Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hawai'i Leads New Mexico State 5-4

A home run in the top of the sixth had given the first-place Aggies a 4-3 lead in Hawai'i, but the Rainbow Wahine got a two-run blast of their own in the bottom of the sixth and now lead 5-4.

Hawai'i has won, and for the fourth time this season, Boise State is in first place.  New Mexico State must win the second game of the doubleheader to tie Boise State for first.  No matter what happens, the winner of the series next week will win the regular season title.

Handful of Top Performances for Boise State Track Team

Boise State's track team won several events against lesser competition today at Bronco Stadium, a few will serve them well in the upcoming WAC Track Championships.

Racquel Jones ran an 11.74 100, good for the third best time in the WAC this season, while teammate Destiny Gammage was clocked in 11.84, which is the fourth fastest time in the 100 meters.  They are the only Bronco women to record marks that will be competitive at the WAC Championships.

On the men's side, Rolando Trammel won both the 110 and 400-meter hurdles this afternoon.  Trammel's 110-meter time of 14.13 is second best in the WAC.  He crossed the tape first in the 400 in 52.75, but his 52.47 earlier this year leads the conference.  Justin Malnes (14.34) has the third-best time in the 110 hurdles, while Carrie Butler's time of 47.80 in the 400 also ranks third in the WAC.  Chase Sexton improved upon his discus mark this season (177-2) but he's going to need more than that to best perennial WAC champion Larry Jones of Louisiana Tech.  Jones has Sexton beat by nearly 9 feet.

Boise State Head Coach J.W Hardy will have to get his group going in the next two weeks before the WAC Championships in Honolulu.  The men are seeded third while the Bronco women are projected to finish last. 

Boise State Men Lose to Fresno State 4-3

This is a rubber match of the day in some respects.  This afternoon, Fresno State squeaked out a 4-3 win over Boise State to win the WAC women's tennis title.  Later, Boise State's softball team completed a three-game sweep of Fresno State with a 12-9 win.

This is the third time today that the two rivals have met.

Boise State gave a game effort but could not overcome the depth of the Fresno State team, losing 4-3 to the Bulldogs and ending their season.

Here is how it happened.

Boise State has lost the doubles point but won two singles matches.  Still, Fresno won the opening set in three of the six matches, which is all they need to do to advance.  The Broncos need a comeback somewhere.

Update:  Mullen and Sereke did both come back in the second set but Sears went down despite playing a great first set.  Thus, the match is tie at 2.  Fresno is now going to come charging full steam ahead, realizing that they have a match on their hands.  If Boise State can play through it, the match could get interesting in the third sets.  The Broncos need to win 2 of the remaining 3 singles matches.

Mullen was able to win but when Sereke lost 8-6 in the tiebreaker of the third set, was it enough to break the Broncos' backs?  Now Boise State must rely on a freshman to decide the match.  

Maybe when Bettles is a senior, he'll remember this day.  Andrew gave it a battle but came up a little short.

Fresno State 4, Boise State 3
Apr 30, 2011 at Boise, Idaho (Appleton Outdoor Tennis Center) 

Singles competition
1. Damian Hume (BSU) def. Rikus de Villiers (FS) 6-2, 6-3
2. Remi Boutillier (FS) def. Andrew Bettles (BSU) 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (8-6), 6-4
3. Jean-Charles Diame (FS) def. Scott Sears (BSU) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
4. Filipp Pogostkin (BSU) def. Francis Alcantara (FS) 6-3, 6-3
5. Nick Papac (FS) def. Nathan Sereke (BSU) 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 7-6 (8-6)
6. Jeff Mullen (BSU) def. David Ayoun (FS) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. Rikus de Villiers/Remi Boutillier (FS) def. Damian Hume/Scott Sears (BSU) 8-3
2. Francis Alcantara/Jean-Charles Diame (FS) def. Jeff Mullen/Nathan Sereke (BSU) 8-5
3. Andrew Bettles/Filipp Pogostkin (BSU) def. David Ayoun/Siddharth Alapati (FS) 8-1

WAC Men's Tennis Tournament

#2 seed New Mexico State has defeated Idaho 4-2.  The Aggies will take on the winner of the Boise State-Fresno State match tomorrow for the WAC title.

Boise State and Fresno State are about to get underway at Appleton, 1 1/2 hours late.  Plenty of time to get down there and root for the Broncos!

Georgia Has Lost More Talent Than Boise State

Much has been made of Boise State losing wide receivers Titus Young and Austin Pettis.  However, as this year's NFL Draft proves, the Georgia Buldogs' roster has been depleted and created holes for the 2011 team more so than for Boise State.

The Broncos have only lost three NFL-quality players while Georgia has lost a whopping six and the draft isn't over.

Boise State and Georgia open up the 2011 season at the Chick Fil-A Kickoff at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.  Georgia has lost a first-rounder, two third-rounders, two fourth-rounders and a seventh-rounder to the NFL.  Wide receiver A.J. Green went in the first round, fellow wideout Kris Durham went in the fourth, essentially balancing out the loss at wide receiver for Boise State, defensive end Justin Houston was drafted in the third, guard Clint Boling went in the fourth round today and fullback Shaun Chapas was drafted in the seventh round.

Lady Broncos Hold On For Wild 12-9 Win Over #24 Fresno State

Boise State's softball team swept the #24 Fresno State Bulldogs with an exciting 12-9 win at Mountain Cove Field in Boise.

Here is how it happened:

After two narrow losses to the Boise State softball team, Fresno State has come storming back with 2 in the first and 1 in the second to take a 3-0 lead on Boise State.

Update:  Kellie Caplan's walk, the third issued by Fresno pitcher Mackenzie Oakes, forced in Kelly Sweeney from third as the bases were loaded.  Boise State has gotten one of those runs back,a 3-1 ballgame.  Then, a Fresno State error allowed both Tazz Weatherly and Megan Harvey to score.  Both runs were unearned but have given Boise State the tie at 3-3.

Still tied at 3 in the fourth but Fresno is threatening.  And two hits combined with two errors have led to two runs.  Boise State has gotten one of those back with a leadoff home run by Megan Harvey in the bottom of the fourth.  Tazz Weatherly reached on an error but there is one out and the Broncos trail 5-4. 

In Boise State's fifth, Lela Work's home run with Christina Capobianco aboard has put Boise State ahead 6-5. Boise State wasn't done, however.  The Broncos may have set some records in the inning.  After Work's long ball, Megan Harvey walked, Brittany Barcellos pinch ran for her.  Tazz Weatherly lined a single and Kellie Caplan produced a bunt single to load the bases.  Holly Bourke singled, driving in Barcellos and Weatherly.  Mackenzie Whyte singled and Allie Crump walked to re-load the bases.  Devon Bridges walked to force in Bourke with the fifth run of the inning.  Boise State had now batted around in the inning as Capobianco singled in two more runs (Whyte and Crump).  Work walked to load the bases again and a walk to Harvey forced in the eighth run of the inning.

Fresno State has responded with a two-run homer of their own in the fifth.  The Bulldogs got two more in the 7th and threatened to get more but Boise State's Aubray Zell shut the door, preserving the win.

Boise State is 15-3 in the WAC and 31-15 overall.  Fresno State falls to 13-4 and 29-13.  New Mexico State and Boise State are now in a virtual tie for the WAC lead pending NM State's doubleheader with Hawai'i tonight.  The Aggies are 14-2 in conference and need a split to remain tied for first. 

Boise State and New Mexico State will play a three-game series in Las Cruces next weekend that will decide the regular season champion.

Boise State's Brandyn Thompson Drafted By Washington

Boise State cornerback Brandyn Thompson has been chosen by the Washington Redskins with the 10th pick of the seventh round.  Thompson is the 45th player from Boise State to go in the NFL Draft.

Thompson's selection ties the 2011 Draft for second all-time in drafting Boise State players.  The record is four chosen in the 2007 NFL Draft, while this draft's selection of three Broncos is tied with the 1974, 1975 and 1976 NFL Drafts, in which three Boise State players were chosen in each.  Titus Young was chosen by Detroit in the 2nd round while Austin Pettis went in the third round to the St. Louis Rams.

To date, four players who played in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl win for Boise State over TCU have moved on to the NFL.  Safety Kyle Wilson was chosen in the first round last year by the New York Jets, and now Young, Pettis and Thompson.

Thompson will be etched in Bronco lore forever with his startling interception of TCU quarterback Andy Dalton early in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.  Thompson may be soft-spoken and much-liked off the field, but when he puts on a uniform, he means business and he is a constant threat to pick off a pass.

Brandyn played as a true freshman in 2007 as a backup defensive back and special teams force.  He recorded 16 tackles, including a season-high five at Hawai’i . 

In 2008, Thompson intercepted three passes against Hawai’i , second-most in one game in school history.  He appeared on Phil Steele’s All-WAC second team.  Brandyn had 54 tackles, 38 solo, sixth best on the Bronco defense.  He also had five tackles for loss and four interceptions.  Thompson led Boise State with 10 solo tackles and two assisted tackles in the Broncos’ win over Oregon .  He was credited with 11 tackles against New Mexico State.

Last year, Thompson started in all 14 games and was named Defensive Player of the Game at the Fiesta Bowl.  Thompson finished the game with seven tackles and two interceptions, including the one he returned untouched 51 yards for Boise State ’s first score.  Brandyn finished with 45 tackles, 29 unassisted, and led the Broncos with six interceptions (9th all-time).  Thompson also had three pass breakups.  He recorded five tackles and two picks vs. Idaho and also had five tackles vs. UC-Davis , Louisiana Tech and Nevada .  Following the Fiesta Bowl win, Thompson was named to’s All-Bowl Team.

Brandyn had 31 tackles this past season, two for loss, with three interceptions, seven pass breakups, a forced fumble and two recoveries.

In his career, Thompson had 146 tackles, seven for loss, with 13 interceptions (8th all-time at Boise State ) and 16 pass breakups. 

Congrats BT!

WAC Commissioner's Cup Standings Following Tennis

With Fresno State's dramatic win at the WAC women's tennis championships in Boise, plus their win in the men's championship, the Bulldogs are definitely in the hunt for the Cup.  The margin Boise State has right now is deceiving.  A., Boise State is seeded next to last in men's golf, B., Boise State is seeded last in women's track and C., Boise State doesn't have a baseball team.  

Note:  The first numbers listed for each school include the point totals for the regular season and for those teams who have been eliminated so far--they do not include points for the teams still alive in men's tennis.  The points in parenthesis represent the low and high point totals each school can receive pending play this weekend.  These Standings now include the results in both tennis championships.  Boise State losing to Fresno State twice today leaves the door open for Fresno to win the Cup.  (Remember that based on current projections, 91.25 points will win the Cup.)

I will have updated Cup Projections following the tennis championships.

1.  Boise State 80.50
2.  Utah State 63.50
3.  Fresno State 62.00
4.  New Mexico State 59.75 
5.  Idaho 52.25
6.  Nevada 49.75 
7.  Hawai'i 44.00
8.  San Jose State 39.75
9.  Louisiana Tech  35.50 

Boise State Squeaks By Fresno State 3-2

Another great game from Fresno State and Boise State.  It was a seesaw affair at Boise's Mountain Cove Field today and Boise State was able to prevail 3-2. 

Here's how it happened:

Once again, Fresno State has jumped ahead of Boise State in their important series that could decide the regular season WAC softball championship.  The Bulldogs lead 1-0 in the 2nd with Boise State batting.

Just as in last night's game, however, Boise State has tied it with a homer.  This time, Christina Capobianco's leadoff blast in the bottom of the third has tied the game at 1.

Fresno managed a run in the top of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead.  Mackenzie Whyte has doubled down the line in Boise State's half of the inning.  Allie Crump, who is on the mound for Game One, was able to come through in the clutch with a single to score Whyte with the game-tying run.  2-2, Fresno State and Boise State after four and 1/2 innings at Boise's Mountain Cove Field,  and the game couldn't be more even with four hits for each side as well.

Bottom of the fifth--Kelly Sweeney has hit a leadoff homer.  Boise State leads 3-2.  No more runners in the Broncos' half so it remains 3-2 after five innings.

Fresno State got a hit in the top of the sixth but that was all.  Through 5 1/2, it's Boise State 3, Fresno State 2.  The winner moved within half a game of first-place New Mexico State.

The game has moved to the top of the 7th.  Fresno State has one out and Bronco pitcher Allie Crump is trying to shut the door with Boise State still clinging to a 3-2 lead.  However, Diane Runge has reached on an error that allowed her to get all the way to third.  Still one out.  Crump able to get a ground out that could not score the run.  Two outs.  And Crump was able to get Haley Gilleland to fly out to end the game.  Clutch pitching for the Bronco hurler.

The second game of the doubleheader begins shortly.

No More News from NFL on Boise State

The Boise State Senior Class that went 38-2 to set a modern NCAA record has so far produced two draft picks, Titus Young in the second round and Austin Pettis in the third.  Lots of safeties being chosen, none of them named Jeron Johnson.  I'll have news just as soon as another Bronco is taken.

Fresno State Edges Boise State 4-3 for WAC Women's Tennis Title

This was bound to be a heartbreaker. 

 Fresno State grabbed the doubles point in the 2011 WAC Women's Tennis Championship match and seemingly was in command with a 3-1 lead.  But Boise State's Elyse Edwards and Sandy Vo stormed back to tie the match at 3 apiece in this, the sixth consecutive year that Boise State and Fresno State have battled for the WAC title.  Thus, it all came down to the match at No. 2 singles between Laura Pola of Fresno State and Sonia Klamczynska of Boise State. 

Pola won a tough first set 7-5 but Klamczynska came back for a 7-6 win in the second set with a 10-8 tiebreaker to thank.  Sonia grabbed a 4-2 lead in the third set but wasn't able to put Pola away.  The Fresno star rallied to tie and then defeat Klamczynska 7-5 in the deciding set to give her team the WAC Championship.

Boise State and its biggest rival, Fresno State, are on the court for the WAC Women's Tennis Championship.  After just one year in Boise, the trophy returns to Fresno, California, where the Bulldogs have dominated women's tennis in the WAC for the last decade. 

Congrats to Fresno--the 2011 WAC Champs!

Here's how it happened:

As expected, regular season champion Fresno State won the doubles point in easy fashion.  For the Broncos to get the upset, they'll have to play above their heads in singles.

I don't think Megale can win at #1 singles, so the match will be decided at No.s 2-6.  Pietzuch has come through at No. 5 singles to tie the match.  Four Broncos were able to win their first sets, and I think Klamczynska may be needed at #2, so it's important that she comes storming back.

Yep, Jaspar lost her second set, and Megale lost badly 6-1, 6-2.  So either Stephanie or Klamczynska needs to win for Boise State to repeat--and these middle sets are taking a long time.  They could go either way.

Jaspar has been beaten despite winning the first set 6-3.  Sonia indeed needs to win--in fact the Broncos have to win all remaining matches.  Edwards has lost her second set 5-7.  The Dawg women came to play today.

Well, Vo has come through at No. 6 singles, but the Broncos have a long ways to get out from the hole they are in.  Klamczynska coming back to take the second set gives Boise State a chance.  That was a hard-fought one that was about as close as it gets.  Now up to her and Edwards to win in the third set.

Edwards has come back from a disappointing second set to win her match 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.  The match is tied at 3 apiece and, as predicted above, it will turn on the No. 2 singles match between Laura Pola of Fresno State and Sonia Klamczynska of Boise State.  It's a shame that either team has to lose this one.

At last check, Klamczynska had a 4-2 lead in set three.  That was half an hour ago, so either the scorekeeper went to sleep or Pola has gotten a break to extend the match.  I'll try to find out what has happened.

#72 Fresno State 4, #70 Boise State 3
Apr 30, 2011 at Boise, Idaho (BOAS Indoor Tennis Center)

Singles competition
1. #55 Marianne Jodoin (FSU) def. Lauren Megale (BSU) 6-1, 6-2
2. Laura Pola (FSU) def. Sonia Klamczynska (BSU) 7-5, 6-7 (8-10), 7-5
3. Melissa McQueen (FSU) def. Stephanie Jasper (BSU) 3-6, 6-2, 6-0
4. Elyse Edwards (BSU) def. Bianca Modoc (FSU) 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
5. Marlena Pietzuch (BSU) def. Olga Kirpicheva (FSU) 6-3, 6-1
6. Sandy Vo (BSU) def. Mary Abby Hayley (FSU) 6-3, 2-6, 6-1

Doubles competition
1. Laura Pola/Marianne Jodoin (FSU) def. Lauren Megale/Marlena Pietzuch (BSU) 8-1
2. Melissa McQueen/Olga Kirpicheva (FSU) def. Sonia Klamczynska/Elyse Edwards (BSU) 8-4
3. Stephanie Jasper/Sandy Vo (BSU) vs. Mary Abby Hayley/Bianca Modoc (FSU) 5-3, unfinished

Match Notes
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (5,1,3,6,4,2)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Boise State Track Team Closes Out Regular Season

The Boise State track team gets its final chance to improve this weekend at the Idaho-Utah Border Clash.  The Bronco men are currently seeded third in the WAC while the women are last.

Junior Sasa Kampic won the javelin with a throw of 124-5 today while Racquel Jones took the long jump title with a mark of 19-9.  For the Bronco men, Alex Cartwright won the javelin (209-3) while Alex Nelson was tops in the hammer with a career-best of 211-10.  Trevor Kraychir finished second to Nelson with a throw of 196-7--those two are ranked 1-2 in the WAC.  Eetu Viitala won the long jump, posting a leap of 23-11.75.  Rolando Trammel set a career outdoor best of 23-6.25, good for second in the WAC to Viitala.

Those are the only Broncos to post marks anywhere near the top of the WAC.  Action concludes tomorrow with events getting started at 9:30 Saturday morning at Bronco Stadium.

Hawai'i Beats New Mexico State 3-2 in 10

Important series going on in Hawai'i between first-place New Mexico State and the Rainbow Wahine.  Boise State swept Hawai'i last week.  Boise State and Fresno State are currently tied for second, two games behind New Mexico State.  Stephanie Ricketts of Hawai'i went 5 1/3 innings before allowing a hit.  Hawai'i lost a 1-0 lead but was able to win 3-2 in 10 innings.

New Mexico State continues to lead the WAC, one game up on both Fresno State and Boise State.

Let's Get Some Comments Going!

I can talk for hours about all things Boise State.  Feel free to make your own posts and comments--I want to hear them and I'm sure others do too!

WAC Men's Golf Championship Begins Monday

The few remaining sports in the school year are finishing fast.  The men's and women's tennis championships will be decided this weekend in Boise, and the men's golf title is up for grabs beginning tomorrow.  After that, it's only men's and women's track, softball and baseball.

Boise State heads into its final WAC Championship seeded last.  The Bronco men can really help their school in the WAC Commissioner's Cup race by avoiding last place.  A finish of fourth or higher would just about clinch the Cup for the Broncos.  

Up-To-the-Minute WAC Commissioner's Cup Standings

With the women's tennis championship to be decided tomorrow and the men's tennis championship semifinals taking place tomorrow, here are the current WAC Commissioner's Cup Standings.  Note:  The first numbers listed for each school include the point totals for the regular season and for those teams who have been eliminated so far--they do not include points for the teams still alive in men's and women's play.  The points in parenthesis represent the low and high point totals each school can receive pending play this weekend.  (Remember that based on current projections, 90.25 points will win the Cup.)

I will have updated Cup Projections following the tennis championships.

1.  Boise State 74.25 + (1.75-3.00 for men's team) and (4.00-4.50 for women's team) = 80.00-81.75
2.  Utah State 63.50
3.  Fresno State 54.00 + (1.75-3.00 for men's team) and (4.00-4.50 for women's team) = 59.75-61.50
4.  New Mexico State 56.75 + (1.75-3.00 for men's team) = 58.50-59.75
5.  Idaho 50.00 + (1.75-3.00 for men's team) = 51.75-53.00
6.  Nevada 49.75 
7.  Hawai'i 43.00
8.  San Jose State 39.75
9.  Louisiana Tech  35.50 

WAC Men's Tennis Tournament

#3 Idaho blanked #6 Utah State 4-0, just about eliminating the Aggies from taking the WAC Commissioner's Cup.  Idaho will meet #2 New Mexico State Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Appleton Center in the semi's.

#1 Fresno State is awaiting the winner of the Boise State-Hawai'i match in the other semi, which is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m. at Appleton.

Boise State Tennis Team Able to Defeat Hawai'i 4-0

So far, so good for Boise State in their opening round match against Hawai'i in the WAC tennis tournament.  The Broncos had a very tough weekend to close out the regular season.  Damian Hume had some trouble with his unranked opponent and wasn't able to register a decision tonight, leaving it up to his teammates.  Don't worry Damian--they came through for you!

Boise State will play favored and regular season champion Fresno State tomorrow at 4 at the Appleton Center in the semifinals.

  Boise State 4, Hawaii 0
Apr 29, 2011 at Boise, Idaho (Boas Indoor Tennis Center)

Singles competition
1. Damian Hume (BSU) vs. Dennis Lajola (UH) 6-0, 2-6, 1-1, unfinished
2. Andrew Bettles (BSU) def. Leo Rosenberg (UH) 6-2, 6-3
3. Scott Sears (BSU) def. Jeremy Tweedt (UH) 6-3, 7-5
4. Filipp Pogostkin (BSU) def. Jonathan Brooklyn (UH) 6-4, 6-0
5. Nathan Sereke (BSU) vs. Dmytro Kovalyov (UH) 2-0, unfinished
6. Jeff Mullen (BSU) vs. Daniel Llarenas (UH) 1-0, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. Damian Hume/Scott Sears (BSU) vs. Jonathan Brooklyn/Dennis Lajola (UH) 6-4, unfinished
2. Jeff Mullen/Nathan Sereke (BSU) def. Leo Rosenberg/Jeremy Tweedt (UH) 8-3
3. Andrew Bettles/Filipp Pogostkin (BSU) def. Danilo Casanova/Daniel Llarenas (UH) 8-2

Match Notes
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (2,4,3)

Pettis Selected by St. Louis in the 3rd Round

Boise State standout wide receiver Austin Pettis joined fellow wideout Titus Young as a high NFL draft pick, as the St. Louis Rams selected Pettis in the third round, the 78th player chosen.

Pettis and Young teamed to form the top receiving duo in the nation and the best 1-2 punch in Boise State history.  They were part of a senior class that broke the modern NCAA record for wins in a three-year period previously held by USC, going 38-2.  Only Pennsylvania (43-1 from 1895-1897), Yale (42-1-2 from 1894-1896), Yale (41-2 from 1888-1890) and Pennsylvania (39-4 from 1892-1894) have had more wins in three years than Boise State.  Led by Pettis and Young, Boise State produced the best four-year record in school history (48-5). 

Pettis was the “go-to” guy when Boise State needed a first down, and became famous for clutch catches and jump balls where he would sail high above his defender for a miraculous catch.  Pettis obliterated the Bronco record books with his outstanding four-year achievements. 

Austin was one of five true freshman to play in 2007.  He finished second on the team with 46 catches (for 465 yards) and second with six touchdown receptions.  Pettis had nine receptions for 89 yards against East Carolina in the Hawai’i Bowl and eight in back-to-back games against Utah State and Idaho .  He recorded his first 100-yard receiving game with 139 yards and three TD’s against Idaho.

Pettis earned second-team All-WAC honors in 2008 with 49 catches for 567 yards and 9 touchdowns.  Austin grabbed nine passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns against Nevada .  He was named to the All-WAC academic team.

Last season, Pettis was All-WAC with 63 catches (9th all-time) in 12 games.  He broke the school record with 14 receiving touchdowns and tied another mark with four TD catches against Idaho Austin also broke the record for consecutive games with a TD catch by hauling in one per game in the first 10 games.  Austin had six catches against Top 10 Oregon and burned Miami of Ohio for 115 yards on four catches.  He had 10 receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns vs. UC-Davis and nine catches for 105 yards and a score vs. Louisiana Tech. 

Pettis continued his steady play in 2010.  He earned All-WAC honors with 71 catches for 951 yards and 10 touchdowns. Austin broke Don Hutt’s (1970-1973) 37 year-old record of 189 career receptions earlier this year and also topped Ryan Ikebe's mark for career receiving yards. In his career, Pettis had 229 receptions for 2,838 yards and 39 touchdowns. 

Congrats AP and good luck in the NFL!

Damian Hume All-WAC, Andy Bettles Tabbed Freshman of the Year

Even though they finished fourth in the WAC, Boise State was well represented on the All-Conference team announced by the league office.

Damian Hume was honored on the first team and Andy Bettles earned Freshman of the Year for Coach Greg Patton's Broncos.  Hume and Scott Sears were among the doubles teams on the All-WAC team as well.  Jeff Mullen and Nate Sereke were on the second-team.

First Team All-WAC Singles
Remi Boutillier, Fresno State
Marius Cirstea, Idaho
Rikus de Villiers, Fresno State
Damian Hume, Boise State
Dennis Lajola, Hawai'i
Lachlan Reed, Idaho

First Team All-WAC Doubles
Rikus de Villiers/Remi Boutillier, Fresno State
Damian Hume/Scott Sears, Boise State
Dennis Lajola/Jon Brooklyn, Hawai'i
Second Team All-WAC Singles
Jakob Asplund, Utah State
Jim Brouleau, New Mexico State
Wessim Derbel, Nevada
Leo Rosenberg, Hawai'i
Orlando Superlano, New Mexico State
Arthur Surreaux, New Mexico State

Second Team All-WAC Doubles
Jim Brouleau/Matej Stakne, New Mexico State
Bryan Marchant/Sven Poslusny, Utah State
Jeff Mullen/Nathan Sereke, Boise State
WAC Player of the Year: Dennis Lajola, Hawai'i
WAC Freshman of the Year: Andy Bettles, Boise State
WAC Coach of the Year: Jay Udwadia, Fresno State

Boise State's Titus Young to Detroit

Young has been chosen by Detroit as the 12th pick of the second round.  One of the receivers that Detroit has is former Nevada wideout Nate Burleson, who has nine years in the NFL.  Draft experts believe Young may be a slot receiver to begin with; I think he could be groomed to take Burleson's place when he's done.  I also think Young could get some work in on the return teams to utilize his speed.

Young will also be on the same team as former Bronco great Ian Johnson, who should be starting but the Lions haven't seen the light yet.

Growth.  What growth.  Lest any potential recruit wonder about what Coach Chris Petersen and the Bronco coaching staff can do to help a young man, they need only look at the quality man that Titus Young has become.  He has matured by leaps and bounds, both personally and talent-wise.  This speed merchant will go down as one of the greatest receivers ever to play for the Broncos.  He had raw talent and speed when he came to Boise; he leaves as a complete receiver who runs great routes, shows incredible hustle (no one will ever forget his fumble recovery in the end zone against Fresno State after he trailed the play all the way downfield), has amazing hands and makes acrobatic catches. 

In 2007, Young caught a pass in all 13 games.  He finished third on the team with 44 receptions for 639 yards and five touchdowns.  He also rushed for 66 yards and two touchdowns.  Young had two rushing touchdowns and one receiving vs. Utah State and was on the receiving end of seven passes against East Carolina .  He also had six catches against San Jose State
In 2008, Young played in three games, getting 10 receptions for 168 yards and a TD and rushing five times for 52 yard and two touchdowns.

Titus earned All-WAC both as wide receiver and kick return specialist last season.  He became the first player in school history to bring two kickoffs back for touchdowns in a season and in a career.  He returned the opening kickoff 95 yards against Nevada and “officially” returned one 100 yards against Idaho , even though we all know it was more like 108.  Young had 79 receptions (2nd in school history) for 1,041 yards (#6 all-time) and 10 touchdowns (7th all-time), becoming just the eighth Bronco to surpass the 1,000-yard mark.  Titus was second in the WAC with 143.7 all-purpose yards per game, second in kickoff returns (26.9), third in receiving yards (74.4 per game) and seventh in scoring).  Young also rushed 15 times for 151 yards and three touchdowns.  Young’s 2,012 all-purpose yards was second only to Brock Forsey’s 2,127 in 2002.  He helped to stretch TCU’s secondary with eight catches for 72 yards despite the Horned Frog defense converging on him due to the injury of Austin Pettis.  Young had two touchdowns (one on the fumble recovery, one receiving) and had 174 all-purpose yards against Fresno State .  He scored two touchdowns at Bowling Green and caught six passes for 83 yards and a TD vs. UC-Davis.  TY had eight receptions for 115 yards and three TD’s against Hawai’i and eight catches for 110 yards and a score vs. Louisiana Tech.  He also went over the 100-yard mark against Idaho and Utah State

Young led Boise State with 71 receptions this season (#13 all-time) for 1,215 yards (third in the record books) and nine touchdowns (9th all-time).  Young shattered Ryan Ikebe’s (1993-1996) record of 2,751 career receiving yards earlier this season and became Boise State’s first 3,000-yard man!  TY passed Don Hutt against Nevada and is second all-time to teammate Austin Pettis for career receptions.  Titus has 1,684 yards of all-purpose offense this year already (8th all-time).  He has nine carries for 45 yards and a touchdown and 20 kickoff returns for 512 yards.  He had six receptions for 80 yards in the season opening win over Virginia Tech, five catches for 136 yards and a TD against Oregon State, seven receptions for 105 yards and a score against San Jose State, six catches for 129 yards and a TD against Nevada and four catches for 94 yards and a touchdown against Wyoming. 

In Young’s spectacular career, he had 204 receptions for 3,063 yards (15.0 avg.) and 25 TD’s (4th all-time), 47 rushes for 350 yards and eight touchdowns, and 56 kickoff returns for 1,449 yards (25.9 avg.) and two scores.  Young had 5,502 yards of all-purpose yards, good for second in Boise State history

Way to go, Titus!

#31 Boise State Squeaks By #24 Fresno State 4-3

In a huge weekend series, Boise State has just defeated #24 Fresno State 4-3.  Homers by Devon Bridges and Allie Crump aided the Bronco cause and star pitcher Aubray Zell pitched a complete game, scattering eight hits for the victory.  Zell struck out nine in the seven innings, consistently foiling Fresno State rallies with superb pitching.

Here's how it happened:

Two Fresno errors have turned singles by Kellie Caplan and Holly Bourke into runs.  The game is now tied at 3 in the third.

Allie Crump's homer in the 4th has given Boise State a 4-3 lead for now.  Boise State loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth with one out and did not score.  We'll just keep our fingers crossed that it doesn't come back to bite them.

Leadoff single for Fresno State in the 7th.  Two grounders for the Bulldogs, they've been able to stay out of the double play and thus have a runner in scoring position at second.

The two teams play a doubleheader tomorrow at Mountain Cove Field in Boise with games at 1 and 3 p.m.

Boise State Women Advance to Final

After about a 1 1/1 hour delay due to the unexpected length of the Fresno State-Nevada match, Boise State finally took to the court.  The Broncos grabbed the doubles point from New Mexico State and didn't look back. 

Boise State will play Fresno State for the WAC title tomorrow morning at 10 at the Appleton Tennis Center.

Singles competition
1. Lauren Megale (BSU) vs. Isabela Kulaif (NMSU) 6-2, 4-1, unfinished
2. Sonia Klamczynska (BSU) def. Manon Sylvain (NMSU) 6-1, 6-1
3. Stephanie Jasper (BSU) vs. Ginet Pinero (NMSU) 7-5, 3-3, unfinished
4. Elyse Edwards (BSU) def. Natalia Salum (NMSU) 6-4, 6-4
5. Marlena Pietzuch (BSU) def. Annemieke Witte (NMSU) 6-1, 6-1
6. Morgan Basil (BSU) vs. Ros-Polly Nguyen (NMSU) 7-5, 4-0, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. Lauren Megale/Marlena Pietzuch (BSU) def. Manon Sylvain/Jodie Williams (NMSU) 8-4
2. Elyse Edwards/Sonia Klamczynska (BSU) def. Isabela Kulaif/Ginet Pinero (NMSU) 8-2
3. Stephanie Jasper/Sandy Vo (BSU) vs. Natalia Salum/Ros-Polly Nguyen (NMSU) 7-5, unfinished

WAC Tournament Matches Delayed

Because of the length of the Fresno State-Nevada match, the remainder of today's schedule is going to be much later than first thought.  Boise State's women's match should be going any minute now, 1 1/2 hours later than scheduled.  The Boise State men's match may not start until 7:30, rather than 6 as scheduled.  It's a nice, sunny day but as of this morning, they were planning on playing at the BOAS Center.

WAC Women's Tennis Tournament Results

Fresno State has taken the doubles point from Nevada and was expected to cruise to the final.  Instead, Nevada tied them at 3 and the Bulldogs had to come from behind at #6 singles to win the match.

Because of the length of the match, the Boise State match was delayed from its noon start.  It is finally underway, 40 minutes late.

WAC Tennis Tournament Times Changed

The weather is much better today than yesterday, but as a precaution, matches have been moved to the BOAS Center.  There are new times for the matches as outlined below.

Women's Semifinals
#2 Fresno State vs. #3 Nevada - 9 a.m. (BOAS)
#1 Boise State vs. #5 New Mexico State - was originally supposed to start at noon but is 11/2 hours late because of the length of the Fresno State-Nevada match. (BOAS)

Men's Quarterfinals
The long match between Fresno State & Nevada has delayed all the matches today.  The scheduled times are below but I estimate the Idaho match may not get underway until 4 or 4:30, with the Boise State match now looking like about 7:30 or so.

#3 Idaho vs. #6 Utah State - 3 p.m. (BOAS)
#4 Boise State vs. #5 Hawai'i - 6 p.m. (BOAS)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Boise State Defeats San Jose State 4-0

Quarter-final match at Boas Tennis Center.

Boise State won the doubles point as both the #2 and #3 teams won 8-0.  Marlena Pietzuch has defeated Anna Guzman of San Jose State 6-0, 6-0 at No. 5 singles to give Boise State the 2-0 lead.  Elyse Edwards and Sonia Klamczynska both won their singles matches to send Boise State to tomorrow's semifinals.

2. Elyse Edwards/Sonia Klamczynska (BSU) def. Chau Truong/Anna Guzman (SJSU) 8-0
3. Stephanie Jasper/Sandy Vo (BSU) def. Christine Nguyen/Kalin Eshelman (SJSU) 8-0

5. Marlena Pietzuch (BSU) def. Anna Guzman (SJSU) 6-0, 6-0

2. Sonia Klamczynska (BSU) def. Emily Prescott (SJSU) 6-0, 6-0

4. Elyse Edwards (BSU) def. Olivia Marshall (SJSU) 6-0, 6-1

WAC Women's Tennis Championship

San Jose State has upset Utah State 4-3, hurting the Aggies' slim hopes for the WAC Commissioner's Cup.  Boise State will meet San Jose State this afternoon at 2:30, most likely at the Boas Tennis Center off of Boise Avenue.   

New Mexico State has upset Idaho 4-2.  New Mexico State will take on the winner of the Boise State/San Jose State match tomorrow in the semifinals at 3 p.m. at Appleton.

#3 Nevada came back to beat Hawai'i 4-1. 

#2 Fresno State has made short order of Louisiana Tech, beating them 4-0.  Fresno and Nevada will meet in the semifinal tomorrow afternoon.

Boise State has shut out San Jose State 4-0.  The Broncos will meet New Mexico State tomorrow at 3 at the Appleton Center (we're thinking positive for the weather) in the semifinals.  That's a match important for the WAC Commissioner's Cup, pitting two of the top teams vying for that all-sports trophy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Boise State's Babinkostova Receives Three-Year Grant

Grants are now coming to Boise State on almost a weekly basis.

Assistant professor of mathematics Liljana Babinkostova was awarded a three-year, $329,000 Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site grant by the National Science Foundation yesterday afternoon.

The REU Site "Complexity in Algebra, Geometry and Applications" will introduce undergraduate students at Boise State and around the nation to information security or genome biology, using math applications.  The main objective of the program is to produce a group of researchers in the United States who will transcend the artificial boundary between mathematics and real-world applications.

“The ongoing revolution in communication technology and cloud computing is driving demand for information security tools and specialists,” said Babinkostova. “Likewise, the revolution in molecular and cell biology is driving a rapidly emerging demand to mathematize biology and for professionals competent in both mathematics and biology. The nature of computing and complexity are central themes for both.”
Beginning this summer, eight college students will be awarded research positions along with their faculty mentors to come to Boise State to engage in eight weeks of mathematics-based interdisciplinary research.  Two of those students will be from Boise State and the other six will be selected from applicants around the country.   The program will give students a broad array of professional development elements and will conclude with a symposium where students will present the results of their research.
The NSF grant provides each awarded student a summer stipend, free on-campus housing at Boise State, a meal allowance, financial assistance to out-of-state students for travel to Boise, and financial assistance for each student to travel in a subsequent national undergraduate research conference.  Boise State will host the program for three years under terms of the grant.

Boise State Economic Summit Drawing National Attention

Boise State has hosted the International Economic Summit since 1971 but up until recently, the program was mostly for students in Idaho.  Now, the Summit is going National.
Nearly 350 students from 11 Mississippi high schools took part in Boise State's Summit at Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi.  The purpose of the Summit program is to give high school and university students a practical, hand-on experience in globalization, international relations and economics.

Carolyn Jensen is now a Boise State student who once participated in the summit program.  “Before the International Economic Summit, I had no interest in international economics or global relations. That has now changed 

Funding for the Boise State's program in Mississippi was provided in part by the Council for Economic Education through an EEE (Excellence in Economic Education) Grant.

Will Walker Beat Byron Marshall to Boise State Scholarship?

We know that everyone and their brother has offered Valley Christian star running back Byron Marshall.  I did a story on Byron ("The Marshall Plan") back several months ago.

I'm looking at another back that Boise State has offered--Kenny Walker (Kennedy High School in Richmond, California).  As most of you know, Coach Chris Petersen and his staff may occasionally offer more than one recruit at the same position even though they might actually only sign one of them.  What is often the case (and Petersen is very candid and up front in his approach) is that the one who commits first is the one that gets the scholarship and the other one has to look elsewhere.  

Marshall has at last count over three dozen scholarship offers.  He may be stalling on Boise State thinking he can do better.  With the mind-blowing growth in academics and athletics at the school in Boise's capital city, not to mention the high quality of living, he can't.  But the young man has to find out for himself.

In the meantime, that scholly may just be taken by Kenny Walker.  I've watched his tape, which promotes him as having speed, vision and agility--he does, and that's a "Yes" to all three.  He finished second in California in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 7.50.  You can't teach speed.  Walker has it, plus the instincts to run to openings.  

It may be that Walker also has the intelligence to know a golden offer when he has one, and that could leave the other guy having to go elsewhere.  That one may like the school and the conference, but they won't be on as good a team as Boise State.  He might have enjoyed his season and all, but he'll be at home watching a Boise State running back score the winning touchdown in a January bowl game.

Of course, both backs may be watching Davien Payne (another Bronco offer) score that touchdown!

Would This Be Fair?

I was thinking about the possibilities regarding talent being currently recruited by Boise State (as football fans all like to do).  

I was trying to imagine what an offense would be like with Nick Patti at quarterback, with his amazing accuracy plus the ability to gain huge chunks of yardage on the ground, throwing to two receivers (the Davis brothers) with 4.37 speed.  Add to that combination a running back the caliber of Jay Ajayi.

I'm not jumping ahead or anything, but is that fair to an opposing defense?

Sexton Named WAC Field Athlete of the Week

You can't do much better than winning both the shot put and discus at the famed Oregon Relays.

That is what Boise State's Chase Sexton did, and the feats earned him the WAC Field Athlete of the Week.  Sexton set a personal best in the discus with a throw of 173-0, which elevated him to the second-best mark in the conference this season.  Sexton also won the shot with a throw of 53-3.5.

Sawyer Bosch was nominated for the Track Athlete of the Week after a fine performance in the steeplechase, but that honor went to Utah State's Armahd Lewis for winning both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes at the Cal Brutus Hamilton Invitational.

Chaz Anderson Gets Latest Bronco Offer

Loyolla, California cornerback Chaz Anderson is the recipient of the latest scholarship offer from Boise State.  

The 6-0, 175-lb. Anderson happens to be the cousin of Bronco corner Bryan Douglas.  Anderson had three interceptions last year and caught 14 passes for a touchdown as a wide receiver.  He is quick, having lettered in track.  He has run the 110-meter hurdles in 16.88 and the 300 hurdles in 42.80.  Anderson played on a losing team last year, so he had plenty of opportunities to make tackles in the secondary.  He displayed good coverage skills, good instincts, and wasn't afraid to stop a speeding locomotive (a running back at top speed) from reaching its destination.

Although Anderson was happy to receive Boise State's offer, he wants to go to both the USC and UCLA camps, which tells me that like so many others, he values a school's conference more than the school itself.  No knock on those two schools, but Los Angeles, with all its big-city problems, doesn't compare to Boise.  

More on the recruitment of Anderson as it progresses.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Current WAC Commissioner's Cup Projections

I will always try to provide the most complete and up-to-date analysis of the WAC Commissioner's Cup race.  I know people from all over are interested and follow it so these projections can help you gauge how the race is shaping up.  The race has tightened up considerably since my last update.  The reason is that Boise State has fallen towards the bottom in two sports, women's track and men's golf, and the men's tennis team is down to 4th while the men's track team is projected to finish third.  Whereas Boise State had the Cup to themselves in a breeze, now it's up in the air.

The Commissioner's Cup is given annually to the WAC school that has the best overall sports department for that school year.  The standings are determined by a point system that gives inverted points to the schools based on their performance in 20 sports that the conference sponsors and how many WAC schools participate in each sport.  For example, there are nine teams in football, thus the champion gets nine points, the runner-up eight points, the third-place team gets seven points, etc.  If there is a tie, the two tied teams split the points for two positions, i.e. a tie for first would split the points awarded for #1 and #2 (9 + 8 = 17 divided by 2 = 8.5 each).  

 Men's Tennis:

1.  Fresno State 3.5
2.  Idaho 2.75
2.  New Mexico State 2.75
4.  Boise State 2
5.  Utah State 1.25
5.  Hawai'i 1.25
7.  Nevada 1 (awarded the full points for last place since they aren't in tournament)

Women's Tennis:
1.  Fresno State 4.5
2.  Boise State 3.75
2.  Nevada 3.75
4.  Idaho 3
5.  New Mexico State 2.5
6.  Hawai'i 2
7.  San Jose State 1.5
8.  Louisiana Tech 1
9.  Utah State .5

Currently, Boise State has built a good lead (74.25 to 61.75) over Utah State.  Fresno State (54.00),  has moved into third.  New Mexico State is fourth with 53.50, followed by Idaho (49.25), Nevada (46.50), Hawai'i (41.00), San Jose State (38.00) and Louisiana Tech (34.00).  As pointed out however, after tennis, the only substantial points that Boise State will get will be in softball. 

The championships in men's and women's tennis that will be April 27-May 1 in Boise are next in line.
In coming up with the projections, I use the best available data in each sport.  For softball and baseball, the league standings are used.  For golf, I use Golfweek's weekly ratings and for tennis I use College Tennis Online's weekly rankings.  As the teams play more, the standings and weekly rankings will be more reliable.  For track, I will initially use the WAC Indoor Track Championship data but will switch to projected point totals for the Outdoor Championship based on top times once there is enough data available.  

Here are the projections for each sport:

Men's Tennis:  (April 27-May 1)
1.  Fresno State (7)
2.  New Mexico State (6)
3.  Idaho (5)
4.  Boise State (4)
5.  Hawai'i (3)
6.  Utah State (2)
7.  Nevada (1)

Women's Tennis:  (April 27-May 1)
1.  Boise State (9 points)
2.  Fresno State (8)
3.  Nevada (7)
4.  Hawai'i (6)
5.  Idaho (5)
6.  New Mexico State (4)
7.  Utah State (3)
8.  Louisiana Tech (2)
9.  San Jose State (1)

Men's Golf:  (May 2-4)
1.  New Mexico State (9 points)
2.  Idaho (8)
3.  Fresno State (7)
4.  San Jose State (6)
5.  Nevada (5)
6.  Louisiana Tech (4)
7.  Hawai'i (3)
8.  Boise State (2)

9.  Utah State (1)

Softball:  (May 11-14)
1.  Fresno State (8 points)
2.  New Mexico State (7)
3.  Boise State (6)
4.  Hawai'i (5)
5.  Louisiana Tech (4)
6.  San Jose State (3)
7.  Nevada (2)
8.  Utah State (1)

Men's Track (May 10-13)
1.  Utah State (5 points)
2.  Fresno State (4)
3.  Boise State (3)
4.  Louisiana Tech (2)
5.  Idaho (1)

Women's Track (May 10-13)
1.  Louisiana Tech (8 points)
2.  Nevada (7)
3.  Utah State (6)
4.  New Mexico State (5)
5.  Fresno State (4)
6.  Idaho (3)
7.  Hawai'i (2)
8.  Boise State (1)

Baseball:  (May 25-29)
1.  Fresno State (7 points)
2.  New Mexico State (6 points)
3.  San Jose State (5)
4.  Louisiana Tech (4)
5.  Hawai'i (3)
6.  San Jose State (2)
7.  Nevada (1)

I will continue to do these projections on a semi-weekly basis.  As the teams get close to the championships in their respective sports, the data will get more accurate as being able to project the championship results.  As of right now, here are the projections for the final Commissioner's Cup point totals:

1.  Boise State 93.50  
     Boise State is expected to pick up most of its points in men's and women's tennis and in softball.  The Broncos are projected to score 25 points this spring--they will need to do well to hold off Fresno State.  If those teams do not come through, Boise State will likely lose the Cup.  On the other hand, since the women's golf team did better than expected, if the men's golf team can finish better than expected, Boise State's chances are dramatically improved.

2.  Fresno State 91.00
     The Bulldogs traditionally are the strongest team in the spring sports and this year should be no exception. Fresno State is expected to score 45 points in the spring alone.  Fresno is projected to win men's tennis, softball and baseball and are a strong contender for women's tennis and they are also expected to do extremely well in men's track and men's golf.  If one or more of those teams do not come through, Fresno could relinquish the challenger's role to New Mexico State.  All those teams have to do well and Fresno State has to hope that the key Boise State sports falter for the Bulldogs to take the Cup.  So far, that has happened.

Fresno State will once again provide the closest challenge to Boise State 

3.  New Mexico State 85.25
     The Aggies outdual Boise State for having the second best spring sports program to Fresno State, scoring 37 points.  The Aggies' best hope is to finish strong in their strengths and hope that their men's and women's tennis teams and women's track team can finish high while Boise State slips up somewhere.  Since they already have, NM State now has a chance.

4.  Utah State 77.75
     USU does fairly well in the spring but they aren't able to field a team in baseball, men's golf or women's golf.  Until they are able to fund those programs, Utah State will never have a serious chance of winning an overall competition.  Utah State is projected to score just 18 points this spring.  They could possibly finish third if everything goes right.

5.  Nevada 64.75
     Nevada has been a challenger nearly every year in the Commissioner's Cup.  However, poor fall programs hurt their chances severely.  They finished near the bottom in women's cross country, soccer and volleyball.  The only reason they are this high is because of their football, basketball and swimming programs.  Nevada is projected to score 23 more points in the spring.

6.  Idaho 64.50
     The Vandals have been in the middle of the pack for the last several years.  Idaho will get most of their points in men's and women's golf and men's tennis.  Idaho should get about 22 more points this spring.  They will fight for positions 5-8.

8. Hawai'i 59.75
    Hawai'i is expected to do the best in men's and women's tennis and softball.  UH should score in the neighborhood of 22 more points this spring.  That's a good total, but they are too far down to climb all the way to the top.

7.  Louisiana Tech 57.00
     Louisiana Tech has climbed out of the cellar in the Cup race and will score around 24 points this spring.  They probably won't get higher than #7, but they have a shot at that.

9.  San Jose State 51.50
     The Spartans are the favorite in women's golf and they should also do well in baseball.  San Jose State is projected to score 15 more points this spring.
There are four WAC schools that are able to field men's indoor track, so the winner gets four points, #2 gets 3 points and so on.  Some sports, such as gymnastics, have auxiliary members (schools that are not officially in the WAC but participate in the conference in that sport).  In those cases, the auxiliary teams do not get points for the Commissioner's Cup but their places count in the point configuration.  If there are five schools that compete in a sport and Sacramento State, for example, is third, the league champion still gets five points, second gets four points, and the next WAC school, the fourth-place team, gets two points.  Men's and women's tennis, baseball and softball all split awarded points with half going to the regular season and half to the postseason championships.