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WAC adds Utah Valley, CSUB – What it means for Idaho

9 Oct

Utah Valley and Cal-State Bakersfield have accepted invitations to the Western Athletic Conference, the WAC announced this morning. The addition of the two schools is with the intention of preserving the WAC as a non-football playing conference, as the two schools do not sponsor football.

The two schools move the conference to six teams for non-football sports, joining Seattle, Denver, Idaho and New Mexico State (NMSU and Idaho have plans of taking football independent). Thanks to a two-year grace period, the WAC will still hold on to its automatic bid to NCAA Championship tournaments despite being below the required minimum of seven schools.

Despite conversations with the Big Sky, the University of Idaho will still most likely be one of those schools playing WAC olympic sports for the 2013-14 calendar. As of today Idaho has not withdrawn from the WAC, nor has the school stated intentions to withdraw from the WAC.

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Practice notes through Thursday, post-scrimmage analysis, new WR impressing

9 Aug

Jahrie Level catches a TD at El Camino CC (Courtesy of El Camino CC)

It’s been a week now since Idaho football kicked off fall pre-season practice. Since Thursday’s opening practice the team has gone through its first couple of practices in full pads, had a couple two-a-days and played the first of three scrimmages. The scrimmage took part last Saturday afternoon in the Kibbie Dome, and was the first chance that coaches had an opportunity to really evaluate the two quarterbacks competing for the starting job.

Statistically, Dominique Blackman had the edge throwing four touchdown passes and 181 yards on 16 completions out of 21 attempts. Taylor Davis was 6 for 14 with 75 yards. Reps between the two haven’t fluctuated much from the start of fall camp, though it would be hard not to think that Blackman hasn’t at least created some separation in the competition. There is a long way to go in the competition with Akey not likely to name a starter until after the third scrimmage on Aug. 16.

The real storyline from the scrimmage is more than just the two quarterbacks. The entire offense clicked with all five quarterbacks leading touchdown drives, with significant contributions at the skill position spots from Junior College transfers.

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Idaho WR Ken McRoyal passes away at the age 22

13 May

By Sean Kramer and Madison McCord

The University of Idaho family has lost one of its own.

The athletic department has confirmed that wide receiver Ken McRoyal has died in his home state of California late Saturday evening/early Sunday morning. The statement said that details of his death are not available.

“It’s a devastating loss,” coach Robb Akey said. “We’ve lost a brother, a teammate, a family member. But, more importantly, a momma lost her son today. All of our prayers go to the family – that they can be strong in their healing from this tragedy.”

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Toomer swooped up by Seattle

29 Apr

Theo Lawson


The Seattle Seahawks have prolonged the career of Idaho inside linebacker Korey Toomer, after drafting Toomer with the 19th pick in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Although Toomer was the only Vandal drafted, four of his teammates have agreed to join four separate teams as free agents. Running back Princeton McCarty is set to join the Carolina Panthers, defensive tackle Michael Cosgrove will join the Detroit Lions, offensive tackle Tyrone Novikoff will join the Dallas Cowboys and another offensive tackle, Matt Cleveland, will join the Cleveland Browns.

After missing the first phone call from the Seahawks, Toomer, who doubted Seattle would draft a second linebacker, answered the phone on the second attempt.

“They asked me if I wanted to be a Seahawk and I said yes,” he said. “I was shocked. I didn’t think they were going to pick up another linebacker.”

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WAC Tournament: Idaho Men vs Hawaii photo gallery

8 Mar

The Idaho men’s basketball squad lost in heart-breaking fashion today in a first-round match-up against the Hawaii Warriors.  Photos courtesy of Ilya Pinchuk

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WAC Tournament: Idaho women vs San Jose State

8 Mar

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Vandals v La. Tech – Post Game

13 Feb

University of Idaho mens basketball coach Don Verlin, forward Kyle Barone and guard Landon Tatum talk about the team’s 73-64 victory over La. Tech on Feb. 11.

Slideshow: Men’s basketball vs Utah State

22 Jan

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Video highlights — Idaho Vandals vs Utah State

21 Nov

Missed Saturday’s thriller against Utah State in the Kibbie Dome? Want to see those big plays over and over again? Don’t believe that Brian Reader put together a quality game? Vandal Nation has your back with this video highlight package of the game!

Willamette post-game interviews

6 Nov

The Idaho men’s basketball team rocked Willamette University in the Memorial Gym last night, putting up 114 points in a 114-73 rout. Coach Don Verlin said he was happy with the offensive production, but addressed key issues the Vandals will face as they travel to Long Beach next Saturday.

Stephen Madison led all Vandals in scoring and was emphatic about the Vandals depth this season.

Landon Tatum, one of the players Verlin is looking toward to step up and lead the team, said the two exhibition games were a good test for the Vandals.

Good morning Vandal Nation: Oct. 19, 2011

19 Oct

It’s bye week here in Moscow, and despite the sorrows we’re still feeling from Saturday’s heartbreaking loss; soccer, volleyball and tennis have given us reason to keep faith in the Mighty Vandals.






WAC Round-up: Week 7

16 Oct

San Jose State-28 Hawaii-27

Only one word could describe this sloppy, scrappy Friday night affair in the San Francisco Bay Area. Turnover. There were 12 of them in the Warriors’ first conference loss of the season, six of them coming from interceptions. Following an early Hawaii touchdown, the Spartans would take over and control the second quarter, scoring 20 points from two touchdown runs from Chandler Jones and two field goals. Hawaii ruled the third, and took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter. Hawaii’s Joey Iosefa extended the visitors’ lead to seven but SJSU was determined to give the Spartan fans good reason to celebrate on Homecoming. SJSU’s Duke Ihenacho blocked the PAT and ran it back for two points, which would leave the Spartans at a five-point disadvantage. Jones and quarterback Matt Faulkner hooked up for a 36-yard touchdown pass with 36 seconds remaining to give SJSU a one-point lead. The clock ticked down to zero and the Spartan faithful stormed the field following SJSU’s second WAC win of the year, one more than they won throughout the entirety of conference play last season.


Nevada-49 University of New Mexico-7

It didn’t take long for Mackay Stadium in Reno to turn into a slaughterhouse Saturday, and the host Wolf Pack manhandled the winless Lobos. Nevada’s rushing game took command early on and the Wolf Pack found themselves ahead 14-0 in the first quarter after rushing touchdowns from Lampford Mark and Stefphon Jefferson. Quarterback Cody Fajardo threw for 200 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception but the freshman rushed for 86 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Despite only 39 yards, Mark went for three touchdowns and the Wolf Pack offense had almost 600 total offensive yards against a helpless New Mexico squad. The Lobos didn’t score until late in the fourth quarter when Tarean Austin ran it in for a 17-yard touchdown. UNM quarterback B.R. Holbrook was held to 62 passing yards and he completed 40 percent of his passes. At .500, the Wolf Pack are 1-0 in the WAC and host Fresno State next weekend.


Fresno State-31 Utah State-21

The Bulldogs remain perfect in the WAC and overcame an early drought against a potent Utah State team on Saturday. Fresno State were victim to two long touchdowns early in the first quarter, a 47-yard touchdown pass to Michael Smith from Chuckie Keeton and a 57-yard touchdown run from Robert Turbin. Bulldog quarterback Derek Carr answered back with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Isiah Burse and a one-yard touchdown run, which set the teams even at 14. The lead would change twice more but Carr and Fresno were able to retain it in the fourth quarter following the sophomore’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Saunders. Robbie Rouse’s touchdown run extended the lead to 10 and USU were unable to threaten offensively in the fourth quarter, which would ultimately lead to a loss in their conference opener.

Idaho Athletics “Throw the V” News Conference

9 Oct

Offense falls flat in Homecoming loss

8 Oct

Theo Lawson


 After falling behind two touchdowns, the mood in the Kibbie Dome was dampened yet again when wide receiver Marsel Posey left the game on a stretcher after running into the East end zone wall. The Vandals extended their current losing streak to four games, after dropping the Homecoming game to La. Tech 24-11 on Saturday.

“Very disappointed,” coach Robb Akey said. “The goal coming into this game was to get a winning streak started, getting ourselves to play the football that we can play and that certainly didn’t happen today.”

A defensive battle between the WAC opponents saw only 15 points scored in the first half and the only touchdown came from La. Tech’s Jay Dudley ran back an interception.

The Vandal defense proved a force to be reckoned with and late in the second quarter when defensive end Andre Ferguson brought down La. Tech running back Lennon Creer in the end zone for a safety.

Nevertheless, quarterback Brian Reader and the offense weren’t able to get things rolling and Idaho’s only other first half points came from a Trey Farquhar field goal.

“Some things weren’t falling all the way, I put a lot of this blame on myself, I need to play better, the team needs to play better,” Reader said. “The defense did a great job today, when they make stops we need to put points on the board. So once we start putting points on the board we’ll be a lot better off.”

Justin Veltung would finish with Idaho’s only touchdown, which came from a 81-yard punt return that saw the junior juke a few Bulldogs before burning down to the end zone to close the gap and leave La. Tech with a 13-point cushion.

Reader attempted to connect with Posey for the two-point conversion but the junior was unable to hold on and ran through the end zone into a set of curtains covering a metal wall. An ambulance and stretcher were brought onto the field but Posey’s status is yet to be fully determined.

“It looks very positive right now. He woke up and was fully able to move arms and legs so that’s very positive,” Akey said.

Less positive was Reader’s passing game, which took a turn for the worst as the senior went 19 for 47, completing 40 percent of his passes while throwing for three interceptions.

Though Reader had 244 passing yards, the inability to finish off drives led to 11 punts from Bobby Cowan.

“Losing four games in a row now, confidence starts to get lower and lower and lower especially after a game like that,” Reader said. “There’s no reason why that confidence can’t go back up, personally it’s got to go back up, as a leader on this team I have to show confidence.”

The Vandals’ rushing game was nearly inexistent and though running back Ryan Bass was in full uniform, the Arizona State transfer didn’t see any action. Princeton McCarty and Kama Bailey combined for 65 rushing yards on 20 carries, averaging less than 2.5 yards per carry.

The Bulldogs didn’t exactly have an offensive field day, and finished with 353 offensive yards. 18-year-old quarterback Nick Isham was sacked three times and was 25 for 39 with 163 passing yards.

La. Tech found a hole in the Vandals’ run defense and freshman running back Hunter Lee averaged almost five yards per carry, concluding with 135 rushing yards while Lennon Creer rushed for 55 yards on 12 carries.  

Linebacker Korey Toomer tallied two sacks and 10 tackles but despite another strong defensive showing, frustration lingers.

“There’s always going to be frustration, but what we do on defense is rally around our offense, we’re going to pat them on the back and tell them to come on,” Toomer said. “We’re going to get them back on the field every time, that’s the way our defense is. We execute and we go out there and get them back on the field, that’s our job.”

The offense hasn’t scored in regulation for two games now and Akey welcomed the idea of giving sophomore quarterback Taylor Davis playing time in the wake of Reader’s current slump.

Idaho travel to Las Cruces, N.M. next weekend for a 5:00 P.M. match-up with WAC foe New Mexico State.

Akey press conference: 10/3/11

4 Oct

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