The Rimel Report - Week 4

Guest columnist Duane Rimel, a long-time contributor to the Vandal email list, provides a week-by-week look at the Sun Belt Conference, with a special focus on the Idaho Vandals (of course). We appreciate the opportunity to reprint his group's analysis of each SBC game, each and every week of the season.<br> <br> This week, <b>Mike Anderson</b> and the Vandals take on the Washington Huskies is Seattle. The game will be shown, tape-delayed, Sunday on Fox Sports Northwest.

SUN BELT WEEK #4
Rough week for Sun Belt teams as they go 1-7 Saturday - only Arkansas State was a winner. Sun Belt teams are now 4-20 against non-conference teams. Only six Sun Belt teams are in action this coming Saturday, as Utah State and New Mexico State do not play. Four teams (Idaho, North Texas, Middle Tennessee, and Louisiana Lafayette) are road underdogs of 20 points or more, while Arkansas State and Louisiana Monroe have winnable games. It looks like a 2-4 weekend at best.

Boise State 24 IDAHO 10
Another great perfomance by the Idaho defense, but unfortunately the offense just cannot score enough, in spite of numerous golden opportunities. Dropped passes, overthrown passes, and lack of a running game stymied the Vandals (0-3). The offensive line provided good pass protection, but could not run block effectively. It was a pleasure to see Dimwit Dinwiddie get dumped several times and have the worst game of his collegiate career! It does not get any easier this weekend, as the Vandals head for Seattle and #19 ranked Washington. The Huskies (1-1) are favored by 26 and will win by that much or more. We do not expect former UI coach Keith Gilbertson to try and run up a huge score on his old player, assistant coach (at Cal) and good friend Tom Cable. Look for Huskies to get a comfortable lead then substitute liberally. For you folks making the trip to Seattle - the Seahawks are 2-0 and playing the St. Louis Rams (1-1) on Sunday and tickets are available!
UW 41 UI 13.

Air Force 34 NORTH TEXAS 21
Boy, the Falcons are much better than we thought! We did not think anyone in the country could run up 427 yards on the Mean Green defense, but Air Force (3-0) did it, including 271 on the ground! The normally potent NT running game was held to just 45 yards in 35 attempts. Looks like the Falcons are legitimate Mountain West title contenders. Next up for North Texas is a trip to #14 Arkansas (2-0) who upset #6 Texas in Austin 38-28 Saturday. Looks like former BSU coach (1997) Houston Nutt may have his best Razorback team ever. Best hope for NT is that Arkansas players are still celebrating their upset of Texas and looking past the Mean Green to their SEC opener at Alabama. Arkansas is favored by 22, but we think NT will make it closer than that.
UA 29 NT 13

ARKANSAS STATE 21 Southeast Missouri 3
ASU improves to 2-1 with their second consecutive win over a 1-AA team at home. Winning is helping attendance as 21,134 showed up in Jonesboro. Coach Steve Roberts is making steady progress at turning perennial loser ASU into a winner. Next up is a road trip to Tulsa of the WAC as four point FAVORITES - ASU is starting to get respect in Las Vegas. Tulsa is 1-2, having defeated 1-AA SW Texas 41-15 Saturday. The Indians defeated the Golden Hurricane last year at home 21-19. We expect a similar close game this year.
ASU 24 Tulsa 21.

Oregon State 28 NEW MEXICO STATE 16
The 22 point underdog Aggies led 13-0 in the second quarter, then the Beavers got untracked and scored the next 28 to put the game away. The Beavers outgained NMSU (1-2) 454 to 259 and we will hope they do the same to bSU this weekend. Next up for the Aggies is a weekend off and two weeks to prepare for archrival New Mexico.

Arizona State 26 UTAH STATE 16
The 25 point underdog Aggies gave #16 ranked Sun Devils all they wanted and more. Mighty ASU outgained USU only slightly 438 to 373. Utah State (0-3) had more first downs (25-20) and won the turnover battle 4-3. Darned good effort by USU! Next up is a weekend off and two weeks to prepare for their Sun Belt Conference opener against Louisiana Monroe.

Clemson 37 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 14
We expected a much closer game, but Clemson finally got their act together and trounced the Blue Raiders. MTSU drops to 0-3. Our pick to win the Sun Belt has been very unimpressive to date. It doesn't get any easier this weekend as MTSU heads to #23 Missouri (3-0) as 20 point underdogs. Looks like another rough one for the Blue Raiders.
UM 34 MTSU 16.

Houston 21 LOUISIANA LAFAYETTE 14
This game was not as close as the final score indicated. UH outgained the Ragin Cajuns 413 to 196, and only 5 turnovers by the Cougars kept it from being more lopsided. ULL drops to 0-3 and must head to #24 Minnesota Saturday as 34 point underdogs. Minnesota won this one last year in Lafayette 35-11 and it will not be that close in Minneapolis. The Golden Gophers of the Big Ten should win easily.
UM 49 ULL 10.

Mississippi 59 LOUISIANA MONROE 14
As we predicted, Eli Manning and Ole Miss took out their frustrations on the poor Indians. Heisman candidate Manning was 22 of 36 for 353 yards and 3 TD's in this rout. Next up for ULM (0-3) is a winnable game at home against 1-AA cross state rival Northwestern State. NWS (2-1) is favored by 1 (Sagarin) after beating Delaware State 43-6 and losing by only 3 to Tulane. We would love to predict a ULM win, but NWS looks like a better team.
NWS 28 ULM 26.


FUTURE IDAHO NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
MONTANA 38 Sam Houston State 14
Griz remember to play the second half this week and turn a close 21-14 halftime score into a big win. Curiously SHS outgained Griz 277 to 264, but UM (2-1) used big plays and grabbed 4 turnovers to win. Griz have next week off and two weeks to rest and prepare for a visit from Idaho on September 27. So while the Vandals have to face 19th rated powerhouse Washington, the Grizzlies get rest and relaxation. We are very sure they will be READY for Idaho!!


GO VANDALS!!



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