Idaho football coach Robb Akey talks about the 24 new recruits that have signed letters of intention to play for the Vandals next season.
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!
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
BSU put the smackdown on Idaho, but that didn’t stop photographer Kate Kucharzyk from snapping some sweet shots. Enjoy!
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
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.
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.
Morning to one and all. It’s…well, it’s actually a pretty darn cruddy-looking day on the palouse, which is perfect reason to get inside and enjoy some women’s basketball action! The Vandal women are back in action after a nine-month hiatus and hit the hardwood in the Memorial Gym tonight at 6 p.m. for their first and only exhibition game of the season against Lewis-Clark State College. Be there!
Plenty of news abroad about the Vandals, mainly in football. Enjoy Vandal fans!
- Catch my write up of what the Vandals face this Saturday right here on Vandal Nation.
- Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal says to expect plenty of flags on Saturday.
- Sports Illustrated expects plenty of points Saturday, but questions Idaho’s lack of running game.
- Gregg Xenakes of The Sports Networkexpects Idaho’s running defense to get a workout during Saturday’s game.
- Nick Jezierny and Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman correctly point out how frighteningly unkind the month of November has been to the Vandals.
- Fan videos are always great, and a recent UI grad created this call to action for Vandal fans. Three cheers!
- Students from the UI Sports Broadcast Journalism class took a close look at Vandal football player Kama Bailey in a video spotlight.
- The Vandals outlasted the Nevada Wolf Pack in five sets.
- Students form the UI Sports Broadcast Journalism class took a time out to chat with redshirt freshmen Allison Walker, who has been tearing up the hardwood.
- UI Argonaut writer Pierce Beigh has a write-up of the Vandals final pre-season tune up this weekend.
That’s all for another round-up folks. Get out and support your Vandals this weekend, grab your Akey bobble head dolls form the football game, and come cheer on basketball!