Archive | November, 2010

Keeping the dream alive

21 Nov

Logan, UT — Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow nor sideways rain could put a damper on the University of Idaho Vandal football team, which fought off not only the inclement weather but also the Utah State Aggies to keep their bowl hopes alive in a 28-6 victory on enemy turf.

“We’ve got a football team that had a lot of fun playing the game again and that means a lot,” Akey said. “We’re a wildcard playoff team, we need three, we’ve got one down and two to go.”

Akey took the field in a warm parka, and gas heaters were positioned by both benches to keep the gnawing cold away, as the weather turned progressively worse in Logan. The game kicked off with 40 mile-per-hour gusting winds, which turned quickly to horizontal rain and finally to a blizzard that covered the Merlin-Olson Field.

Idaho wide receiver Eric Greenwood said he was excited to play in such weather, saying he was used to playing in rain and sleet, but football in a full blizzard was new to him.

“When we first came out is started to drizzle, and I’m used to playing in that from western Washington,” Greenwood said. “The snow was kinda different though, I’d never played in snow — I enjoyed it.”

Through it all, the Vandals held tough in a must win game. The Vandals need to win their final three games to become bowl eligible, and  Idaho took steps in the right direction, displaying the kinds of things that have been missing from their game of late.

“That was one of the better defensive performances we’ve had,” said Idaho senior defensive end Aaron Lavarias. “It was a tough stretch we had these past few weeks and I thought (today) we played pretty dang good.”

The Vandals forced turnovers, put pressure on Utah State quarterback Diondre Borel, causing two interceptions and recording one sack, and the Vandals limited the Aggies to 242 total offensive yards.

“That was our game plan going in,” Lavarias said. “We thought he (Borel) was the key to their offense and I thought he get much going tonight — we really executed out game plan well.”

The Vandals got off to a slow start, as the Aggies, playing at home for the last time this year, as well as having a chance to clinch a season-best five-game winning season, brought a fearless effort that overwhelmed the Vandals. Continue reading

Photo Gallery: Idaho men’s basketball versus Portland

21 Nov

The Vandal men’s basketball squad allowed a big second-half run by an opposing team for the second game in a row, and the outcome of a 66-53 loss to Portland was the result. The Vandals lost at home in the confines of the Memorial Gym for the first time since coach Don Verlin took control of the team. Under Verlin, the team was perfect in defending their home turf, going 9-0.

Photographer Kate Kucharzyk was at the game and snapped some shots of the action. Hats off to Kate, and we hope you enjoy.

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Vandal Men’s Basketball blog Live tonight!

20 Nov

It’s the beginning of fall recess on the University of Idaho campus but our sports teams are still competing. Tonight the Vandal Men’s basketball team takes on the University of Portland Pilots at 7:05 p.m. in Memorial Gym. Idaho is 1-1 on the 2010 campaign. The Vandals lost the border battle with the Washington State Cougars on Tuesday night 88-71. The Pilots come to Moscow with a 3-1 record after losing to Kentucky 89-75  on Friday Night. We’ll have the play-by-play of tonight’s game starting around 6:30 p.m. PT here on Vandal Nation. We hope you can join us!  The live blog can be found here at:

http://www.coveritlive.com/index.php?option=com_altcaster&task=playaltcast&altcast_code=cb8f002b86

Report: Hawaii to MWC in football, Big West in all others

18 Nov

(UPDATE 9:57) Looking at scheduling, of interest to Idaho is that with Hawaii in the mix, BSU has one extra game it can schedule…could that game be reserved for a continuance of the UI/BSU rivalry?

(UPDATE 9:44)  Official response to the situation from the words of the MWC — “The Mountain West Conference Board of Directors has authorized Commissioner Craig Thompson to begin discussions with the University of Hawai`i regarding possible membership in the sport of football only.”

Dirting up the water even more. Doesn’t sounds like a finalized deal, but MWC is looking into a possibility. What this would mean is that MWC would have to change their bylaws, as currently they can only accept schools that perticipate in all sports. Sounds like MWC is considering making the change…

PS. that sound you heard was Air Force collectively screaming in anger and agony.

(UPDATE  9:30) More strangeness and mixed signals coming from MWC, which says it has authorized Thompson to discuss expansion with Hawaii…yet from the presser, Hawaii said it was all but a done deal. Are wires getting crossed?

(UPDATE 9:29) We needed a few minutes to gather out heads around this one…and it hasn’t done much good. Our analysis–

  • Hawaii has no invite to MWC, just a mutual desire…so why call press conference to announce their desire to join MWC without a deal in place. Hawaii said they are entering “final negotiations”…but what does that mean exactly?  Why not wait, finalize the move, and announce.
  • Also, a huge ‘up yours Benson and WAC’ message being sent by Hawaii, as they announced this to their fans first. The oddity that was this presser will be the first Benson will hear about this move.
  • We find this odd…the WAC has supported Hawaii, through expensive travel and all, and Hawaii has been happy (or so we though) with the WAC. Why go through this trouble to stir up animosity?
  • Not everyone is happy with the move. Football goes to MWC, but all other sports go to Big West, and UH basketball coach isn’t happy about it.
  • To sum it up — the presser left more questions than answers.

(UPDATE 9:13 pm) Wow…we have entered bizzaro world. UH calling a press conference confirming…well, that they are interested in joining MWC, and the MWC is interested in them, but there is no invite or offer to speak of yet…

Also, UH has NOT informed the WAC or comish Benson before this press conference of theirs. Stunningly gutsy, and *editorial* stupid move by UH. After all the support given to the by the WAC, and their public distaine of Nevada and Fresno leaving (remember the traitor comments?). Hypocrisy!!

(UPDATE 8:53) Follow the UH press conference at http://espn1420am.com/. Conversly, we’ll be tweeting the goods @vandalnation

(UPDATE) We’ve gotten reports that WAC comish. Karl Benson has not been informed of the move as of just a few minutes ago (8:22 local time).

Well, the headline really says it all — reports flying around the conference that Hawaii is finally making the move and leaving the WAC. UH has scheduled a press conference for 7pm local time, presumably to announce the move. We’ll update once we have the official confirmation, meanwhile follow the latest happenings on our twitter at @vandalnation.

Hawaii is the WAC”s longest-standing member, being a part of the conference for 32 years. Should Hawaii accept, the top four schools in the WAC will have left in the span of a few months, with Hawaii joining Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada in the MWC.

With Hawaii out of the picture, the WAC’s future becomes less certain and begs the question: who is the next to jump ship? Could SJSU, NMSU or even Idaho be next to follow. Suddenly inviting UTSA and Texas State seems like a lost cause…

Photo Gallery: Men’s basketball vs Eastern Oregon

15 Nov

The University of Idaho men’s basketball squad found themselves in a real batter against the No. 18 NAIA school, hosting Eastern Oregon in their season opener. Photographer Kate Kucharzyk was there the entier way, nabbing shots of the Vandals in action.

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Photo Gallery: Women’s basketball and volleyball

15 Nov

Double-header of photo action with women’s basketball and volleyball, both of which had a great weekend.

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photo gallery: Idaho Vandals vs. Boise State

15 Nov

BSU put the smackdown on Idaho, but that didn’t stop photographer Kate Kucharzyk from snapping some sweet shots. Enjoy!

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BSU-Idaho football play-by-play coverage on Vandal Nation NOW!

12 Nov

Check the live BSU-Idaho game blog here at <a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/index.php?option=com_altcaster&task=siteviewaltcast&altcast_code=3fe89f2d39&height=550&width=470” target=”_blank” >Click Here</a>

Football: Boise State vs. Idaho- Vandal Game Day!!!!!

12 Nov

The big day has arrived as tonight the No. 3 Nationally-ranked Boise State Broncos (8-0) take on the Idaho Vandals (4-5) tonight at 6:00 p.m. in the Kibbie Dome. This series between BSU and Idaho has taken place since 1970 and tonight may be the final time these two teams play in football. The game will air on ESPN2 at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT but for those not watching the game on television or attending the Dome in person, Vandal Nation will be live tonight with live blog play-by-play as well as post-game video and interviews. Check out the live play-by-play blog here starting around 5:00 p.m. PT <a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/index.php?option=com_altcaster&task=siteviewaltcast&altcast_code=3fe89f2d39&height=550&width=470” target=”_blank” >Click Here</a>

Mauled at home

8 Nov

The once crowded, electrifyingly-loud Kibbie Dome had fallen mostly silent as the sounds of spectators filing out filled the void of the thousands of empty seats left by disappointed fans.

And the game wasn’t even over yet.

It was a afternoon to forget for the Idaho Vandal football squad, once masters of their home domain, as they gave up an astounding 844 total offensive yards to the Nevada Wolf Pack in a 63-17 loss.

As the team left the field at the end of the fourth quarter, it was with their heads down and in complete silence. For the first time since 2008, 23 consecutive weeks, the Vandals are the owners of a losing 4-5 record.

“Heartbroken,” said senior safety Shiloh Keo, fighting back tears as he was asked to describe his feelings of the game. “I’ve been here for five years and this game meant a lot to me, because this is a team I’ve never been able to beat. Every time I play these guys I feel a big rivalry ’cause there is a talented guy on the other side of the field sharing the same number as I do.”

The talented player wearing No. 10 on the other side of the field was multi-versatile quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who put his whole array of skill on display in turning Idaho’s defense into Swiss cheese with needle-point precision passing.

“It just hurts,” Keo said, “because they did better than we did.” Continue reading

Photo Gallery double-feature: Football and Basketball

7 Nov

Oh boy, was it a rough night for Vandal fans yesterday. We’ve been wracking our brain to spin some sort of positive on Idaho’s embarrassing blow-out loss to Nevada on home, but when you give up an astounding 844 yards of total offense…well, it’s slim pickings. At least quarterback Nathan Enderle didn’t throw any interceptions, and had a sweet 75-yard bomb to Justin Veltung for an Idaho touchdown, but beyond that it was all downhill.

Some more quick stats and facts:

  • Idaho returned the ball down the length of the field twice, compiling 155 yards, but each return was followed by a last-second fumble, which Nevada recovered nullifying Idaho’s drive.
  • The 844 offensive yards are a school record for Nevada. The sad part? It could have been worse, as Nevada chose to ease off the gas in the final quarter. No joke, from the sidelines, it could have easily been 100-17.
  • Nevada had three rushers with 100+ yards….and one of them wasn’t Kaepernick!
  • Speaking of the talented QB, Kaepernick went 20-30 with five touchdown passes. With 20 completions and five touchdown passes, our intricate knowledge of basic arithmetic tells us that every four passes Kaepernick threw a touchdown. W…O…W
  • Idaho’s running game averaged a laughable 3.6 yards per carry.
  • Idaho dropped to below .500, they are now 4-5, for the first time since 2008.

We’ll have a broader overview of Idaho’s loss Monday after we chat with Akey and the team has some time to review the film. For now, however, our resident photographer Kate Kucharzyk snapped some shots of the Vandals loss.

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Fans hoping for a post-game bummer cure were sorely disappointed if they followed the men’s basketball team’s game against LCSC. The Vandals had trouble closing out the NANI school, missing shots and assignments all night and leaving the game in doubt until the final buzzer. Idaho won, but it wasn’t a pretty win by any standard. As much as it pains us to say it, should the Vandals, who shot 34 percent in the second half and finished the game with less than a 45 percent success rate from the floor against a team which it was expected to dominate, are looking at a long season if they continue this style of play heading into the season opener against Easter Oregon.

A sloppy game didn’t stop Kate from snapping some nice-looking shots of the men in action, which we share with you. Enjoy.

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Men’s Basketball Exhibition Game Live Blog

6 Nov

Live blog coverage of tonight’s exhibition game at Memorial Gym between the Lewis and Clark State Warriors and Idaho Vandals will be here on Vandal Nation. Visit the link to check out http://www.coveritlive.com/index.php?option=com_altcaster&task=playaltcast&altcast_code=65801506e8

Live Blog: Idaho Vandals vs. Nevada Wolf Pack

6 Nov

It’s football day here on the palouse. Remember to come out and support your Idaho Vandals as they look to bust their November streak and upset the Nevada Wolf Pack.  If you can’t make it to the game, our man JR Conrow will be at today’s football game and running a live blog, accessible by clicking here.

The Vandals are 10.5 point underdogs against Nevada…can they play spoiler to Nevada’s top-25 ranking? The answers, and good football, all start at 2 p.m. today at the Kibbie Dome!

The roundup: Nov 5

5 Nov

Morning to one and all. It’s…well, it’s actually a pretty darn cruddy-looking day on the palouse, which is perfect reason to get inside and enjoy some women’s basketball action! The Vandal women are back in action after a nine-month hiatus and hit the hardwood in the Memorial Gym tonight at 6 p.m. for their first and only exhibition game of the season against Lewis-Clark State College. Be there!

Plenty of news abroad about the Vandals, mainly in football. Enjoy Vandal fans!

Football

Volleyball

Men’s basketball

That’s all for another round-up folks. Get out and support your Vandals this weekend, grab your Akey bobble head dolls form the football game, and come cheer on basketball!

Vandal defense must be ready with Kaepernick, Nevada calling

5 Nov

Idaho continues its three-game gauntlet this week, coming home after a disappointing loss to Hawaii on enemy turf while hoping to reverse their fortunes against the Nevada Wolf Pack this Saturday.

The month of November hasn’t been kind to the Vandals. Idaho has lost 17 straight games in November, dating back to a Nov. 6 victory over Arkansas State in Pullman.

Have trouble remembering the last time Idaho defeated Arkansas State? It was in 2004, when Idaho was still a member of the Sun Belt Conference.

Saturday’s game is also a crossroad for the Vandals in the sense that Idaho hasn’t dipped below .500 since 2008, a record coach Robb Akey is proud of.

“I take pride in that and our players take pride in that,” Akey said. “We need to win this game to keep us above there.”

Not helping Idaho’s cause are the upcoming games in November. The Vandals host No. 25 Nevada and No. 2 Boise State, as well as traveling to Utah State and Fresno State. The Vandals lost to all four teams last year while going 8-5, but Akey isn’t getting too hung up on the past.

“I’m glad that the expectations of our football program are back to being strong once again — I didn’t like it when we were expected to not to be able to do anything,” Akey said. “There is no way, nobody out there anywhere in the world that can have stronger goals, desires and expectations for us than we do.
Nobody else knows what we are capable of.”
Continue reading

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