Editor’s Note: This is the 10th in a series of previews of Auburn’s 2015 football opponents.
Auburn’s game vs. Idaho on Nov. 21 is sandwiched between the big showdowns with Georgia and Alabama. This does not mean the Tigers will take the Vandals too lightly, but it will be hard to place much concern about a program that has only won five games in the past four seasons.
If Coach Paul Petrino’s team is to improve on its dismal recent record, sophomore quarterback Matt Linehan will need to improve his numbers. Linehan threw for 2,540 yards, 11 touchdowns and 18 interceptions last season. The passer has the talent to take the Vandals’ offense to the next level if he can cut back on the turnovers.
Matt Linehan is shown in action last season.
Idaho’s defense was abysmal last year with the group allowing 462 yards and 37.3 points per game. The key player to help turn around the defense might be Marc Millan. A smaller linebacker at 218 pounds, he is an efficient tackler and hard hitter who racked up 102 tackles in 11 games this past season.
It is highly improbable that the Vandals will manage to steal a win in Jordan-Hare Stadium when these two teams face off. Coach Gus Malzahn will have his second matchup with a member of the Petrino family, the first coming against Paul’s big brother, Bobby Petrino, in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic against Louisville to open the season.
Top Offensive Player: Sophomore Quarterback Matt Linehan
Marc Millan is one of six returning starters on defense for new coordinator Mike Breske.
Top Defensive Player: Senior Linebacker Marc Millan
Quick Fact: Idaho was one of the worst teams in the country last season in sacks, only producing 17 on the year. Two players in the country had more than the Vandals’ entire team (Hau’oli Kikaha of Washington with 19 and Nate Orchard of Utah with 18 1/2).
2014 Results: 1-10 (1-7 Sun Belt)
Sept. 3--Ohio at Idaho
Sept. 12--Idaho at USC
Sept. 19--Wofford at Idaho
Sept. 26--Georgia Southern at Idaho
Oct. 3--Idaho at Arkansas State
Oct. 17--Idaho at Troy
Oct. 24--Louisiana-Monroe at Idaho
Oct. 31--Idaho at New Mexico State
Nov. 7--–Idaho at South Alabama
Nov. 14–Appalachian State at Idaho
Nov. 21–Idaho at Auburn
Nov. 28–Texas State at Idaho
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