IDAHO INSIGHT: Vandals prepare for Nebraska

IDAHO'S REBUILT OFFENSIVE LINE, led by lone returning starter junior left tackle MATT CLEVELAND (6-4, 311), will get their biggest test of the 2010 season as they take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the legendary Blackshirt defense. Idaho routed North Dakota in the season opener in Moscow, but the level of competition goes up considerably Saturday in front of a sea of red at Memorial Stadium.


Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle is a four-year starter who will get a chance to fulfill a dream of his this week when the Vandals play at No. 8 Nebraska. Enderle, who was born and raised in North Platte, Neb., said he grew up wanting to play for the Cornhuskers. That didn't happen, obviously, but Enderle will at least get to play in his home state in front of numerous family and friends. He joked with the media this summer that he believes many of his uncles will still root for the Cornhuskers. Idaho coach Robb Akey thinks Enderle, a bona fide NFL prospect, is ready for the physical and emotional challenge of his personal homecoming game. "Nate is a very intelligent kid who prepares for games very well," Akey said. "I don't think any of that will be an issue for him this week."

Enderle threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns in the season-opening victory over North Dakota.


--Idaho enters Saturday's game at Nebraska with a 1-0 record. The Vandals haven't started a season 2-0 since 1998. That's the only year since Idaho joined the Football Bowl Subdivision ranks in 1996 that the Vandals started 2-0.
--Idaho's last victory against a team from a BCS conference came Sept. 23,2000, when the Vandals beat Washington State 38-34.

SERIES HISTORY: Idaho and Nebraska have never met.

SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: Idaho spread the ball around in its 45-0 win over North Dakota. Eleven receivers caught passes, and four running backs had carries. Senior quarterback Nathan Enderle is the triggerman on the attack. Idaho's rebuilt offensive line did allow four sacks to the Fighting Sioux.

SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: Idaho forced five turnovers in its season-opening win. Forcing turnovers has been a point of emphasis since spring practice. The Vandals only recorded one sack against North Dakota, which was another area of concern in the offseason.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "As a defense, they are fun to watch but not fun to play against. It's going to be a challenge." -- Idaho coach Robb Akey on his team facing Nebraska's tough defense.


THIS WEEK'S GAME: Idaho at Nebraska, Sept. 11 -- The Vandals have lost 19 games in a row to BCS conference opponents dating back to the 2000 season. The Cornhuskers are one of two ranked teams on Idaho's schedule. Boise State is the other ranked foe.

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Vandals face a tall order going into Lincoln, and any chance for victory lies in the passing game. Quarterback Nathan Enderle had 11 receivers catch passes in the season opener against North Dakota. He'll need that type of production against a talented Nebraska defense to have a chance at pulling off the upset. Idaho's offensive line, which allowed four sacks last week, will face its toughest test trying to protect Enderle.


S Shiloh Keo -- Keo made eight tackles, forced and recovered a fumble and had an interception in the season-opening win against North Dakota.
RB Princeton McCarty -- He rushed for a team-high 89 yards and scored two touchdowns in the victory over North Dakota.
QB Nathan Enderle -- Enderle, who ranked fifth nationally in passing efficiency last season, threw for 333 yards in Idaho1s season-opening win against North Dakota.


--RB Deonte Jackson (ankle) is questionable for Saturday1s game at Nebraska.
--S Gary Walker (turf toe) is probable for Saturday1s game at Nebraska.
--OL Spencer Beale is using a redshirt year this season.

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