseman and designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach, the Mariners’ only representative. Vogelbach, the popular (in the Northwest, anyway) 6-foot, 250-pound slugger, has hit 21 home runs this season, yet he wasn’t chosen for last night’s Home Run Derby. The theory is that he just doesn’t have enough of a national brand. He would if the M’s were winning. Vogelbach’s homers are known in Seattle as “Vogel-bombs.”

PARRA PARES DOWN HIS ERA EVEN FURTHER

If Frederis Parra ever makes the majors, his magnificent first month with the Boise Hawks will be magnified. In his fifth start of the season, Parra pitched six scoreless innings at Hillsboro Monday night and—again—didn’t allow a run. The Dominican righthander has not yielded an earned run in his past 28 1/3 innings and has lowered his ERA to an amazing 0.58. This is a pivotal point for Parra, who’s in his eighth season in the minors. He’s 24 years old. That’s up there for a Northwest League player. But Parra is peaking. He’s also 4-0 now, as the Hawks beat the Hops 3-0 (one night after being roughed up 11-0 by Hillsboro).

HUTCH AND HIS PEOPLE SKILLS

Chandler Hutchison, back on the court after a five-month rehab of a broken toe, is starting to draw on his leadership qualities at the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League. Hutchison was mic’d up during the Bulls’ win over the L.A. Lakers entry last Friday and was heard communicating well on defense and pumping up teammates throughout. The ESPN crew was impressed, noting Hutchison as a guy “who was probably very well-coached in college.” On the floor, Hutchison scored 15 points with three rebounds against the Lakers. He’s reportedly on a 20-minute limit during summer league. In fact, he was held out of Sunday night’s game against Cleveland as the Bulls auditioned non-roster players. Monday night in a 109-72 rout at the hands of New Orleans, Hutchison had eight points and four boards in 23 minutes.

BRONCOS’ 2018-19 POTHOLE IS BEHIND THEM

Chris Murray of Nevada Sports Net, one of the Mountain West’s most respected beat writers, opens the door on the 2019-20 men’s basketball season. Murray divides the conference into tiers. The first tier is the favorite, Utah State. The second consists of other title contenders, and yes, he includes Boise State. “The Broncos had finished in the top three of the MW for four consecutive seasons prior to last year when they went 7-11 in conference play to finish tied for seventh,” notes Murray. “Boise State returns its top four scorers and will add former four-star recruit Abu Kigab, an Oregon transfer, before MW play begins. The Broncos should return to the second tier after getting lots of bad breaks last season.” Ah, you remember: Boise State was 1-9 in games decided by one possession or in overtime.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by COMMERCIAL TIRE…keeping you and your family on the road.

July 9, 2016: Serena Williams ties Steffi Graf’s Open-era career record with her 22nd championship in a Grand Slam tournament, a straight-sets victory over Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon. It was the seventh title at the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club for the 34-year-old Williams, who hit the milestone 14 years and one day after she achieved the world’s No. 1 ranking for the first time. The following day, Great Britain’s Andy Murray won his second Wimbledon in a straight-sets sweep over Milos Raonic.

(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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SCOTT SLANT: It’s a bummer, Allie O, but we get it

(TOM SCOTT’S COLUMN WILL RETURN TUESDAY.)

Presented by BACON.
Wednesday, July 3, 2019.

Just Tuesday I speculated on this. I didn’t think it would happen so quickly. Allie Ostrander has decided to forego her final year of eligibility at Boise State to go professional and focus on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “I really enjoyed my time at Boise State,” tweeted Ostrander. “It’s been the best 4 years of my life. I loved the relationships that I was able to form…I’m going to miss everyone.” Despite her incredible success in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Ostrander remains one of the best talents in the country in the 10,000-meters. She said on Idaho SportsTalk Tuesday that she’ll use the next year to see which one gives her the best shot at the Olympics. Ostrander will compete in the U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships July 25-28 in Des Moines, Iowa, and probably at the Pan-American Games August 6-10 in Lima, Peru.

Ostrander has already exceeded the qualifications for the Boise State Athletic Hall of Fame. She’s a graduate, and she has won three individual national championships. I’m thinking that she’ll now be eligible for the Hall in 2024. If the Broncos stick with every-other-year inductions, there will be a ceremony in 2024. Make plans now. The university may just have to work it around the Summer Olympics in Paris that year. Allie Ostrander is going to be around for a long, long time. History will prove her to be not only one of the most decorated, but one of the most beloved athletes in Boise State history.

A MOUNTAIN WEST ARMS RACE?

Between Albertsons Stadium, the Bleymaier Football Center and the Caven-Williams Sports complex, Boise State has, by consensus, the best football facilities in the Mountain West. But that doesn’t mean that gap isn’t closing. The latest example: the Fertitta Football Complex at UNLV. It’s a 75,000 square-foot, $35 million jewel financed by the Fertitta family, due mainly to their affection for Rebels head coach Tony Sanchez. It’s already paying off in recruiting. “We didn’t build a facility to compete in the Mountain West,” Sanchez said. “We built one to compete with the whole country.” There’s a large empty space in the middle. “That’s where we’re going to put the Fremont Cannon after we kick Reno’s ass every year,” exclaimed Sanchez. It’ll be fully operational in October, about the time the Broncos visit Las Vegas.

Colorado State built a new stadium in 2017. Utah State renovated Maverik Stadium at about the same time. San Diego State will probably have a new stadium in 2021. Wyoming has its High Altitude Performance Center. Boise State won’t stand pat, of course. The school just has to prioritize, and at the top of the list right now is the renovation of the east side of Albertsons Stadium. If you only spend time on the west side, with its wide concourses, large concession stands and serviceable restrooms, you’re missing out. The east side of the stadium is old-school, and not in a good way. Boise State wants to widen the concourses, remodel the restrooms (and add new ones) and expand concessions, hopefully in time for the 2020 season.

TWENTY CANDLES FOR THE MW

Monday marked the Mountain West’s 20-year anniversary as a conference. Do you remember the original eight in 1999? They were Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Utah and Wyoming. Six still remain, of course (Boise State has been a member for eight years now). According to the league’s website, Mountain West teams have participated in 96 bowl games in the past two decades, including four appearances in BCS games and one CFP game (they must mean New Year’s Six bowl). The MW has earned six NCAA Sweet 16 appearances in men’s basketball, as well as three NIT Final Four berths. MW women’s basketball has tallied five Sweet 16 appearances and one Elite Eight berth in 20 seasons. Wyoming won the WNIT championship in 2007.

HUTCHISON HOPES TO GET GOING AGAIN

The NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League starts Friday on an 11-day, 83-game odyssey. The initial Chicago Bulls roster information does include Chandler Hutchison. The former Boise State star was injured in the final minute of a loss to Atlanta on January 23, but two nights later he played 41 minutes against the L.A. Clippers and posted a double-double (12 points, 12 rebounds). Hutchison was diagnosed with a fractured toe, though, and that was it for his rookie season in the NBA. The Broncos’ first-ever first-round draft pick played 44 games for the Bulls before being shelved, averaging 20.3 minutes, 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Hutchison’s goal was to make it back in time for summer league. So far, so good.

HAWKS GET OFF THE ROAD SCHNEID

A very solid performance picked the Boise Hawks up off the mat Tuesday night, giving them their first road victory of the season after eight losses. The Hawks made the most of their five hits and won 4-1 at Everett. Isaac Collins doubled in the Hawks’ first run in the third inning—then knocked two more in with a triple in the seventh. Just as big a story was Boise starter Frederis Parra, who allowed one unearned run in six innings. Parra has not yielded an earned run since Opening Night, a stretch of 22 1/3 innings. His ERA is now a subterranean 0.72. The Hawks have one more against the AquaSox tonight before returning to Memorial Stadium for the 4th of July.

POTPOURRI ON HOLIDAY GETAWAY DAY

Meridian’s Troy Merritt missed a PGA Tour cut last week for only the fifth time this season. Merritt tees it up again tomorrow in the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Minnesota. The former Boise State star lost a lot of ground in FedExCup standings early this year while he was recovering from surgery to remove a rib, but he’s still ranked 111th. The Idaho Steelheads have forward Kyle Schempp in the fold for the 2019-20 season. Schempp scored 16 goals with 25 assists in 70 games for the Steelheads last season. And from the “all-name team” comes Jennifer Swing, the new women’s tennis coach at College of Idaho. Swing replaces the retiring Cisco Limbago, who had led the Coyotes for 34 years. She played tennis and golf for Boise State in the 1990’s. Swing’s name is even better for golf.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by ZAMZOWS…Nobody Knows Like Zamzows!

Fast-forward a day to the 4th of July, 1919, 100 years ago: In a heavily-promoted fight on Independence Day in Toledo, Ohio, 6-foot-6 Jess Willard—flabby from inactivity—defends his heavyweight title against challenger Jack Dempsey. Despite a record 26 first-round knockouts, Dempsey didn’t kayo Willard in the first—but he did knock him down seven times in the opening three minutes. After the third round, Willard threw in the towel, and Dempsey began his glorious reign as heavyweight champion of the world.

(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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Reckless Fall Predictions From BSU’s Spring Game

By Chris Lewis

Now that the spring game is done, we’re without Boise State football until fall camp begins. With this season’s depth chart as mysterious as ever, here are my reckless predictions on how it’ll shake out on offense.

QBs:

On Saturday, August 31, when Boise State takes its first offense snap in Jacksonville against Florida State, Hank Bachmeier will be the starting quarterback. That goes against what I saw in the spring game, where he was third on the list on who stood out to me. However, the more I envision the season, the more I realize that this is the most realistic and logical outcome.

First of all, I can’t count on Chase Cord being healthy. It’s the second time tearing his ACL, which is concerning for a QB that relies on mobility and usually means a more careful rehab. It happened in early October, which would mean week 1 is less than 11 months since the injury. Plus, even at the NFL level, quarterbacks who rush back from injury usually struggle early in their return.

That leaves Jaylon Henderson, Kaiden Bennett and Bachmeier as the main contenders. Henderson is the only one of that group with college experience, but nothing about his profile says bonafide starting QB. Boise State is his third collegiate stop, and his numbers weren’t impressive at his previous two stops. Also, he wasn’t a high-pedigree HS QB entering college. Henderson playing mop-up duty last year in a few games didn’t showcase much either. While he has the experience edge (which showed in the spring game), he doesn’t seem like the highly-talented QB that Boise State would ideally like to trot out there.

Bachmeier does meet the high-pedigree and talent criteria. He’s a four-star recruit that had offers to big programs. Plus, his game is more “pro-style” than the other true freshman option Bennett, who is also significantly smaller. Boise State has shown that they aren’t afraid to start a true freshman QB if that quarterback is mature enough to handle it. If the coaches determine that Bachmeier won’t be scarred by the situation in Jacksonville, he’ll be the guy.

RBs:

This group is harder to project than the quarterbacks. Coach Bryan Harsin’s history as a head coach tells us that he likes to ride one running back. The way he’s used Ajayi, McNichols, and Mattison makes it clear he loves a workhorse. The part I’m most confident in predicting is that Robert Mahone will be the No. 2 back. It’s a role he’s had before, and it’s a role he’s handled well. However, the fact that he never really had the opportunity to be a lead back, even when Mattison was banged up last season, tells me that the coaches don’t see him as a No. 1.

The question is, who will be the No. 1 if it isn’t Mahone? Andrew Van Buren is my pick to be the lead guy over true freshmen George Holani and Keegan Duncan. Holani and Duncan not being with the team in the spring is a slight disadvantage. Boise State RBs need to be able to pass protect, and those guys missed out on reps doing that in the spring. Plus, it’s hard for me to imagine that someone a few months removed from high school can physically handle the workload that Harsin wants to give his main back.

The previous Boise State workhorses all had at least a season on-campus to build their body up before they became a feature back. Van Buren has had that luxury. One of either Holani or Duncan will get reps as a No. 3 back, and my reckless guess would be Holani. That means, I think Duncan redshirts.

WRs:

The wide receivers were the standouts of the spring game. Even though AJ Richardson and Sean Modster are gone, no one seems to think this group will miss a beat. Khalil Shakir was the standout of the spring game. He found ways to get open, and make people miss once he caught the ball. It got me to rethinking where he’ll be in the receiver rotation. Before the game, I thought John Hightower and CT Thomas were poised to be the top two options. I’ve put Shakir in that tier moving forward. He’ll finish second on the team in catches and yards. Thomas will be the dependable third down option and team catch leader. Hightower will be the big play threat, and yardage leader. Shakir seems to give a little of both, with also the ability to run. The wildcard of the position didn’t play in the spring game. Octavious Evans had a season ruined by injury last year. At this point a year ago, he seemed to be a threat to be the top WR. At this point, I’ll put him fourth on the list of impactful 2019 receivers. It’s a strong group, and may have to carry the offense early.

Chris Lewis, the play-by-play voice of Boise State women’s basketball and Olympic Sports, co-hosts Idaho Sports Talk with Bob & Chris weekdays from 1-3 p.m. on KTIK 93.1 FM The Ticket. He can be found @ChrisLewisTweet (Twitter).