Tag Archives: Nathan Enderle

Photo Gallery: Vandals vs San Jose State Spartans

5 Dec

The Vandals season ended with more or a glorified whimper than a roar, but an exciting OT victory over the 1-12 San Jose State Spartans certainly gave fans an exciting way to end the season. Photographer Kate Kucharzyk was there along the way and snapped some great shots. Enjoy, and congratulations to all 14 seniors who leave Idaho’s program!

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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 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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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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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

Vandal Nation Live: Idaho vs. UNLV

18 Sep

After a tough outing against Nebraska that showed the promise and peril of this year’s team, the Idaho Vandals return home to take on the UNLV Rebels in a bid to defend the Kibbie Dome turf on UI’s annual Dads Weekend. Under the lights and in front of national TV cameras broadcasting the game live on ESPNU, it’s Vandal Game Day once again!

In Lincoln, the Vandals’ defense stood strong and once again forced key turnovers, but offensive struggles and a series of ill-advised interceptions thrown by Nate Enderle blunted Idaho’s attack and led to a deflating defeat. Bouncing back will be key, as a victory tonight would keep the Silver and Gold on pace for bowl eligibility for the second consecutive year.

The Rebels are 0-2 to start the season, but both losses came against tough opponents: Wisconsin and Utah. Idaho last met UNLV in 2005, falling by the score of 34-31, and the Vandals trail in the all-time series, 3-2.

Join Vandal fans from across the nation as we once again bring you our play-by-play liveblog from the Kibbie Dome. Pregame starts at 7 p.m. Pacific time, kickoff at 7:30.

Click here for Vandal Nation Live commentary, analysis and chat!

Money, injuries and good defense

14 Sep

Idaho takes away the good, the bad and the ugly from Nebraska game

With a 38-17 loss to Nebraska and Idaho’s 21st consecutive loss to a BCS team behind them, Idaho coach Robb Akey said the team is ready to move on to the next game.
Akey was adamant about defending the chance to test the team’s mettle against high-calibur opponents.

“It’s great for our football team when we do it one time (a season),” Akey said. “To play a BCS opponent is an important thing for us. Having an opponent like this is a damn good thing because we are going to play somebody like that when we get to the bowl — you play one of the better teams in the country in bowl games.”

The $800,000 paycheck the university collected from visiting Nebraska doesn’t put a damper on the situation either.

Idaho received the largest payout in school history this weekend, dwarfing the previous $600,000 payout for traveling to the University of Southern California and the University of Arizona. Idaho schedules one big away game per year, with the funds propping up the athletic department’s $15 million budget.

Akey said the team can take away positives — mainly a defensive stand that limited No. 6 Nebraska to one touchdown in the second half — as learning points from the game moving forward.

“We had four goal line stands against that outfit, and two of them were in sudden change senarios — that’s big,” Akey said. “That is something that we can build from. If we can have goal line stands against those guys, I think we have a chance to turn this into a decent outfit.” Continue reading

Good Afternoon Vandal Nation: Morning-After-H-Bowl Edition

31 Dec

BOISE — The snow is falling again on the Treasure Valley, and we’re at the Boise Airport waiting for our flight home after a wonderful weekend for Vandal sports.

To recap:

There’s news and notes aplenty, so let’s get right to them.

  • Reporters and pundits across the country are calling the Humanitarian Bowl one of the best games of the year. As CNATI.com’s C. Trent Rosecrans wrote, “The Humanitarian Bowl: exactly why I’ll never complain about too many bowl games.”

Idaho’s ‘Cardiac Kids’ find gold on Humanitarian Bowl’s blue turf

30 Dec

BOISE — For Idaho, the calculus was simple: 28 seconds to go 66 yards for a Humanitarian Bowl-tying seven points. Either that, or make the long drive back to Moscow as losers.

But the Vandals, who were picked last in the Western Athletic Conference but stunned the football world by making their first bowl in a decade, redid the math.

The result is destined to be remembered as one of the greatest games in Idaho football history.

With just eight seconds to play, quarterback Nathan Enderle found Max Komar in the end zone from 16 yards out, and the Vandals’ leading wideout made a diving catch — his first of the night — for the score. Bring out Trey Farquhar, kick the extra point to tie and head for overtime, right?

Wrong.

Coach Robb Akey asked his players what they wanted to do. The unanimous decision? Go for two.

“If my players have confidence in the play, they’re going to make it work,” Akey said. “Why make everybody wait for overtime? Let’s get it done.”

They did.

Enderle took the snap, rolled left and spotted Preston Davis back by the goalpost. The veteran shot-caller heaved a strike across the middle, straight at the sophomore wideout.

Catch. Score. Wild celebration. Penalty flags. A streaker. Pandemonium.

Four seconds and a stuffed kickoff return later, a Vandal team dubbed the “Cardiac Kids” for their last-minute heroics became the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions, defeating Bowling Green by the final score of 43-42. Idaho finishes the 2009 season with an 8-5 record.

The triumph is only the second bowl win in the history of the University of Idaho, following a 1998 victory over Southern Mississippi — also in the Humanitarian Bowl.

Many of the 26,726 fans in attendance — a heavily partisan Idaho crowd — charged the Bronco Stadium field to celebrate a comeback victory capping a comeback season. Defensive end Aaron Lavarias summed up the feeling for a team, a university and the long-suffering Vandal Nation.

“This is destiny,” he said. “Playing in our state’s capital in a stadium filled with Vandals, we were born to win this game.”

But they almost didn’t.

Continue reading

Humanitarian Bowl postgame interviews

30 Dec

BOISE — We’ll consolidate our many, many Humanitarian Bowl postgame interviews with Idaho Vandals players and coaches in this post. This will be frequently updated as the night progresses and more get uploaded.

Robb Akey:

Max Komar:

Brian Reader:

Aaron Lavarias:

Shiloh Keo, Jeromy Jones and Preston Davis:

Nathan Enderle, Shiloh Keo, Mike Iupati and JoJo Dickson:

JoJo Dickson:

Miracle in Boise: Idaho 43, Bowling Green 42

30 Dec

BOISE — Unreal.

Your Idaho Vandals are the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions, defeating Bowling Green tonight in Bronco Stadium by the final score of 43-42.

The Vandals trailed by seven points with 32 seconds remaining, but put together a 66-yard, 28-second drive capped off by Max Komar’s first catch of the night — a diving completion in the end zone for the potentially-tying score.

Then the miracle: Idaho went for two.

Quarterback Nathan Enderle stepped back and tossed a strike to a wide-open Preston Davis in the back of the end zone — and there was pandemonium.

Fans stormed the field after the final whistle, as Idaho capped off a remarkable comeback season with its first bowl win since 1998.

More coming shortly.

Vandal Football Gameday: Utah State

28 Nov

After a chilly, foggy Friday, the weather gods have smiled on Moscow today — it’s a beautiful day for college football and basketball! The Vandals will take on Utah State at 2 p.m. in the Kibbie Dome and Eastern Washington at 7 p.m. in Mem Gym.

For the 7-4 Vandals, they’ll be looking for a Senior Day to remember as Idaho closes out its best regular season in a decade and looks ahead to its first bowl since 1998. After two ugly losses, QB Nathan Enderle should be back in action and ready to lead the Vandals to a momentum-building victory over the 3-8 Aggies.

We’ll bring you all the action from the Dome with play-by-play commentary, analysis and chat at Vandal Nation Live, starting at 1:30 p.m. with our pregame show. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. We’ll have scoring updates on the Vandal Nation Twitter as well.

Click here for Vandal Nation Live: Idaho vs. Utah State!

At 6:30 p.m., or immediately following football, we’ll have Vandal Nation Live coverage of Idaho hoops, as the men look for their best Division I start since the 1982-83 season. Tip-off against the Eagles is scheduled for 7 p.m. Our game preview is here.

Click here for Vandal Nation Live: Idaho vs. Eastern Washington!

This Weekend in the WAC

New Mexico State takes on San Jose State at 5 p.m. in Dick Tomey’s best remaining chance at getting a WAC win before retirement. Navy visits Hawaii in a game the Warriors must win to keep their slim bowl hopes alive. We’ve got the lowdown on all three of today’s WAC contests here.

Yesterday, Boise State beat Nevada, 44-33, to clinch at least a share of the WAC championship. Louisiana Tech and Fresno State are idle.

Pregame Roundup

WAC Football Preview: Nov. 28

28 Nov

After Boise State convincingly took down Nevada last night, three Western Athletic Conference games remain today and all have, if not bowl implications, some serious pride on the line.

Here’s the matchups, all times Pacific.

  • Utah State (3-8, 2-5 WAC) at Idaho (7-4, 4-3 WAC), 2 p.m. (Altitude/ESPN360)
  • The Vandals are the feel-good story of the season and coach Robb Akey is a deserving candidate for National Coach of the Year. But when QB Nathan Enderle was sidelined by injury at the worst possible moment, Idaho dropped back-to-back games that weren’t ever close. With Enderle back in action, the Vandals are hoping to close out their miracle season on a high note — and grab the team’s first bowl berth of the century. Under first-year head coach Gary Anderson, the WAC’s blue Aggies have undertaken a turnaround campaign of their own. Any designs on postseason play evaporated long ago, but Utah State can still play spoiler on the Vandals’ Senior Day.

    Idaho has won games, quite simply, by outscoring the other team. A “bend, don’t break” defense has struggled to contain opponents, particularly in the first half, and several of the Vandals’ victories have come only with last-minute comeback heroics. Yet, if there’s a team worse than Idaho on defense, it’s the Aggies. Utah State gives up an average of 450 yards per game — 210 on the ground, 240 through the air — and those numbers are just begging Enderle to put up what would be his fourth 300-yard passing game of the year and RB DeMaundray Woolridge his third 100-yard rushing performance. Aggie QB Diondre Borel and RB Robert Turbin are going to have to have the games of their lives — and Utah State’s defense will have to put up a season-defining performance — to beat Idaho in the Dome.

  • New Mexico State (3-8, 1-5 WAC) at San Jose State (1-9, 0-6 WAC), 5 p.m. (Altitude2/ESPN360)
  • In the WAC’s Pillow Fight of the Week, two of the conference’s worst teams collide in a game that means nothing more than bragging rights. But with Spartans coach Dick Tomey retiring at the end of the year, San Jose State would undoubtedly like to close out his career in San Jose with a victory at home — and with a tough season finale at Louisiana Tech remaining, if a win doesn’t come today the Spartans will probably go winless in WAC play. DeWayne Walker’s New Mexico State Aggies are on the other side of the momentum swing, and a road win would close their first season under Walker’s guidance on a high note.

    This game is looking to be a snoozer, as both teams are charitably described as offensively inept. New Mexico State has the conference’s worst scoring production, averaging just 12 points per game — but San Jose State is little better with 13.2. We’re hard-pressed to pick here, because it’s really going to depend on which team’s offense gets even the slightest advantage. But if there’s one place the teams diverge, it’s defensively — the Aggies have been better than the Spartans at stopping their opponents. Given that this is shaping up to be a low-scoring puntfest, one stop and one score could be the difference between winning or losing, so we’ll give the edge to New Mexico State. Then again, the Spartans will be riding a wave of emotions on home turf, and QB Jordan La Secla has shown the ability to make some plays. Will it be enough to give Tomey one last victory?

  • Navy (8-3) at Hawaii (5-6, 3-5 WAC), 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
  • For the Hawaii Warriors, this is it — their season all comes down to this game. After six straight losses dropped the Warriors to 2-6, an impressive three-game win streak has put them in position to claim a berth in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. But they must win their last two games to do it, against some of the strongest opposition they’ve faced all season. Next week is nationally-ranked Wisconsin, but Hawaii’s first obstacle is the Navy Midshipmen and their potent triple-option attack that chews up the clock and the opposing defense all at once.

    On paper, this one doesn’t look good at all for the home team. Navy has won seven of its last eight games, including a victory at nationally-ranked Notre Dame. Boasting the nation’s third-best rushing attack, led by dual-threat QB Ricky Dobbs’ 800 yards and 22 touchdowns, the Midshipmen should be able to torch the Warriors’ undersized defensive line. Hawaii has one of the nation’s worst rushing defenses, giving up an average of nearly 190 yards per game, and if they couldn’t stop Idaho on the ground, there’s no way they’ll stop Navy. The only hope for the Warriors is to blitz the Middies’ defense. If QB Bryant Moniz can answer Navy’s rushing attack score-for-score through the air, the Midshipmen might run into clock trouble with their time-consuming ground-based offense. It’s a slim hope, however, and it’s our guess that the Warriors’ bowl dreams die tonight.

Better Know a Foe: Utah State

27 Nov

With football back in action, so is Better Know a Foe! Logan Herald-Journal beat writer Wade Denniston is this week’s victim, as we quizzed him about the rebuilding Utah State Aggies.

It’s been a tough first season for Gary Andersen and Utah State but there’s been flashes of promise — what’s the mindset in Aggieland?

You’re right, it has been a tough season for the Aggies as far as wins and losses. But, they’ve made so much progress and the product on the field is much better. Thanks to Andersen, there is new life in this program. Honestly, the Aggies are 7-10 plays away from possibly being bowl eligible this season. In seven of their eight losses, they were ahead at one time in the game. Three losses have been by four points or less. Compared to year’s past, the future seems bright for the Aggies, which is quite refreshing.

How big would a season-closing win on the road be?

It would be huge. Not only would it give the Aggies a lot of momentum heading into the offseason, but it would also snap a 12-game road losing streak for them.

Robert Turbin — does he not get the national cred he should because of the Aggies’ struggles?

Turbin probably doesn’t get the national cred due to the fact of Boise State. When people think of the WAC, BSU is more than likely the first thing that pops into their mind, and deservedly so. Turbin was recently awarded a helmet sticker by ESPN.com, so his name is definitely out there. And, he had a pretty good showing on national TV against BSU, which was a positive for him and Utah State.

Who are the key playmakers for Utah State on offense and defense?

Junior quarterback Diondre Borel and sophomore running back Robert Turbin make a nice one-two punch for the Aggies on the offensive side of the ball. Borel ranks first in the WAC and 19th in the nation in total offense, while Turbin is third in the WAC and 22nd in the nation in rushing.

Defensively, sophomore linebacker Bobby Wagner has proven to be the playmaker on that side of the ball for USU. He’s currently locked in a nice battle with the Vandals’ Shiloh Keo for leading tackler in the WAC.

Continue reading

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