Kicker Trey Farquhar once again got a workout on the field goal unit, as the Idaho Vandals’ defense showed renewed aggression and once again gained the upper hand in scrimmage action this afternoon. Linebacker Robert Siavii grabbed a pick and forced a fumble, one of several first-team Idaho defenders to make big plays during the scrimmage.
“That’s why the good Lord created defense: get the ball back without giving up any points and bang up as many people on the way as you can,” coach Robb Akey said.
Closing out fall camp with 90 minutes of action in the newly-daylit Kibbie Dome, Akey said he was pleased with the development of his team throughout the preseason workouts. Now, he and the Vandals will turn their attention to game preparation — as the season opener at home against North Dakota is in just two weeks.
“I thought it was a good scrimmage and I was happy with it. Our defense is playing its tail off right now,” Akey said. “Now it’s time to tighten things up and get this season kicked off.”
The most noteworthy announcement: Akey has set Idaho’s starting offensive line. The Vandals will initially go with Matt Cleveland at LT, Sam Tupua at LG, Clell Hasenbank at C, Tevita Halaholo at RG, Tyrone Novikoff at RT.
“I expect those five to be our five. They’ve earned themselves the opportunity,” Akey said. “We’ve gained good ground in the last few practices and there was good protection out there today. They’re coming together.”
Akey also talked about the recent pro successes of several Idaho alumni — including offensive lineman Adam Juratovac, who helped the Spokane Shock win their first ArenaBowl championship last night in Spokane. Juratovac was part of an offensive line that didn’t give up a sack all night, and he’ll return to Moscow to enter law school at the University of Idaho next week.
“If you want a chance to be on the national stage, go to the next level and get your degree, you can make that happen at the University of Idaho,” Akey said. “These guys are proving it.”
More on the scrimmage, plus a video interview with senior quarterback Nate Enderle, after the jump.
Though he was harried by a tough defense all afternoon, Enderle managed to come up with some big plays of his own — including a tough, long thread-the-needle touchdown pass to lanky receiver Eric Greenwood. The 6-6 senior wideout looks to be one of Enderle’s prime targets this season.
“We’ve got senior receivers really stepping up, and (Greenwood) really plays balls well in the air,” Enderle said. “To have two guys like him and Maurice (Shaw) is great, because you can pick on the cornerback that gives you the best matchup.”
Farquhar didn’t miss a single field goal or extra point attempt, and that included several kicks from deep into the 50-yard range. The sophomore kicker showcased his huge leg last year, but was plagued by inconsistency. With a season of seasoning under his belt, Farquhar might have those troubles figured out.