Archive | Commentary RSS feed for this section

Know a Foe – Week 7 – Keeping it La. Technical

18 Oct

The Idaho football program is being backed in to a cliff, and one more step back will push it all over the edge. Idaho sits at 1-6 and one more loss means Idaho will go bowl-less for a third consecutive season. The first game with backs against the wall happens to come at 5-1 Louisiana Tech, the team that lost to No. 18 Texas A&M by two points last weekend in Shreveport, La.

Though it’s not as if Idaho hasn’t had to travel long distances to face tough competition this season. This is Idaho’s fifth trip of the season to Texas or further east.

The challenge? Stopping La. Tech’s offense. Check that, the impossibility is stopping La. Tech’s offense. The Bulldogs have the number one offense in the country at 53.8 points-per-game. Their lowest scoring output was in a 44-38 win at Illinois. On top of that, La. Tech has only turned the ball over four times all season, three of them coming at Illinois.

There is a glimmer of hope, and that comes when Idaho will be on offense. La. Tech has a bottom-five defense in the country at No. 117. This is the week where Idaho can, and will have to, get its offense back on track. The running game got back on track last week at Texas State, though this will need to be the week where Idaho needs to operates its methodical offense on all-cylinders.

The most effective way to play defense against La. Tech is for Idaho’s offense to stay on the field, as cliche as it sounds. Methodical drives have been an issue for the Vandals. Both of Idaho’s touchdowns against New Mexico State were set up off of turnovers, while Idaho’s one touchdown at Texas State was set up with big plays. Idaho has struggled when its been forced to drive the length of the field and consistently convert third downs (10-28 the last two weeks).

And well, if nothing else, Idaho has little to lose this weekend.

Necessary Links

Here’s Theo Lawson’s preview in today’s issue of The Argonaut, in which he talks with cornerback Aaron Grymes and wide receiver Mike Scott about the power that is the La. Tech offense and the soft, fluffy bunny that is their defense

— Also in today’s issue of The Argonaut, I take a look at the program that La. Tech has built in Ruston and why they will continue to grow to bigger and better things — especially under the leadership of coach Sonny Dikes.

— Finally make sure to check back later for a full report of Idaho AD Rob Spear’s news conference regarding the 2013 independent schedule that is expected to be announced at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Scouting report

Here’s our video scouting report for this weekend’s match-up.

Better Know a Foe – Week 6 – Welcoming alumni back to Moscow

4 Oct

Western Athletic Conference – Now accepting applications.

Welcome back to the hundreds, or thousands, of University of Idaho alumni making the trek back to the Palouse for the weekend. The weekend festivities will be plenty, though the one that we all specifically have our eyes on is of course the football game on Saturday.

Though, it may be safe to say that the football program saw better days while some of those alumni were in Moscow.

The Idaho football team that will greet the Homecoming crowd sit at an embarrassing 0-5. Getting blown out of the water in two money games, losing at home to an FCS school and relinquishing a fourth quarter lead to Wyoming to lose in overtime accentuate how the season has gone. Oh, yeah, there is that whole conference-less thing Idaho has going for it as well.

There is good news, however! That news comes in the form of Idaho’s opponent, the 1-4 New Mexico State Aggies, on a four game losing streak after winning their opener against Big Sky Sacramento State. They also are without a conference next season.

Continue reading

Better Know a Foe – week 3 at LSU edition – Geaux Time

13 Sep

It’s anybody’s guess on what will terrify the Vandals most Saturday night when the team walks out of Tiger Stadium’s visitors tunnel – The 450-pound live Bengal tiger caged up on the sideline staring them in the face, or the No. 2 team in the country that demolished the Pac-12′s Washington Huskies by 38-points last week.

In the heart of the Bayou they call it Death Valley, where teams that come in dreaming of upsets and victory often leave mauled and demoralized. LSU has won 19-straight at Tiger Stadium.

Regardless, the Vandals are well aware of the challenge that awaits them there.

The LSU mascot, Mike VI. He’s cute.

“Everything we do has to be another notch higher, another speed. That’s what they’re really good at, speed,” center Mike Marboe said. “That’s the biggest thing preparation wise, everything they do…is so much faster than anything we’ve ever seen.”

Speed, indeed. That speed kept the usually potent Washington offense touchdown-less and held quarterback Keith Price to 4.4 yards per passing attempt. The beat down of the Huskies moved LSU to 2-0 on the year, and 2-0 at Tiger Stadium with an average margin of victory of 32.5 points. 

“They call it Death Valley for a couple reasons,” coach Robb Akey said. “I think a lot of people have lost a game before they ever go in there, and that’s talking about SEC teams.”

Continue reading

Better know a Foe: Humanitarian Bowl rubber match – Week 2 at Bowling Green

6 Sep

The H-Bowl table at the Corner Club in Moscow

It was the two-point conversion that re-defined what football was at the University of Idaho. The standard to which coach Robb Akey’s program is held was set on December 30, 2009 when Nathan Enderle hit Preston Davis in the back of the endzone, and pandemonium ensued. The play spurred Idaho to a 43-42 victory in the Humanitarian Bowl over Bowling Green, its second bowl victory since becoming a Football Subdivision program. Continue reading

Game recap: Eastern Washington 20, Idaho 3

1 Sep Philip Vukelich | Argonaut
Senior quarterback Logan Bushnell delivers a pass as he is pressured from the Eastern Washington University defensive line Thursday in the Kibbie Dome. Bushnell, Idaho’s second-string quarterback, started the game after Dominique Blackman did not play for unspecified reasons.

The words that can be used to describe Idaho’s 20-3 season-opening loss to Eastern Washington range from poor to pathetic. It was a tale of two sides of the ball for a Vandals team that was without their starting QB Dominique Blackman, which in turn led to a lack of any offense.

Here is our game overview with quotes from coach Robb Akey, QB Logan Bushnell and LB Homer Mauga. Also below the jump is stats and analysis of the game. Continue reading

Better Know a Foe: Week 1 (Thursday) v. Eastern Washington Eagles

29 Aug

Desmond Trufant puts an end to a nightmare for UW fans

Take a good look at that picture. That is Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant hauling down an interception in the endzone to seal a 30-27 victory over Eastern Washington for the Huskies at Husky Stadium last year. The interception put an end to a nightmarish development for the Huskies, who legitimately looked like they could lose to the Big Sky program in the 2011 season opener for both teams.

Make no mistake about it, the Eagles played well enough to win that game. They looked the part of a team that was capable of going in to an FBS stadium and winning, and in all likelihood it’s the mindset the team had.

So how aware of that are the Vandals as the Eagles prepare to make the drive down from Cheney? Continue reading

2012 NFL Mock Mascot Draft — 4th and Downtown

26 Apr

Where would Joe go?

Today on Vandal Nation’s radio show “4th and Downtown,” hosts Madison McCord and Theo Lawson talked about which college mascots would get drafted and where they would go if NFL teams picked up mascots based on their team’s needs. Here is the audio from the segment which mock drafted picks 1-10.

Do you agree with our picks, and if not, what would you change.

Listen to the show here

VN Scouting Report v Portland State

16 Feb

Seniors Deremy Geiger, Djim Bandoumel and Landon Tatum talk about Saturday’s game against Portland State in the Sears Bracket Buster matchup and their last home game as Vandals

VN Scouting Report – Seattle U

7 Feb

This week we talk with Idaho mens basketball coach Don Verlin, forward Stephen Madison and guard Matt Borton as they prep for three home games in five days, starting 2.7 with Seattle U.

VN Scouting Report – Fresno State & Nevada

1 Feb

Idaho senior guard Landon Tatum talks about this weekend’s road trip to Fresno State and Nevada. The Vandals split these two games at home to start the WAC season and will look for two wins to boost them near the top of the conference.

{LIVE} National Signing Day – News Conference

1 Feb

We’ll be going live from coach Robb Akey’s National Signing Day news conference at 12:15 on Wednesday, Feb. 1. We will also have a full recap and (better quality) video piece up as soon as we can.

Live video link –

Signing day primer – A look at Idaho’s commits and signing day storylines

31 Jan

Sean Kramer | Argonaut

The Idaho Vandal football program will welcome new members to its family Wednesday.

National signing day marks the first day prospective student-athletes for football are allowed to send signed, binding letters of intent to coaches to accept scholarships.

The days, weeks and months leading up to signing day can be the most fun for fans as speculation is non-stop as to where prospective athletes will go to school. By the end of the day, a clearer picture will be painted of the college football world, and the Vandals.

It’s important to remember a few points when speculating about the commitments the Vandals have received from players. For one, even if they are verbally committed it does not stop potential players from keeping their options open and considering other schools. Verbals are spoken understandings between coaches and players, and not binding at all. The world of recruiting is incredibly fluid and athletes change their minds all the time.

Second, most of what the public knows about commitments and scholarships that have supposedly been offered come from the athletes themselves and media accounts. Idaho coach Robb Akey and the Vandal football staff are prohibited from speaking about any athletes that haven’t sent in a LOI to a school. Until then, it is an NCAA violation.

Now, here are the kids that have tentatively agreed to become Vandals.

Ma’ne Maneae – safety – Lakes High School (Lakewood, Wash.)
Commit status: solid verbal

As Washington based prep sports writer Jerry Mercado put it to me, Maneae is Christmas come early for the Vandals. The three-star recruit, according to, committed to Idaho after an official visit Jan. 13. Maneae lacks ideal safety size at 5-foot-11-inches but presents speed and could be used anywhere in the secondary. He will be a welcome addition to a defensive back field that lacked closing speed had difficulty containing the deep pass.

Chad Chalich, quarterback, Coeur D’Alene High School
Commit status: solid verbal

Chalich’s recruiting situation is eerily similar to former Boise State QB Kellen Moore. Chalich is fresh off leading his team to the 5A Idaho state championship while pulling Idaho state player of the year honors, and was largely dismissed as a scholarship-worthy athlete to most programs in the Northwest.
Boise State and Utah only offered him a place as a prefer walk-on and Idaho was the only reported team to offer him a scholarship. It will be interesting to see if Akey offers the opportunity for Chalich to compete with Dominique Blackman and Taylor Davis for the starting job or if he redshirts. Chalich told Josh Wright of the Spokesman-Review he would prefer to redshirt his first season as a Vandal. Chalich is one of three quarterbacks committed to Idaho’s recruiting class.

Johmel Charles, fullback, Dominguez High School – (Compton, Calif.)
Commit status: undecided

If Charles ends up in Moscow he could be exactly what Idaho’s running game has been missing. The third and short, goal-line situations were so bad for the Vandals in 2011, that by the end of the year linebacker Korey Toomer was getting carries in order to convert first downs. Charles brings a 240-pound frame to the table and is a punishing blocker. He played defensive end, offensive line and running back in high school and could even translate to linebacker at the college level. Charles has offers from Southern Methodist and Fresno State as well. He is said to be favoring Boise State, but does not have an offer from coach Chris Petersen and the Broncos.

Matt Willis, linebacker, Los Angeles Harbor Junior College
Commit status: solid verbal

With the departure of Tre’Shawn Robinson the Vandals could be counting on Willis to compete for a now-vacant inside linebacker spot. Willis has good sideline-to-sideline speed and is an aggressive run-stopper who fits the Vandals’ defensive scheme well. He was a JUCO all-American at Los Angeles Harbor.

Other names to keep an eye on:

Jayshawn Jordan, cornerback, O’dea High School (Seattle, Wash.)
Commit status: soft verbal

Jordan originally committed to Wyoming but according to Doug Pacey of the Tacoma News Tribune, has switched his commitment to Idaho. has him committed to both schools, curiously. We’ll know for sure on signing day.

Cranston Jones, cornerback, West Mesquite High School (Mesquite, Tex.)
Commit status: solid verbal

There is a reason Idaho is attacking the secondary in this recruiting class. The Vandals convinced Jones to resist offers from Houston and Air Force in order to come to Moscow. ESPN ranks him No. 32 best corner prospect in the country. If Idaho is able to ink these potential Vandals, fans can expect them to make an immediate impact in fall 2012 and Akey better hope they do.

{VIDEO} Scouting Report vs. Virginia

29 Sep

Akey Weekly Press Conference – 9/12/11

12 Sep

North Dakota Post Game Press Conference

12 Sep

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 463 other followers