Did Rob Spear make the right decision to let go of Robb Akey during the season or should he have waited until the season’s end? We want your opinion. Follow the link below to complete our survey and we will release the results next week.
The following is Idaho’s football schedule for the 2013 season, per an e-mail sent from the athletic department. The final game will be against an unannounced BCS opponent.
In a conference call, athletic director Rob Spear has also announced that Idaho will join the Big Sky Conference in all other sports for the 2014-2015 season.
Vandal Football 2013
Date Opponent Conference Location Series First played
Aug. 31 North Texas Sun Belt Denton, Texas UNT leads 4-5 1996
Sept. 7 Wyoming Mountain West Laramie, Wyo. Idaho leads 4-2 1921
Sept. 14 Northern Illinois Mid-American Moscow, Idaho Tied 3-3 1969
Sept. 21 Washington State Pac-12 Pullman, Wash. WSU leads 69-17-3 1894
Sept. 28 Temple Big East Moscow, Idaho First meeting -
Oct. 5 Fresno State Mountain West Moscow, Idaho Fresno State leads 10-4 1946
Oct. 12 Arkansas State Sun Belt Jonesboro, Ark. Tied 4-4 1975
Oct. 19 Bye
Oct. 26 Mississippi SEC Oxford, Miss First meeting -
Nov. 2 New Mexico State Independent Moscow, Idaho Idaho leads 13-5 1971
Nov. 9 Old Dominion Colonial Moscow, Idaho First meeting -
Nov. 16 Bye
Nov. 23 BCS opponent TBA -
Nov. 30 New Mexico State Independent Las Cruces, N.M. Idaho leads 13-5 1971
During the Vandal radio network post-game show of Idaho’s loss at Texas State, Idaho athletic director Rob Spear said Idaho currently has 11 games lined up so far the 2013 season.
Spear said in the interview with Tom Morris he had 12 games lined up as recently as last Friday Oct. 12, but that one school had to pull out. Spear could come out the with the schedule as soon as the next week or two when he gets the 12th game, and likely wouldn’t be announced until the scheduling contracts are actually signed.
That schedule could include a home-and-home with Arkansas State, as reported by Scout.com’s AStateNation, citing Arkansas State’s athletic director. Spear said a contract for that game has not been signed, according to the Idaho Statesman. If the AStateNation report is true, Idaho would play at Arkansas State in 2013 and at the Kibbie Dome in 2014.
Currently, the Vandals have four confirmed scheduled games for both 2013 and 2014, but have only one home game for those seasons so far. Idaho needs five home games each of those seasons to abide by NCAA rules for being an FBS football program.
Along with the home game scheduled against North Illinois in 2013, Idaho is likely to play New Mexico State and an FCS school at the Kibbie Dome, in addition to making a return trip to New Mexico State in the same year.
Idaho is allowed to schedule an FCS school to count towards its required five home games. If needed, Idaho would also be able to schedule a game at Pullman’s Martin Stadium or Spokane’s Joe Albi Stadium and have that be considered one of its five home games.
We’ll have more as it comes available.
Idaho 2013 schedule:
Aug. 31 – at Ole Miss
Sep. 07 – at Wyoming
Sep. 14 – v Northern Illinois
Sep. 21 at Washington State
Not confirmed: at Arkansas State, v New Mexico State, at New Mexico State
Idaho 2014 schedule:
Aug. 30 – at Florida
Sep. 13 – v Western Michigan
Sep. 20 – at Ohio
TBA – at Northern Illinois
Not confirmed: v Arkansas State, v New Mexico State, at New Mexico State
Just about everything about Idaho’s performance against Bowling Green last Saturday night was a drastic improvement over the week one 20-3 loss to Eastern Washington – except for the final result. The Vandals left with a 21-13 defeat and are now 0-2 on the year. Not the kind of start that coach Robb Akey probably envisioned, considering that the next three games consists of two BCS Conference teams and a Mountain West bowl team. So don’t be surprised if at the end of the year this game is one that the Vandals look at thinking ‘what if’.
Down 14-6 with 3:36 left in the third quarter it was an ill-timed Dominique Blackman interception that spurred Bowling Green on a touchdown drive to make it a two possession game. After drawing back within one score Idaho WR Jahrie Level fumbled with 3:41 left in the game giving the Falcons an opportunity to run out the clock.
“We did things better, we competed better, our football team united better, we responded to adversity better. We still need to win the damn game that we had an opportunity to win,” Akey said. “Not the finish we wanted, not happy with that. Did we grow? Yes. Do we have room to continue to get better? Yes. And that’s what we’re going to pay attention to. I saw life, I feel like we have grown.”
It won’t get any easier from here. The Vandals will now travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to face an LSU team that dismantled Washington 41-3 last Saturday.
“We’ve got nothing to lose, we’re gonna go pin our ears back, get after it,” Akey said.
More on nothing to lose below. Here are the rest of our notes from Monday’s news conference with coach Akey:
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
University President Duane Nellis and athletic director Rob Spear met with media members Friday afternoon after the State Board of Education vote. The actual announcement for “exploring” independence is not a surprise to anybody, it’s been anticipated for the last month now. But it is very refreshing to hear the school’s administration actually come out and say it.
It’s also refreshing to see that Spear seemingly has the pieces in place to complete a two-year independent schedule that will allow Idaho to abide by the NCAA rules required to maintain Division-I Football Subdivision status (mainly, five home games, only one against an FCS opponent). 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.
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.
The future of University of Idaho football may be no more clearer today than it was last week. But Athletic Director Rob Spear assured Vandal Nation and other media members in a conference call today that the athletic department will continue their ongoing process to find the best possible situation for Vandal football and athletics as a whole with an “emphasis on maintaining our FBS status.”
“I have received a series of emails. People are concerned,” Spear said. “What I have told them is that we have been resilient; we will continue to be resilient. We are going to land on our feet. No matter the outcome, the University of Idaho is going to be fine.”
Idaho will need that resilience, since a resolution doesn’t seem likely to be coming any time soon.
By this time next year the Western Athletic Conferences will, in all likeliness, cease to exist as a football playing conference and Idaho is one of only two schools that still hasn’t found a home yet. Idaho made a concerted effort to join their peers in the new look Mountain West, but was ultimately shown the cold shoulder.
The day of reckoning has officially arrived. The WACpocalypse is upon us – and nobody is surprised.
The Mountain West has officially added Utah State and San Jose State. Conference USA has announced the additions of La Tech and Texas-San Antonio. The Sun Belt had already made official on Wednesday their addition of Texas State.
As expected, New Mexico State and Idaho are left twiddling their thumbs and pondering their futures in big time Division I football.
There may have been hope it seems. Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman reports both NMSU and Idaho vied the Mountain West for inclusion, with New Mexico lobbying hard on behalf of NMSU.
Texas State University has accepted a bid to join the Sun Belt conference in 2013-2014 the schools’ official website reported this morning.
The University of Texas System Board of Regents is also reported to be voting today on Texas-San Antonio’s bid to Conference-USA.
Both Texas State and UTSA will be joining the WAC as football members in 2012-2013, which will apparently be their only season in the conference.
With only five practices under their belt, the Idaho Vandal football team took the field Saturday for their first scrimmage of the spring season.
Questions coming into the game surrounding the quarterback battle, inexperienced offensive line and defensive secondary were all addressed on the field in the scrimmage, but it’s still too soon for any concrete answers.
Idaho coach Robb Akey said he was happy with how the scrimmage ended, but things can always get better.
“I think on both sides of the ball I saw some good things happening, I saw opportunity for both sides and I saw some people take advantage of that opportunity and in other cases that faded away,” Akey said.
The biggest question on fans minds coming into the spring season is who will be the Vandals’ signal caller this fall. Akey gave the first nod to junior Taylor Davis, who led the first team offense.
Akey said he would be looking to see big plays and a few fireworks in the scrimmage – he didn’t have to wait long for the opening show. In only the third play of the scrimmage, Davis found senior receiver Mike Scott for a 51-yard pass that brought the ball down to the seven yard line. Scott blew past senior cornerback Aaron Grymes on the play, but Grymes was able to recover and stop Scott from reaching the end zone. Three plays later, Davis thought he had the first touchdown of the game, finding junior tight end Taylor Elmo wide open on a broken screen play, but the score was pulled back due to a penalty. Senior kicker Trey Farquhar then missed a 42-yard field goal attempt.
Akey said he saw a lot of chances go to the wayside on both sides of the ball, especially in the red zone.
“We had red zone situations down here and defensively we had a chance to get ‘em stopped and we had a third down pass interference, and that’s a drive stop play right there.” Akey said. “In that same situation on the other side we have two touchdowns pulled off the board with two penalties, so we need some more discipline there.”
Scott said that finishing was a bit of a problem in the scrimmage, but it’s the main goal of the team for the spring season.