SCOTT SLANT: A new goal-setting exercise?

Presented by BBSI BOISE.
Monday, February 8, 2021.

That’s why they play the games. All the assumptions about this Boise State team making the NCAA Tournament as an at-large pick are on the ropes now after Nevada completed a sweep with a 73-62 win in Reno on Sunday. With the game on the line in the second half, the Broncos were not there, going almost 9½ minutes with a field goal. After Derrick Alston hit a three-pointer to pull the Broncos within three points with 12:14 left, they missed a layup, missed two more threes, and turned the ball over three times—yet they still trailed by three. After that, though, the separation began. By the time RayJ Dennis broke the drought with a three-pointer at the 2:49 mark, it was too late. The Wolf Pack had made plays all day, and they closed it out. The Broncos did not, shooting less than 30 percent in the second half.

Nevada looked a lot like the Boise State of a month ago in handing the Broncos a demoralizing defeat. The Wolf Pack was money around the rim, outscoring Boise State 38-16 in the paint. The Pack also out-rebounded the Broncos 39-34 and shot 52 percent in the second half. “We looked like a tired, beaten-down team there, when you shouldn’t have been,” said coach Leon Rice on the KBOI postgame show. With losses in three of its past four games, Boise State has fallen into third place in the Mountain West behind Utah State and Colorado State. The Broncos now have to aim for the best possible seed in the Mountain West Tournament—and they may have to win it to get to Indianapolis.

WE DON’T WANT TO FORGET NO. 10

The quarterbacks room at Boise State is as crowded as ever, as early enrollee Taylen Green now has a chair. But one thing will be painfully familiar when spring football dawns next month. Chase Cord will not be participating. Cord will sit out the spring as he apparently heals injuries for the third straight year, reports Ron Counts of the Statesman. Cord was never healthy enough to play last season, although he was active for the Wyoming game in December. He missed spring ball in 2019 while rehabbing a torn ACL and again in 2020 due to shoulder, knee and ankle programs.

It’s a tribute to Cord’s character that he remains a Bronco and hasn’t yet gone the transfer portal route. He’s still looking up at Hank Bachmeier and Jack Sears on the depth chart, and he won’t have a chance to change that in March and April. The injuries have masked how good he can be. And he was thrown into a buzzsaw in his first start in 2019, when 19th-ranked Boise State was upset 28-25 by BYU. Has Cord taken his last snap? He turned 22 a few days ago. We don’t know what Cord’s future aspirations are, but he’d seem to be a solid prospect as a coach. Could the Broncos hang onto him in that capacity—a graduate assistant down the line, perhaps?

SUPER BIG RINGS ON THE WAY

It’ll be interesting to see the ratings from Super Bowl 55. Will they be up over the normalcy of last year due to so many people being at home, plus the attraction of the Tom Brady-Patrick Mahomes matchup? Or will they be down due to passive fans losing touch with the NFL during the pandemic, the lack of atmosphere, and muted Super Bowl parties? This we do know after Tampa Bay’s 31-9 rout of Kansas City: former Boise State offensive lineman John Molchon and cornerback Antwon Murray will be getting shiny new Super Bowl rings. Molchon, of course, is a Buccaneers practice squad player, and Murray is an area scout for the team. Love the photo posted of a cigar-smokin’ Molchon in the Bucs locker room.

A SPLIT WITH A GOLD STAR

There have been some bad second quarters lately for the Boise State women, and they were hamstrung by another one against Nevada Sunday in ExtraMile Arena. The Wolf Pack outscored the Broncos 17-3 in the stanza, taking a 37-19 lead at the break and cruising to a 64-44 victory for a split in the two-game series. Mallory McGwire scored eight points in the first quarter, but only four more the rest of the game. The loss drops Boise State to 6-6 in the Mountain West, as the Broncos have dropped five of their last six.

But let that not diminish what happened Friday, when Boise State defeated Nevada 73-63. It was coach Gordy Presnell’s 700th career victory, making him the 35th women’s head coach—and the 26th-fastest—to reach the plateau in NCAA history. KTVB’s Will Hall asked Presnell to reflect on the very beginning of his career at Seattle Pacific. “I was loading ice cream trucks to be able to do what I was doing,” Presnell said. “It was a half-time job back then, women’s basketball at that level of small-college. I loaded the ice cream trucks from 9:30 (at night) ‘til six in the morning, and then I’d sleep from about six ‘til about noon, and go. We had one scholarship. We drove in vans—I drove vans like crazy. I won’t touch a van now. Times have changed a lot in my 34 years.”

WEEKEND POTPOURRI

The Boise State women’s gymnastics team picked up its third Top 25 win of the season Saturday night, edging No. 23 Utah State 196.350-196.250. Senior Emily Muhlenhaupt continues to be a marvel on bars, scoring a 9.975 to pick up her 12th career victory in the event. In baseball, College of Idaho split four games with Oregon Tech to open the home season in Caldwell. The Coyotes swept Saturday’s doubleheader after dropping both ends of Friday’s twin bill that marked the first night games in Wolfe Field history.

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

February 8, 2006, 15 years ago today:Just two days after being seemingly left in the lurch by the resignation of Nick Holt, Idaho announces the return of Dennis Erickson as head coach. Holt had a 5-18 record in his two seasons, but Erickson—with two national championships and a legacy of college football turnarounds in his career—was expected to flip those numbers. We never found out, as Erickson lasted just 10 months before bolting for Arizona State, going 4-8 in his one season with the Vandals. He had started his head coaching career with Idaho in 1982, going 32-15 in four seasons.

(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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