Coach Pete’s return is nowhere near as anticipated as Oregon’s visit to Boise State

Posted: 09/04/2015 in college football
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Saw a television station article the other day that claimed Boise State’s season-opening game against Washington is the most-anticipated football contest to ever be played in Boise.

Then I fell out of my computer chair and out the third-floor window and slammed my head on the concrete.

OK, so the fall didn’t happen — but that story would be just as accurate as anyone who writes that Friday’s game with the Huskies is the biggest in the city’s history. (see stellar game preview here —

The return of Washington coach Chris Petersen — the coach for Boise State’s best-ever seasons — to the Blue Turf is certainly an intriguing story line. And yes, the Broncos typically don’t attract Pac-12 teams to visit due to their small football stadium so this beats another UC Davis or Miami (Ohio) contest.

But the buzz has been kind of mellow compared to the truly most anticipated home game in Boise State history — the 2009 opener against Oregon.

I moved to Boise that summer and that was all I heard about every day as I tried to figure out why the temperatures were always in the 90s and 100s. Boise State fans were passionate and going crazy about the game and Oregon was breaking in a new head coach named Chip Kelly who was promising the Ducks would be scoring points at high-octane levels.

Oregon also was the first-ever ranked team to visit Boise State and the fans were giddy about that tidbit – as they saw it as something that increased the Broncos’ credibility.

Plus, Boise State had won at Oregon the previous season and the Ducks were still fuming about it. Running back LeGarrette Blount was quoted as saying Oregon owed the Broncos an “ass whuppin.”

Tension was everywhere as the start of the game approached. I was impressed as I saw signs that this non-sports town I moved to might actually have some life at times.

As for the return of “Coach Pete” and his unranked Huskies, the buzz has increased over the past week but pales in comparison to the Oregon game.

People who were mad at Petersen for leaving were able to move on a little easier once Bryan Harsin guided the Broncos to a 12-win season in 2014, including a Fiesta Bowl victory over Arizona. People who are thankful for Petersen’s eight seasons as coach and impressive contributions will get a chance to applaud him before the game or yell something at him as he leaves the field afterward.

The last time these teams met, Petersen’s Broncos were destroyed 38-6 at Washington in 2013. These Huskies aren’t as good and that also has something to do with the level of anticipation as you don’t hear Boise State fans talking about payback.

If the game turns out to be a classic, it might then be remembered years down the road for something more than Coach Pete’s return.

You know, if it should turn out to be … like Oregon versus Boise State in 2009.

Kelly’s fast-pace offense was slowed to a snail in terms of production — six first downs, 152 total yards — as the Broncos posted a 19-8 victory. Yes, Chip Kelly’s team scored EIGHT whole points.

Oregon’s biggest power display came after the game when Blount delivered a right cross to the jaw of mouthy Boise State defender Byron Hout during the postgame handshake.

Hey, maybe that’s what this Washington-Boise State contest needs. Perhaps a player or administrator will cold-cock Petersen before the game. That will get tensions moving in the right direction.

Regardless, if you’re one of those people trying to hype this game as the biggest or most-anticipated home game in Boise State history, just stop it.


  1. Wilfred P. says:

    He eats bails of hay

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