Holt encourages fans to attend practices, games

University of Idaho head football coach <b>Nick Holt</b>, and co-offensive coordinator <b>Joel Thomas</b>, were among the University of Idaho reps on hand at the Latah County Vandal Boosters luncheon this week.

MOSCOW -- During his weekly presentation at the Latah County Vandal Booster luncheon Monday, Idaho football coach Nick Holt asked if there were any questions from the roughly 50 fans in attendance at The University Inn.

The first question was simply, "What can the community do to help?"

Holt didn't hesitate to encourage Vandal fans to pack the stands for his team's upcoming home games. "We've got to get everyone to the games," Holt said. "Come to the practices, too. The kids really enjoy it when you do."

Co-offensive coordinator Joel Thomas later expanded on Holt's comments using the perspective of a former player. "This is a true family atmosphere," he said. "When I was playing we loved playing in the dome. Visiting teams don't like playing in the dome, but our kids and our staff are all excited about playing in the dome. We need to get everyone into the stands."

Vandals facing rebuilding opponent this week

Before the Vandals take the field in the dome against Louisiana-Monroe, they will travel Saturday to Ypsilanti, Michigan conclude their non-conference schedule against the Eastern Michigan Eagles of the Mid America Conference. Holt was optimistic.

"We're a third of the way into our season, and we've gotten better each week. We were undermanned the last two weeks (against Washington State and Oregon), but basically we're where we thought we would be. I'd love to have won at Utah State, but we didn't."

Under new head coach Jeff Genyk, the Eastern Michigan Eagles opened the season with a win over Buffalo before dropping their next three games against Florida, Toledo, and Eastern Illinois (a 1-AA program). Asked for a report on the Eagles, Holt said, "They use four receiver sets and the shotgun. They make a lot of quick throws. They have a left-handed quarterback and a big offensive line. They like to throw the ball."

Reporting on last week's game at Oregon, Holt found several encouraging signs. "It was a very tough week, but our kids really came together against Oregon. We moved the ball well in the first half. I think we should have had 13 or 17 points. The passing game is coming around."

Holt added, "Michael (Harrington) played better, and it was the best our receivers have played this year...We were undersized up front, but we're getting better weekly. The kids are believing in themselves and our program, and they've got a really good attitude."

Defensively he said, "We were really happy with the play of our corners." He said the Ducks repeatedly tried to beat the Vandal secondary on deep routes but came up empty. "I think we counted something like 12 deep passes they threw on us but there were no big plays."

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