IDAHO INSIGHT: Focused on Homecoming

AFTER A FRUSTRATING 1-2 RECORD ON THIS LONG THREE-GAME ROAD TRIP, a period in which Idaho (3-3, 0-1 WAC) hasn't played a home game in a month, the Vandals now can set their sights on New Mexico State (1-5, 0-2 WAC) in a Homecoming clash this Saturday (kickoff 2pm PST). The Aggies are coming off a 33-10 loss to Fresno State, and QB NATE ENDERLE will focus on keeping Idaho in the post-season hunt.


Idaho is glad to be coming home for what really is a homecoming. The Vandals (3-3, 0-1 Western Athletic Conference) haven't played a home game in a month. The Vandals had road games at Colorado State, Western Michigan and Louisiana Tech, with an open week sandwiched in the middle, since their last home game.

Coach Robb Akey's team will take on New Mexico State on Saturday, a game that Idaho needs to keep its record at or above .500 for the 22nd consecutive week. Idaho hasn't been below .500 since the end of the 2008 season.

The Vandals desperately need a victory to keep their bowl hopes alive. Idaho needs four victories in its final seven games to become eligible for the postseason. Four of those games are at home.

The Vandals have won two in a row against the Aggies and are 4-1 against them since becoming members of the WAC.


--Idaho will be playing in its third consecutive homecoming game this week when New Mexico State rolls into Moscow. The Vandals were homecoming opponents for Western Michigan and Louisiana Tech. The streak continues the following week when Idaho is the homecoming foe at Hawaii, too.
--Idaho forced and recovered four fumbles in the 48-35 loss at Louisiana Tech, upping their season total to 13.
--The Vandals threw five touchdown passes but couldn't do much of anything to slow down Louisiana Tech in the loss in their conference opener. Nathan Enderle threw for three touchdowns, while backup Brian Reader had a pair of touchdown tosses.

GAME BALL GOES TO: WR Justin Veltung -- The sophomore, starting in place of the suspended Maurice Shaw, caught six passes for 140 yards and four touchdowns. All three of those numbers were career-bests for Veltung.

KEEP AN EYE ON: RB Deonte Jackson -- The senior played the majority of snaps against Louisiana Tech. He carried 11 times and caught a career-high seven passes in the defeat.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We have the whole conference season in front of us. We have a chance to accomplish every goal we set except to go undefeated in conference. It's as simple as that. If we step up we give ourselves a chance. It's not the end of the world, and we are not happy with what took place today." -- Idaho coach Robb Akey, after the Vandals lost at Louisiana Tech.


LOOKING GOOD: WR Eric Greenwood caught four passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. TE Daniel Hardy caught seven passes for 114 yards. LB Robert Siavii led the Vandals with 11 tackles, including 2.5 for losses.

STILL NEEDS WORK: Idaho's running game was non-existent against Louisiana Tech. The Vandals ran 18 times for 20 yards. Idaho's defense took another step back, allowing Louisiana Tech to roll up 678 yards of total offense. Idaho brought blitz after blitz, but sacked the Bulldogs quarterback only once. K Trey Farquhar went 0-for-2 on field goals against Louisiana Tech.


--CB Isaac Butts (undisclosed injury) did not play against Louisiana Tech. His status for Saturday's home game against New Mexico State is uncertain.
--WR Maurice Shaw was suspended for the Louisiana Tech game. The senior was arrested on a DUI charge during Idaho's bye week. Coach Robb Akey hasn't said how long the suspension will last.
--QB Nathan Enderle (knee) missed a possession during the loss to Louisiana Tech. He re-entered the game, but then sat out the final possession. His status is uncertain for the New Mexico State game.

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