Vandals host Fresno State Saturday

THERE ARE TWO THEMES TO KEEP IN MIND SATURDAY AS THE VANDALS HOST FRESNO STATE IN THE DOME (2pm PST kickoff). First, it is Dad's Weekend so get there early. Second, it's a "Black Out the Dome" game so come properly decked out in black gear. On the field, Idaho will look to avenge last season's bitter 3-point loss in the closing seconds at Fresno State that knocked Idaho out of bowl eligibility.

ADVISORY: There may be road construction on US-95 between Boise and Moscow that could cause traffic delays. Call Idaho Traffic Control (208-455-3220) before heading north or south on US-95.


FROM THE OFFICIAL Idaho WEBSITE:

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Some things stick with a team. Like last year's 23-20 loss at Fresno State – a loss that came in the waning seconds of the game and dashed the University of Idaho football team's hopes of a second successive bowl game. It was bitter then. It still is today.

"I like playing the Fresno game," said Idaho coach Robb Akey, noting there is plenty of incentive for the Vandals in Saturday's 2 p.m. Western Athletic Conference opener at the Kibbie Dome. "It's a physical game. It's a get-after it game. I think there's a little something extra on the table when you look at what it cost us last year."

Both teams are 1-2 heading into Saturday's game with both of their victories over the University of North Dakota – Idaho's a 44-14 decision two weeks ago and Fresno State's a 27-22 win last weekend. Both have taken on top-10 teams with the Vandals falling 37-7 at then #9 Texas A&M last weekend and the Bulldogs tumbling 42-29 at then #10 Nebraska two weeks ago.

Akey says there are lessons from the loss at A&M ...

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Update from IDAHO practice
By Josh Wright / Spokesman Review

The Idaho football team is prepping for its WAC opener and final game with Fresno State before the Bulldogs jump to the Mountain West. I talked to Robb Akey and offensive coordinator Steve Axman after practice and have an update on the Vandals (1-2) below.

We'll start with the injury report. … Right guard Jordan Johnson (ankle) sat out with a boot on his left leg and is "very questionable" for Saturday, Akey said. Johnson, who had been dealing with a knee injury, rolled his left ankle a week ago in practice. "It's better than it was this time one week ago," Akey said. But it's likely Johnson, who opened the year as a starter, will not be available.

Meanwhile, left guard Sam Tupua...

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Bulldogs need focus for WAC opener
By Andy Boogaard / Fresno Bee

With the strength of Samson and the flowing locks to match, Logan Harrell stands like a pillar in Fresno State football today.

The senior defensive tackle isn't as susceptible to motivational trap games like so many of his teammates, 60% of whom are freshmen and sophomores.

And, while Harrell sustained his emotional pitch by delivering a game-high 11 tackles Saturday – a week after the Bulldogs nearly upset Nebraska on the road – the web caught many others as they escaped with a 27-22 homefield win over North Dakota...

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NOTES:

· Saturday's game is being televised by the WAC Sports Network and is available on these Idaho stations - KLEW (Lewiston), KTVB-DT2 (Boise), KTFT-DT2 (Twin Falls) and KIFI-DT8.4 (Idaho Falls), as well as SWX (6.2) in Spokane. In California, it is on KUVI (Bakersfield), KAIL (Fresno), KOTR (Monterey) and Comcast Hometown (Bay area). Additionally, it is on KFVE (Honolulu), KAME (Reno), KTUD (Las Vegas) and KCSG-DT14.2 (St. George, Utah). Barry Tompkins is calling the play-by-play and Joe Glenn the analysis.

· This is Dads' Weekend at the University of Idaho.

· Fans are encouraged to Black Out The Dome. Special T-shirts are on sale at the Vandal Store.

· Idaho is participating in the Reagan Centennial Coin Toss – a nationwide commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late President Ronald Reagan. A commemorative coin will be used for the toss at today's game. The Centennial Celebration is to:
o "highlight the leadership attributes which football fosters, using the example of President Reagan, who played high school and college football, reported on college football as a radio announcer, and was a legendary fan of the game;

o "introduce the life and legacy of President Reagan to the next generation of Americans, and

o "pay tribute to Ronald Reagan's leadership, which inspired freedom and changed the world."




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