Idaho's 2006 home opener against Idaho State is just a day away, and marks the 38th meeting between the two schools, in a series that dates back to 1916. The Vandals lead the series 26-11, and won the last meeting 52-3 in the Dome in 1998. For Idaho to win Saturday they have to have an excellent performance in the trenches, and that includes the play of defensive tackle ALEX TOAILOA.
Can't be in Moscow this weekend
for the Idaho
-Idaho State football game? That doesn't mean you can't catch all the action – and your options are many.
The Go Vandals Television Network is carrying the game, which also has been picked up by ESPN Game Plan
. It's also on the Idaho Vandal Radio Network, which is being streamed live at uiathletics.com (just click on the Listen Live button). And, it's on wactv. Again, check the link (which will appear on Saturday) at uiathletics.com.
Satellite coordinates for the game are:
BIRD iA6 TRANSPONDER 06 KU
Pos in Arc 93 º Downlink Freq 11836.5 H
SYMBOL RATE 5.1708 MS/s Data Rate = 7.147871
FEC + 3/4 IN THE CLEAR NON POWER VIEW
Vandal Radio Network
KZFN 106.1FM Moscow, Pullman
KGEM 1140 AM Boise, Nampa, Mountain Home
KBFI 1450 AM Bonners Ferry
KSPT 1400 AM Sandpoint
KWAL 620 AM Osburn, Kellogg, Wallace
KLER 1300 AM Orofino
KVNI 1080 AM Coeur d'Alene
KJRB 790 AM Spokane
KORT 1230 AM Grangeville
KOZE 950 AM Lewiston
KUPI 980 AM Idaho Falls
KLIX 1310 AM Twin Falls, Jerome, Burley, Wendell, Gooding
KOFE 1240 AM St. Maries
Go Vandals Television Network
KBCI TV Channel 2 Boise
KLEW TV Channel 3 Lewiston
Cable One Channel 18 Boise
KIDK TV Channel 3 Idaho Falls, Pocatello
KMVT TV Channel 11 Twin Falls
KEPR TV Channel 19 Tri-Cities
Cable Channel 12 Spokane
Cable Channel 8 Coeur d'Alene
Cable Sandpoint, Wallace, Kellogg
THE WEATHER FORECAST...
For those anticipating the roof coming off the Dome soon, have we got a weekend weather forecast for you!
Friday: High 57, low 38, 40% change of showers
Saturday: High 49, low 39, 30% chance of rain/snow showers
Sunday: Mostly sunny, high 65, low 39
However, game conditions will be a blistering 70-degrees, no breeze, and clear skies.
CONFLICTING REPORT #1...
5-10, 190, Senior
Some folks are indicating starting cornerback Reggie Jones
will be suiting up Saturday. Our intel is telling us otherwise. A game of cat and mouse maybe? We expect to see Reggie take this weekend off to rehab an injury suffered this week during practice, and he may be back in time for Oregon State
. In his place expect to see Kiel McDonald
, a super-senior granted an extra year of eligibility due to a recent NCAA rules change. He transferred to Idaho this fall from Sacramento State and is pursuing an advanced degree in Moscow. He's played a lot this fall already, particularly in nickel situations, so he should fit right in Saturday. Expect to also see a healthy rotation which will likely include redshirt freshman Brian Dukes and true freshman General Parnell
CONFLICTING REPORT #2...
6-0, 220, Junior
Will middle linebacker Jo-Artis Ratti
make his Vandal debut this Saturday or not? Some are saying yes, some are saying no. Apparently some are claiming the junior college he transferred from this summer is late in getting some documentation from the JC to the clearinghouse. We'll see. Obviously, the odds are good that he'll play. So what's the big deal? Plenty. Ratti was named a JC Gridwire All-American in 2004, and was listed by CollegeFootballNews as the #25 JC linebacker prospect in the nation. He's an outstanding prospect in an already good linebacker rotation for Idaho, and is talented to come in and make an immediate impact.
TELL US MORE ABOUT THOSE LINEBACKERS...
Junior David Vobora
has been an integral part of the Vandal linebacker rotation since his true freshman season in 2004. He was probably thrust onto the field a little early (i.e. a little small for D-1 ball at the time), but the kid plays with a ton of heart, has more than enough speed for the WILL position, and is quickly growing into his role as a prominant WAC linebacker. Through the first two games of this season he has a whopping 30 tackles, #1 in the WAC and #2 in the nation. We anticipated a big year out of the Oregonian, and he is certainly delivering.
6-2, 302, RS-Fr
Much has been made of the Vandal defensive line, both in preseason articles talking about a lack of size, and this season as the group continues to seek its first sack of the season. For Idaho to win Saturday, this group has to have an outstanding day....not a good quarter or two...a SOLID full day. Lots of pressure on a QB that is going to try to air it out, and lots of chaos in the running lanes. If this group has success Saturday, then Idaho should be in a position to win the game. Key to that success will be a deep and productive DL rotation. Two youngsters who have seen significant playing time already this fall are redshirt freshman Marvin Jones
(6-2, 302) and redshirt sophomore Alex Toailoa
(6-1, 299). Idaho needs to continue to develop size and strength in the trenches, and these two athletes are key. They will be rotating generously with starters Siua Musika
(6-1, 293), Ryan Davis
(6-0, 270) and Jon Dominguez
LOOKING TO GALLOP...
This is probably the deepest runningback rotation Idaho has had in years. Bruiser Jayson Bird
leads a group that includes JC Gridwire All-American Brian Flowers
, junior career 1000 yard rusher Rolly Lumbala
, slasher Tracy Ford
, and word on the street is Raymond Fry
could start seeing some action here too. The group were workhorses against Michigan State
, struggled immensely against Washington State
, and will hopefully find some seams against a solid Idaho State defense Saturday and bust a 20 or 30-yarder or two....or ten. Bird ran hard this week in practice and appears to be close to 100%. Flowers appears to be running faster and is showing good quickness, which indicates he's getting more comfortable with the new system.
FOR THOSE COUNTING...
We currently have three Vandals who were JC All-Americans before coming to Idaho. Quarterback Steve Wichman, runningback Brian Flowers, and linebacker Jo-Artis Ratti. Other than Wichman last fall, who earned JC Gridwire All-American honors in 2004, it's been awhile since Idaho has had a JC All-American on the squad...and Idaho probably has never had three at the same time.
OPENING THINGS UP OFFENSIVELY...
6-0, 185, Jr
The Idaho coaching staff elevated newcomers Marlon Haynes
and Tariq Ikharo
to starting roles this Saturday, and the wide receiver attack should get a serious bump in explosiveness. Haynes, likely starting at split end, showed just how good his hands are on a diving 35-yard grab after getting 5-yards behind a couple stunned WSU defenders. Had he been hit in stride, he would have had a huge gainer. Ikharo will also get the starting nod this Saturday, likely at slot, and although he had just one catch against Wazzu, it was a key reception inside WSU's 5-yard line and showed what he can do with his 6-4 frame. With senior Wendell Octave
lining up at flanker and coming off a pretty good game Saturday in Pullman, the top three for Idaho each pose a threat to defensive backfields if they can make the grab. If all three get hot at the same time, this could be quite the aerial day for Idaho. It's been awhile since Idaho has forced a defensive backfield to worry about more than one or two receivers on a play. We know quarterback Steve Wichman
has the arm to deliver...will the receivers find a way to get open and make the nab?