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