Idaho offensively moved the ball against Western Michigan Saturday afternoon, accumulating 407-yards against the visiting Broncos out of the Mid-American Conference. Senior tightend Justin Podrabsky scored his first touchdown of the season, while the offense displayed explosiveness as they scored on touchdown strikes of 62- and 75-yards.
But it's rarely a good sign when your two leading tacklers are your safety (Jordan Grabski with 11 tackles) and your cornerback (Jayshawn Jordan with eight take downs). The Broncos scored touchdowns on the first five of their six first half possessions, building a commanding 35-17 lead before Idaho registered a safety just before the half to cut the lead to 35-19 as the teams went into the lockerroom.
Idaho's defense slowed WMU down in the second half, giving up just 10 points in the third quarter, but by then the lead was too much for Idaho to overcome.
Despite the disappointing results, several Vandals had remarkable performances:
Matt Linehan: For the second consecutive week, Idaho's offense under the leadership of Linehan put up over 300 yards through the air. Saturday, Linehan recorded 362 yards passing with three touchdowns and one untimely interception when Idaho was deep in Bronco territory and going for a score. But Linehan bounced back, just like he did the week before at UL-Monroe, and was effective for much of the afternoon. The freshman even added another touchdown on the ground when he rushed in from seven yards out in the first quarter to tie the game knot the game at seven apiece. Linehan isn't playing like a rookie, instead showing command of the offense and excellent composure under heavy pressure (punctuated by four sacks Saturday).
Joshua McCain: The senior wideout again led Idaho's receivers, hauling in a team-high seven receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown. His 75-yard fourth quarter touchdown displayed about 50 yards of speed as he outran the Bronco defense (aided in-part by an excellent down field block by Deon Watson). It's been several years since Idaho has had multiple weapons at wideout, but they have clearly made progress here the last two seasons.
Richard Montgomery: At about the 11-minute mark of the 2nd quarter, Montgomery electrified the Idaho crowd when he hauled in a Linehan pass on a crossing pattern and outran everyone on the field enroute to a 62-yard score that cut the Bronco lead to 21-17. For the day Montgomery caught three passes for 88 yards, and added another three carries for 12-yards. Through the first two games Montgomery's speed has given the Vandal offense some punch and an effective ability to stretch the field.
OFF TO THE RACES: Richard Montgomery hauls in a Matt Linehan pass and races 62-yards for the touchdown.
DEFENSIVE STAND: Although Idaho's defense struggled for much of the first half, the Vandals stopped the Broncos on this drive deep in WMU territory, which eventually led to the long-snapper overshooting the punter and a 2-point safety for Idaho.