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
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
Finish. Finish. Finish. Finish. Say that word about 755 more times and you will arrive at how many times coach Robb Akey said that he used the word, or that theme, last week at WAC Media days in Las Vegas.
So come time when the Idaho football team hits the practice field for the first time in the fall, guess what the theme will be?
“I used the finish 759 times just in the media day alone, for an hour and a half. That was talking to cameras. So you can imagine what it’s going to be like talking to these players,” Akey said. “I’m gonna blow a horn they’re gonna know when the last quarter of practice begins for the next 29 practices. They’re gonna finish their dinner plates. We’re gonna finish everything.”
As he did during media days last week, Akey once again compared last years team to the 2009 version that won the Humanitarian Bowl. Last season the Vandals lost four games by one possession or less, four games that if swung the other way could have made Idaho bowl eligible. In contrast, in 2009 the Vandals won four regular season games by a touchdown or less. Five including the bowl victory.
“We made the play in the bowl season, we didn’t find a way to make the play last year. That is the bottom line. There is that fine a line between winning and not winning. That is a lot of what we’re paying attention to,” he said.
Idaho will hit the practice field on Thursday, Aug. 2 with their first scrimmage slated to happen on Tuesday, Aug. 7 and there should be story lines galore to follow, including the hotly contested quarterback battle and the health of the offensive line.
By Madison McCord
Former Idaho Vandals football and basketball broadcaster Bob Curtis passed away Wednesday at his home in Colfax. Curtis was 87.
Curtis started his career as a senior at Washington State University calling various games in Idaho, Montana and Washington. He was hired shortly after leaving WSU by Idaho to handle their play-by-play duties which he did until his retirement in 2004.
Curtis is best known for calling 540 consecutive Idaho football games including one in 2003 in which he went through a hip replacement surgery the week before. Curtis also called hundreds of basketball games for the Vandals.
Along with being a Vandal Hall of Fame member, Curtis was named the co-recepient of the National Football Foundation/College Football Hall of Fame Chris Schenkel Award in 2008 and was named the Idaho Sportscaster of the Year 33 times by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Curtis’ name was also given to the press box in the Kibbie Dome when it was remodeled before the 2011 season.
A service to remember Curtis will be held at 10 a.m on August 3 at the Baptist Church in Colfax.
Here is how Vandals everywhere reacted to the news:
“No matter who replaces him, or for how long – Bob Curtis will always be the Voice of the Vandals. The Tribe of the North shrunk by one today; we will miss him.” - Nic Nelson
“I used to love listening to him as a kid with my Dad then all the way through school with the same constant complaint, what is the score? There will be no other true voice of the Vandals.” - Sean Stickler
“Another Vandal great passes on. He was a great guy and what a broadcaster!! He was and always will be to a lot of us “The Voice of the Vandals!! RIP Bob!!!” – Kirk Lamm
RIP Bob Curtis…legendary announcer for the University of Idaho Vandals….grew up listening to him every Sat…#govandals
— Larry Hollifield (@LarryRanch) July 26, 2012
RIP Bob Curtis.Your dedication to our school was unparalleled.#govandals
— Stringer (@seattlevandal) July 26, 2012
Dammit. Pouring some out for Bob Curtis. I can still hear his voice. #govandals
— Josh Starkey (@starkeeey) July 26, 2012
With actual football season right around the corner we get to take just a bit of a break from the conference re-alignment chatter and all of the uncertainty for one thing that we know for sure: That the Idaho Vandals will be playing football in the WAC in 2012.
All seven football playing members in the conference were present at the Orleans hotel in Las Vegas, as well as Interim WAC Commissioner Jeff Hurd who had a lot of interesting things to say about the future of the Conference. (I guess we can’t ENTIRELY get away from it, can we?)
Among the zingers was a definitive statement that the WAC would NOT be a football playing conference in 2013 and is instead looking to salvage a future as a non-football member. However, Hurd did make comments about the WAC possibly returning as a football conference in 2014 or 2015. Apparently there were also rumblings around the room that both Seattle and Denver were exploring the possibility of adding football programs as well, but those discussions would be very preliminary. Expect an official announcement within the next couple of weeks.
How would all of that affect Idaho? We will be addressing that next week, so look out for our piece on Idaho’s immediate football and athletic future.
As for actually getting down to business for Idaho football in 2012, Coach Robb Akey, CB Aaron Grymes and WR Mike Scott represented the Vandals down in Las Vegas at the WAC Media event.
Here are the highlights of what Robb Akey and the players had to down in Vegas, with a link to the video at the bottom:
Princeton McCarty was known by Idaho fans for one thing: Speed.
That speed racked him up over 2,000 yards of rushing offense during his four year career as a Vandal, including his career long 82 yard streak down the sideline touchdown run against BYU just last November.
Luckily for McCarty, speed, sub 4.4 forty-yard dash speed at that, is a good thing to have when a player has dreams of playing in the NFL. McCarty was signed as an un-drafted free agent by the Carolina Panthers the day the draft ended.
It will be an uphill battle for McCarty to crack the 53-man roster as he signed with a team that already features two of the best young backs in the league in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, although McCarty said that was part of the allure of signing with the Panthers.
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.
Photo courtesy Bruce Mann
Heartbreak. It’s been the theme of the 2011 season and Saturday afternoon wasn’t any different. Kicker Trey Farquhar scuffed a 52-yard field goal as the clock ticked down to zero, sending the Idaho Vandals to their sixth consecutive loss, a 16-14 decision.
Although Taylor Davis got the start at quarterback, Brian Reader was back in the game late in the fourth quarter. After completing two consecutive passes Reader threw into coverage and Aaron Brown picked the ball off on the Hawaii five-yard line.
The hosts remained on top 14-13, when Hawaii initiated their 67-yard drive, which ended with a 35-yard field goal gave the Warriors a two-point lead. With 32 seconds remaining, Reader completed consecutive passes to Kama Bailey and Landon Weaver but missed a wide open Michael LaGrone down field.
Forced to convert a 53-yard field goal, Farquhar stepped up and launched a rocket, which flew wide left of the goal post.
“Again, I’m talking about one play,” coach Robb Akey said. “It’s like a broken record and it’s painful. But we’re going to continue to come and work and it ain’t going to break us it ain’t going to break me. I had all the confidence in the world we’d finish this one, we had every opportunity to finish this one.”
The Vandals, now 1-7 and 0-4 in the WAC, led midway through the first quarter when Hawaii forced running back Princeton McCarty to fumble at the one-yard line. Offensive lineman Matt Cleveland reacted and scooped up the loose ball in the end zone.
Hawaii responded in the second quarter when quarterback Bryant Moniz found a wide open Billy Ray Stutzman in the end zone. The Warriors took a six-point lead following two field goals.
The Vandal defense had been pressuring Moniz all game and capitalized on Benson Mayowa’s forced fumble, which bounced directly into the hands of Tracy Carter who returned it 7o yards for the touchdown.
“We work pass rush in practice every day. We came out and fought hard with them, they worked us hard,” linebacker Korey Toomer said. “As a defense in pass rushing those guys, we were working the edges, we did as much as we could, we fought hard.”
Immediately after the play, defensive lineman QuayShawne Buckley head butted Carter, who may have suffered a head injury as a result, and was unavailable for the remainder of the game.
“Kid loves to celebrate,” Toomer said of Buckley. “He loves to be around his teammates and he celebrates a little different than everybody else so Tracy’s okay and we got a touchdown on defense.”
Moniz, who has been labeled as a 2011 Heisman candidate, was sacked six times and turned the ball over twice.
Nevertheless, the offense couldn’t ignite any sort of a spark and the defense allowed the Warriors a chip shot field goal while the special teams unit and Farquhar couldn’t knock in their own.
“I mean you look at this team, they play hard, they play with passion, they play physical I mean dadgum, now we need to make more plays,” Akey said. “I’m not saying we’re playing great but we’re doing those things, that means they’re laying it on the line. I feel sick for those kids, I want to see them be rewarded.”
Starting Davis was a decision that Akey made earlier this week in practice, and one that was based off of the Vandals’ desire for an offensive spark. Though the sophomore commanded the offense fairly well, he only completed 6 of 17 passes for 33 yards, and threw for one interception.
Reader, who came in as a backup, was five for seven with 52 yards and one interception.
“It’s nice to be called on in that situation, it’s happened before it happened a couple of years ago when I was a backup the whole season and I guess I had experience being a backup in that situation and I felt like I was ready to go,” Reader said. “They trusted me to finish it off there and I missed it by an inch again.”
Akey didn’t indicate who would be starting next week against San Jose State but did state that practice would be closed off again to media and the public so players can focus on next Saturday’s task instead of reminiscing about Saturday’s loss.
Justin Veltung, Armauni Johnson and Carter all left the game with minor injuries, which have yet to be evaluated.