Archive | August, 2012

Better Know a Foe: Week 1 (Thursday) v. Eastern Washington Eagles

29 Aug

Desmond Trufant puts an end to a nightmare for UW fans

Take a good look at that picture. That is Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant hauling down an interception in the endzone to seal a 30-27 victory over Eastern Washington for the Huskies at Husky Stadium last year. The interception put an end to a nightmarish development for the Huskies, who legitimately looked like they could lose to the Big Sky program in the 2011 season opener for both teams.

Make no mistake about it, the Eagles played well enough to win that game. They looked the part of a team that was capable of going in to an FBS stadium and winning, and in all likelihood it’s the mindset the team had.

So how aware of that are the Vandals as the Eagles prepare to make the drive down from Cheney? Continue reading

Vandal Nation’s 2012 Idaho football projected depth chart – Ver. 3 (Update 8/23)

21 Aug

(Update 8/23):

This afternoon was the last time the team will hit the SprinTurf before kickoff against Eastern next Thursday. The Vandals will spend game week in the Kibbie Dome with practices closed to the public and media.

Some notes from today’s practice: Continue reading

President Nellis, AD Rob Spear speak on SBOE vote for independence/Big Sky

17 Aug

Update (8/17/12):

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.

Who’s got some carpet cleaner for that?

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

Idaho Vandals fall football scrimmage No. 3 report

17 Aug


Idaho’s third football scrimmage of the fall was probably the least eventful to thing to come out of the Vandalsphere on Thursday, but still it was played and the optimism brimming from it could/should give some Vandal fans a reprieve from independence and Big Sky madness.

Ryan Bass went beast mode on Thursday

The story of the afternoon was undoubtably the running game, that had been relatively non-existent for most of the fall, springing to life with 174 rushing yards and five touchdowns. In the previous scrimmage, Vandal running backs only contributed 33 yards of offense on the ground.

“I might have mentioned ‘hey, make sure we don’t forget about the running game,'” coach Robb Akey said. “It was a conscious part of what we wanted to get accomplished today.”

Senior Ryan Bass was an incredibly welcome sight for the offense, as he made his presence felt from the very first series en-route to 68 yards on 11 attempts. It was apparent from the get go that the offense was going to establish the run early and often. Bass touched the ball more than anybody else on the first drive, which set up him hurdling in to the endzone from one yard out for the touchdown. Bass consistently showed shiftiness and big play ability, with the offensive line doing their part in opening up gaping holes (Insert RB coach Wayne Moses/Red Sea joke here).

Bass finished the day with 68 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns. James Baker had 22 yards on six carries, with back up Todd Handley racking up 68 yards on 7 carries, including a 55 yard touchdown run.

“Runningbacks probably had the best day off the offense today. Not trying to be cocky, but we had a good day,” Bass said. “The O-Line did a great job of blocking, they did all their assignments right.”

That first team offensive line that was creating gaping holes appears to be set with redshirt freshmen Cody Elenz and Dallas Sandberg on the left side, sophomore Mike Marboe at center, and Dominique Blackman’s blindside being protected by senior A.J. Jones at right guard and junior Jordan Jefferson at right tackle.

More notes on the scrimmage after the jump:

Continue reading

Dominique Blackman named starting quarterback, notes from second scrimmage, defensive resurgence

13 Aug

Update (8/13/2012 5:30 P.M.): Dominique Blackman named starting quarterback 

We first broke on twitter earlier this afternoon a tweet from Dominique Blackman that proclaimed he had been told he’s been named the starter for the season opener against Eastern Washington. Now it appears that that has been made official.

The decision is not one that is surprising in the least bit. Blackman was the better performer during the spring game and the first two scrimmages of the fall, throwing for over 360 yards and six touchdowns combined over the two scrimmages.

Dominique Blackman is tall. Very tall.

Blackman appeared to be the favorite for most of the fall considering the performances that Taylor Davis put up last year when he had the opportunity to play in place of Brian Reader. For that reason it’s fair to say that coaches had a pretty good idea of what Davis would be capable of and what his ceiling is going to be. Blackman on the other hand hasn’t started a game at the Division I-FBS level in his career, having transferred to Idaho from Old Dominion after a stint at Los Angeles Harbor College.

Continue reading

Practice notes through Thursday, post-scrimmage analysis, new WR impressing

9 Aug

Jahrie Level catches a TD at El Camino CC (Courtesy of El Camino CC)

It’s been a week now since Idaho football kicked off fall pre-season practice. Since Thursday’s opening practice the team has gone through its first couple of practices in full pads, had a couple two-a-days and played the first of three scrimmages. The scrimmage took part last Saturday afternoon in the Kibbie Dome, and was the first chance that coaches had an opportunity to really evaluate the two quarterbacks competing for the starting job.

Statistically, Dominique Blackman had the edge throwing four touchdown passes and 181 yards on 16 completions out of 21 attempts. Taylor Davis was 6 for 14 with 75 yards. Reps between the two haven’t fluctuated much from the start of fall camp, though it would be hard not to think that Blackman hasn’t at least created some separation in the competition. There is a long way to go in the competition with Akey not likely to name a starter until after the third scrimmage on Aug. 16.

The real storyline from the scrimmage is more than just the two quarterbacks. The entire offense clicked with all five quarterbacks leading touchdown drives, with significant contributions at the skill position spots from Junior College transfers.

Continue reading

Wayne Moses joins Idaho’s staff as RB coach, other fall practice notes from Day 2

3 Aug

RB coach Wayne Moses during the first practice. James Baker, No. 7, ran with the starters during Friday’s practice. (Photo courtesy of Spencer Farrin)

Coach Robb Akey made the final addition to his staff yesterday bringing on experienced running backs coach Wayne Moses. Moses coached last year at UCLA and has had stops with the St. Louis Rams, Stanford, USC, Washington and California.

“Coach Akey and I go way back in terms of recruiting against eachother. I have a lot of respect for who he is as a coach, so when this opportunity came up I was excited about it,” he said of the opportunity.

Idaho is a bit of a different environment than what Moses has been used to, but having played and coached at Washington he has familiarity with the pacific Northwest. He doesn’t seem to think there will be much of a difference being at a smaller school.

“It’s football. Field is 100-yards long, we run the power play here the same we ran it in the Pac-12,” he said.

Oh, and President Duane Nellis was at practice today. That was neat.

As for day two of practice, we know everybody wants to know about the quarterback battle so we’ll get right in to it along with other notes from the offensive side of the ball.

Continue reading