As Boise State celebrates the 30th anniversary of its signature blue turf, Mike Leach weighs on what smurf does for you.
The iconic blue turf at Boise State’s Albertson’s Stadium is one of the Broncos’ calling cards. Boise State first installed the turf for the 1986 season. By 2000, when the Broncos were well on their path to becoming one of the most respected mid-major programs in the country, the blue turf had become a hallmark of Boise State football.
Since that 2000 season, Boise State has gone 96-6 at home on its blue field for a nation’s-best .941 winning percentage. Perhaps the blue turf adds to the mystique? The Broncos have not lost a nonconference game at home since Dec. 28, 2005, when they fell 27-21 to Boston College in the MPC Computers (yes, really) Bowl.
Interestingly, the Broncos’ last regular-season nonconference home loss came in 2001 at the hands of — you guessed it — Washington State. Mike Price’s Cougars beat Boise State 41-20 in Boise on Sept. 8 en route to a Sun Bowl win and a 10-2 finish.
Since then, Boise State has won 30-straight regular-season nonconference games at home, and the 2016 season marks the 30th anniversary of the Broncos’ famed blue turf.
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So what does Cougars coach Mike Leach think of the great smurf turf in Boise?
He extends his sympathies toward the coaches who’ve worked at Boise State for years of eye strain they might have sustained while squinting at video clips of their blue-clad players practicing on their signature blue turf.
“I’m glad I don’t have to watch film on it every day, to be honest with you,” Leach said during his Monday press conference. “I think secretly those assistant coaches and those coaches at Boise, despite the fact it’s a trademark thing, would rather watch their guys practice on grass so the bodies, there’s a little more contrast with them, running around than on blue turf. I’d rather watch it on green than a variety of colors.”
Hey, maybe he’s on to something. As your eye doctor might tell you, looking at something green can help reduce eye strain.
As an aside, Leach also thinks the animal-watch groups should monitor the number of duck deaths the blue turf has inadvertently contributed to. Rumor has it that over the years, birds have on numerous occasions crashed kamikaze style into Boise’s turf after mistaking the expanse of blue for a body of water.
“I think animal-rights groups should keep an eye on it so ducks don’t break their necks trying to dive in,” Leach said, mostly kidding.
Now, some links:
— In case you missed it, Mike Leach confirmed on Monday that free safety Shalom Luani will play against Boise State this weekend.
— Along those lines, here’s what defensive coordinator Alex Grinch thinks the Cougs’ defense has to do to clean up the errors it made against EWU.
— Three EWU players earned awards for their performance vs. WSU
— The Spokesman-Review’s Jacob Thorpe takes this look at the WSU vs. Boise State matchup
— JuCo transfer receiver Cedric Wilson made an instant impact for Boise State in its opening day win.
— Boise State QB Brett Rypien, is preparing for a “weird” matchup against Washington State, the school his famous uncle, Mark Rypien, played for.
— The Boise State defense has a bunch of new starters, but the Broncos rose to the occasion vs. Louisiana-Lafayette last week
— Here’s a good breakdown of Boise State’s depth chart. The Broncos played eight true freshmen. Also, starting middle linebacker Joe Martarano hobbled off the field in the opener with what appeared to be a knee issue, but is still listed as the starter this week.