Midseason musings at midnight

11 Oct

The Vandals are halfway through their 12-game regular season, and that means this week is time for midseason report cards — which we’ll have as the week progresses.

But while working on the Western Athletic Conference basketball preview (which starts tomorrow), a few tidbits came to mind that just can’t wait.

Has any quarterback’s stock ever plunged so fast as Nate Enderle’s?
  • After enduring two awful seasons in which he had few viable receivers and no pass protection, Vandals starting signal-caller Nate Enderle started off this year looking like an entirely different player. He engineered the Vandals’ potent aerial assault and received national attention on ESPN’s College GameDay prior to a career-best performance against Colorado State. With eight touchdowns for just three picks, Nate was looking for all the world like one of the WAC’s best quarterbacks.
    Then on Saturday, Enderle had an admittedly horrible outing, throwing three interceptions and getting benched in favor of backup Brian Reader on the final, game-saving drive. Now, after he’s led Idaho to its best start in 15 years, the fans are once again calling for Nate’s job? Nonsense. He’s had one bad game out of six. Is our memory so short that we’ve forgotten who brought us where we are? With the record he’s built this season, Enderle deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Trey Farquhar: the unsung hero of San Jose
  • Lost in the euphoria of Saturday’s comeback win was an amazing — and game-changing — performance by freshman kicker Trey Farquhar. After a JoJo Dickson interception gave Idaho the ball with one second left in the first half, Farquhar banged a 52-yard field goal straight through the uprights as time expired. The kick not only tied for the eighth-longest field goal in Vandal history, it proved a crucial margin in the game’s final seconds.
    When San Jose State got the ball with 1:10 on the clock and one timeout, they trailed by five points. Instead of being able to push just into field goal range, the Spartans were forced to go for a touchdown. A deep Farquhar kickoff made SJSU start the drive 87 yards away from the end zone. That kind of desperation, all-pass situation set up by Farquhar’s two huge boots undoubtedly helped lead to Kenneth Patten’s game-ending interception.
Idaho can haz bowl game?
  • There are six games remaining on the Vandals’ schedule. Idaho must win at least one to become bowl-eligible; two victories would seal a late-December berth. The most likely candidate for an Idaho bowl is the game closest to home: the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl in Boise on Dec. 30. The WAC also has tie-ins with the Hawaii, New Mexico and Poinsettia bowls, so they’re all possibilities too. Given the Treasure Valley’s large alumni base, though, it seems a foregone conclusion that bowl eligibility for the Vandals means New Year’s on the blue turf.
    The only monkey-wrench in the system would be if Boise State were to win the WAC but not be invited to a BCS bowl; they would then theoretically have first dibs on the H-Bowl. But the Broncos spurned an H-Bowl invite last year, shunning their hometown game in favor of the Poinsettia Bowl in sunny San Diego. There’s not much reason to think they’d want to play in it this year, either.

One Response to “Midseason musings at midnight”

  1. nate October 12, 2009 at 9:15 am #

    Travis, love the blog. Read it everyday now.

    I was thinking that BJC would love to take that Humbowl invite if they don’t get a BCS bid. #1, it probably screws Idaho out of a bowl opp. They would LOVE to force us out of what is essentially a home game for our fanbase. #2, 2 yars ago, BSU took some flack for heading out to Hawaii and essentially screwing most of their fanbase out of 1 more live game. #3, similar to #2, the economy sucks and playing at home might be preferred to playing away. Unemployment in Boise is 10%, and for blue collar types, probably 15 to 20%. JMHO

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