Previewing The Invading Idaho Vandals

Idaho believes they have the team to take it to Boise State this year. The Vandals and Broncos battle this Saturday afternoon at 1:30 in Bronco Stadium in a key WAC battle for both teams. Here is a brief preview of the visitors from Moscow.

Idaho seeks a rivalry-fueled upset as they travel 300 miles south from Moscow to Boise, for the Boise State-Idaho game this Saturday.  The Vandals will step onto Lyle Smith Field at 1:30 with their first winning record since 1999 in front of a nationally-televised audience. 

Boise State enters their 39th meeting with a 20-17-1 all-time record against the Vandals.  The last battle between the two foes ended in a 45-10 Bronco victory in Moscow.  The Vandals currently own the fourth-place slot in the Western Athletic Conference rankings with a 4-2 conference record (7-3 overall), right behind Nevada, Boise State, and Fresno State.  

The 2009 "Akey's Army" are led by third-year head coach Rob Akey (10-25 overall), who has been able to turn last year's 2-10 team into a winning 7-3 bowl eligible squad, earning this year's CBSSports.com Midseason Coach of the Year honors.  He is also currently just one of twenty coaches on the 2009 Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Watch List (Bronco Coach Chris Petersen is another.). 

Akey is the first University of Idaho head coach since 1981 to have no prior ties to the program.  After 11 years as a Big Sky Conference assistant coach at Weber State and Northern Arizona, Akey moved just eight miles away from Moscow as defensive line coach of the Washington State Cougars.  He was later moved to defensive coordinator before leaving the program in 2006 to take on the head coaching duties at the University of Idaho after 19 total seasons as a college assistant coach.


2009 University of Idaho Results (before Boise State):


September 5

at New Mexico State 

W 21-6

1-0 (1-0)

September 12

at Washington 

L 42-23

1-1 (1-0)

September 19

San Diego State 

W 34-20

2-1 (1-0)

September 26

at Northern Illinois 

W 34-31

3-1 (1-0)

October 3

Colorado State 

W 31-29

4-1 (1-0)

October 10

at San Jose State 

W 29-25

5-1 (2-0)

October 17

Hawaii 

W 35-23

6-1 (3-0)

October 24

at Nevada 

L 70-45

6-2 (3-1)

October 31

Louisiana Tech 

W 35-34

7-2 (4-1)

November 7

Fresno State 

L 31-21

7-3 (4-2)



2009 University of Idaho Remaining Schedule (after Boise State):


November 28

Utah State 

5:00 PM ET 

Tickets



The Rivalry:

The Bronco-Vandal showdown has resided as a major in-state rivalry since 1971.  Both schools moved to Division I-AA in 1978 and to Division I in 1996, joining the Big West Conference.  Over the past nine years, the Vandals have maintained a conference record of 16-47 (.254) against a Boise State record of 65-4 (.942) and have lost ten straight games to the Broncos by a total point margin of 453-160.  However, the dominance has shifted as the Vandals won 12 consecutive match-ups from 1982-1993, after Boise State controlled the prior ten-year streak. 

Vandal Players to Watch:

 

  • So. QB, Brian Reader, has completed 24 of 40 passes for 383 yards and 3 touchdowns after taking over for the injured Nathan Enderle.  Reader is an All-American Junior College transfer from Monterey Peninsula JC where he lead the Lobos to a 10-0 record and conference title while earning the Coast Conference Player of the Year honors.  

  • Sr. WR, Max Komar, is shredding the field with 874 yards on 54 receptions and eight touchdowns. 

The Vandal Running Trio: 

 

  • Sr. RB, DeMaundray Woolridge, is a Washington State transfer who leads the team in rushing with 655 yards on 114 carries and 14 total touchdowns. 

  • So. RB, Princeton McCarty, has 541 yards on 91 carries, two rushing touchdowns and six receptions for 112 yards and a receiving touchdown.  

  • Jr. RB, Deonte Jackson, has ran the ball 68 times for 365 yards, two touchdowns and caught seven passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.  Jackson started the season ranked fifth on the Vandal career rushing average per game list and tenth on the career rushing yardage list.  

Defensive Dominators: 

 

  • Jr. Safety, Shiloh Keo, leads the team in total tackles (88) and interceptions (3) and has one forced fumble.  Keo was the 2008 team captain, 2007 team MVP, 2007 second-team All-WAC safety and punt returner, 2006 honorable mention all-freshman team, and holds the school records for punt returns and punt return yardage average.  

  • Jr. LB, JoJo Dickson, has racked up 54 tackles, a sack, two interceptions, and a forced fumble.

  • Sr. Safety, Jeromy Jones, has 48 tackles two fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, and a blocked kick.


The Vandal Name:

The University of Idaho athletic teams acquired the Vandal name nearly a century ago in 1917 due to a basketball team whose defense played with such intensity and ferocity that it was said to have "vandalized" their opponents.  




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