Tag Archives: Vandals

Monday Akey-isms: Week 3 – ‘We’ve got nothing to lose’

10 Sep

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’.

Jahrie Level led Idaho in receiving Saturday against Bowling Green with 10 receptions for 119 yards
Courtesy | Ilya Pinchuk

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:

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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

Coach Akey speaks on story lines for Idaho fall football camp

31 Jul

Dominique Blackman(middle) and Taylor Davis(right) are on even ground for the starting QB race heading in to fall, Akey said

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.

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Robb Akey, Idaho, speak at WAC Football media days

26 Jul

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:

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A summer update from Vandal Nation – Idaho cancels HS football camp, Akey’s hot seat, links and more

27 Jun

Winning the Humanitarian Bowl in 2009 made Robb Akey Moscow’s toast of the town. Is his clock ticking in 2012?

It must be summer in Moscow. Looking out the window it’s pouring rain just a day after what felt like 80 degree weather. Gotta love it. Hopefully it being summer is also a good excuse for the lack of content on this blog recently, but that is going to change very soon. Including having the answer that everybody that reads this blog wants to know – Where will the Idaho football team end up? We’ll be tackling that and many more issues very shortly.

We’re also planning on bringing our readers:

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NFL Vandals in 2012: Princeton McCarty

18 May

Amrah Canul | Argonaut

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.

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Idaho to fight for its FBS future Athletic Director Rob Spear says

5 May

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.

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Mass exodus of WAC schools has officially begun – Idaho AD to address media today

4 May

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.

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WACocalypse has begun – Texas State to Sun Belt is official

2 May

Courtesy of TxStateBobcats.com

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.

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Get to know your Vandals- Benson Mayowa and Mike Scott

28 Mar

Idaho fails to advance, falls in Logan

17 Mar

 

 

It was an unbearable end to an unforgettable season for the Idaho men’s basketball team, who were thrashed by WAC opponent Utah State 76-56 in the second round of the Collegeinsiders.com Tournament Saturday in Logan.

After defeating UC Santa Barbara in Wednesday’s first round game, the Vandals experienced one of their worst shooting nights of the season, digging themselves into a hole during the first half that saw them go 27 percent from the field.

“It’s a very tough place to play, they’re very well coached,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “This game needs to be flushed down the toilet, really. I don’t think we need to focus on this game as far as our season.”

The Vandals, who went scoreless for the game’s first four and a half minutes, scored just 16 points in the first half. A Utah State team that also struggled offensively started out shooting 1-7. However, a 13-0 Aggie run followed and the hosts found themselves up 19-3 midway through the first.

Five minutes later, the Aggies scrapped together a 12-0 run to extend their lead to 24 points. Stew Morrill’s squad cruised into halftime with a 39-16 lead.

The teams traded 7-0 runs to begin the second but a Vandal comeback would prove to be too demanding a task, despite shooting a much-improved 52 percent in the second half.

Though no Idaho players scored in double digits, juniors Kyle Barone and Mansa Habeeb each poured in eight second half points to help the cause of an offensively flat Vandal side.

Aggie guard Preston Medlin tallied a career-high 32 points against the Vandals earlier this season but Idaho held the sophomore all-WAC first teamer to 50 percent from the field and 17 points this time around.

Idaho out-rebounded the Aggies 30-25 but committed 17 more turnovers. Utah State shot 49 percent from the field and was led by Brockeith Pane, who dished out 11 assists despite scoring just seven points.

For Verlin, Saturday’s result in no way reflected what Idaho achieved during the regular season.

“What this Vandal team did is they played with their heart all season long. This team did a number of unbelievable things and things you have to be proud of,” he said. “They came to work every single day, it didn’t start in the season, it started early this summer.”

The dedication and hard work paid off for a team that accomplished a number of impressive tasks this season.

For starters, the Vandals lengthened the season by winning their opening round game in the CIT Tournament, a feat they failed to achieve last season when falling to the University of San Francisco in the opening round. Their postseason appearance was the third in four years.

The Vandals posted their best WAC mark (9-5) in school history and beat every team in the process, including an away win at then undefeated Nevada.

Lastly, four of Idaho’s five starters received all-WAC honors, including each of the team’s three seniors; Deremy Geiger, Landon Tatum and Djim Bandoumel.

“Our seniors were as good as three guys as I’ve ever seen,” Verlin said. “They all did their jobs, so mainly their hard work and dedication to Vandal basketball enabled them to put together a great season.”

Verlin’s 19-win team returns two starters in Barone and sophomore Stephen Madison, while all eight of the team’s bench players will also be back.

“We’ve got to continue, we had lineups out there that we’ll play a bit next year, I like the foundation,” he said. “We have 10 guys coming back, and I think we’ve recruited well.”

CIT Tournament: Idaho men vs CSU Santa Barbara photo gallery

15 Mar

The Idaho men’s basketball squad built a 17-point lead in the first half against CSU Santa Barbara and despite a hot second-half by the Gauchos, Idaho held on to squeak out 86-83 win in the first round of the College Insider’s Tournament. The Vandals will face off against WAC-rival Utah State in the second round. Photos courtesy of Ilya Pinchuk

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WAC Tournament: Idaho Women vs Fresno State

10 Mar

The Idaho women were blown out by the Fresno State Bulldogs in the quarterfinal round of the WAC Tournament. The Vandals were unable to get any offensive pressure in the first half, which put them in a hole they were unable to recover from. Photos courtesy of Ilya Pinchuk

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Women outworked in semifinals

9 Mar

Another season for the Idaho women’s basketball team is in the books after the Vandals fell to Fresno State 80-55 in the WAC Tournament semifinals on Friday at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

Fresno State’s defensive pressure disrupted the Idaho offense all game and the Vandals were never able to mount a comeback after falling behind early.

Sophomore Alyssa Charlston said Idaho wasn’t able to adjust to Fresno State’s speed and pressure quick enough.

“We’ve played against it before, and I don’t know why we came out more tentative this time,” Charlston said. “We kind of lacked confidence in the beginning and it just seemed like their speed of the game was faster than us.”

The Bulldogs didn’t waste any time at the start and quickly established control of the game. Idaho was held scoreless through the first nine minutes of the game, allowing Fresno State to take a 20-0 lead. Things settled down a bit for Idaho in the second half of the period, but the Vandals still went into halftime with a 19-point deficit and down 33-14.

Idaho coach Jon Newlee said the first minutes of the game set a tone that Idaho was never able to break.

“I thought the tone was set early when we missed those layups early, point blank layups,” Newlee said. “I think it kind of fed their fire a little bit. We knew they were going to come out extremely aggressive.”

The second half didn’t get any better for the Vandals. Fresno State came out firing again and never allowed Idaho to mount a comeback. The Bulldogs lead by as many as 36 and were able to put the game in cruise control for the blowout victory.

Fresno State coach Adrian Wiggins said his team’s victory was due to their disruption of Idaho’s flow and the confidence his team played with. 

“We had a lot of respect for Idaho’s shooting ability. We didn’t want to let them catch and shoot,” Wiggins said. “…We didn’t make a lot of buckets in the first half, but I think we gained a lot of confidence with the lead we jumped out to.”

Fresno State’s Ki-Ki Moore led all scorers with 19 and was one of four Bulldogs players to reach double figures in the contest. Charlston lead Idaho with 14.

The Vandals were outrebounded 44-34 in the game and gave up 17 offensive boards. Newlee said his team gave up too many second chances to Fresno State.

“The offensive rebounds really hurt us. One of our keys to winning was not to give them second changes. I think they do a great job of chasing down the misses,” Newlee said. “We did not do a good job of blocking out tonight. We did an extremely poor job of blocking out tonight and it did end up costing us.

With the win the Bulldogs move on to the conference championship where they will play La. Tech in an attempt to win a second straight WAC title. It’s the second straight year the two teams have met in the final.

It was a season of ups and downs for a young Vandal squad that managed to come together toward the end of the season and claim the No. 4 seed in the tournament before winning the first round. The Vandals will say goodbye to seniors Keri Arendse, Adrie Shiels and Ganeaya Rogers.

 

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