NEWS & NOTES: Homecoming Week

With just a few days left as Idaho (2-3 overall, 1-0 WAC) prepares for its Homecoming football game against New Mexico State (2-2 overall, 0-0 WAC), we acknowledge Idaho's first WAC Player of the Week honoree for this season (kicker TINO AMANCIO), and dig up a few stats of note.


Although Homecoming is just a couple days away, we wanted to forward a message from the UI that tickets for Idaho's home game against Boise State later this month are going fast. Less than 2,000 general admission tickets remain. Due to the high demand, there will also be a UI student ticket pick-up beginning Monday, October 9. UI Students are free, however they will need to pick up a ticket to ensure a seat to the game. We're going to have to squeeze together for this one. Let's pack the Dome and remember to wear black for "Black Out the Dome Day"!

Please call the UI Ticket Office at 208.885.6466 to get your tickets today!

VIVA AMANCIO!! We tip our hats to sophomore kicker Tino Amancio on a fantastic start to the 2006 season. We'll be honest...when former Lou Groza finalist and First Team All-WAC selection Mike Barrow suffered a career ending injury a couple weeks before this season started, we figured that special teams would just say a little less reliable than a year ago. In reality, they've been if anything just as good if not better at this point in the year, and Tino is a large part of that success. He's converted the longest field goal of anyone in the WAC this year (49 yards), is converting 85.7% of his attempts (tied for second in percentage and number of FGs per game), and has been cool under pressure. This week he was named the WAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his 11-point performance Saturday which included two field goals and 5 PATs. Excellent work and best of luck this week to the JC transfer WALKON who is this close to earning a scholly.

SICK BAY... As has been reported already in several media outlets, sophomore WR Lee Smith who has seen significant playing time this fall injured his knee against Utah State and will be out for a couple weeks. Junior CB Reggie Jones has missed several weeks with an injury (he played against Oregon State and sat out against Utah State last week) and is unlikely for Saturday's game. Starting left guard Jade Tadvick has been battling a nagging shoulder injury this season and is probable for Saturday's game, while junior TE Luke Smith-Anderson, who has been out for a couple weeks, practiced Tuesday and may make it back onto the field this Saturday.

A WORD ABOUT NMSU... Many have noticed how many plays New Mexico State runs on offense typically. One main reason, besides being a pretty good offensive team, is that NMSU runs a no-huddle offense with plays being signaled in from the sideline to the QB, who relays it to the WRs via hand signals. The goal is to catch opposing defenses off guard, and it worked several times last year against Idaho. The entire Vandal defensive staff is back (well...except former HC Nick Holt), so they should have the team well prepared regarding what to expect from the Aggies. One majore difference, however, is this year's version of the Aggie O is much improved, so it will be REALLY interesting to see how the Vandals react Saturday. Regardless of how plays are sent to the QB, a lot of noise in the dome will make a difference in this our defenders a boost and disrupting NMSU's scheme. (NOTE: Through the first 4 games NMSU has given up 13 sacks...through the first 5 games Idaho has given up 9 total).

5-11, 167, Junior, RCB
KEEPING UP WITH FRANKS... Not too many people are this season. Junior Stanley Franks, a junior college transfer this winter who was actually a JC All-Conference wide receiver last year, joined the Vandals in December and has been perched at the top of the right cornerback depth chart virtually ever since. He's having a fantastic 2006 season and through the first 5 games of this season is second in the WAC with 4 interceptions on the year (the UI single-season record is 9, set by Jim Norton in 1958 and Ken Dotson in 1968 - no Vandal has picked off more than 6 passes in a season since 1990), and has the LONGEST interception return in the conference by a long, long margin with his 98 yard return for a TD last week against Utah State. His 155 yards on those four picks is also more than DOUBLE anyone else's in the league. Nationally, Franks is tied for sixth in the country with James Laurinaitis of Ohio State, C.J. Wilson of Baylor, Reggie Nelson of Florida, and Craig Steltz of LSU.

DAVID VOBORA WATCH... Junior WILL David Vobora has literally picked up right where senior Cole Snyder left off last year. Its amazing how this team annually now is starting to have athletes step up and pick up the torch. So far Vobora has a WAC-best 61 tackles on the season and is averaging a tops 12.2 tackles per game (Matt Castelo of San Jose State is second with 10.5 tackles per game, followed by BSU's Korey Hall averaging 9.4 tackles per game). He is currently second in the nation behind Alvin Bowen of Iowa State who is averaging 13.8 tackles per game.

TRACY FORD WATCH... While watching practices Tuesday we noticed that true sophomore runningback Tracy Ford appeared to be getting more carries in practice than in recent weeks. The fast and shifty athlete has been dealing with an injury much of this fall and his carries have been limited. That appears to be changing. We have no idea if he'll see the ball more Saturday, but it certainly doesn't hurt having an athlete of his caliber in the stable.

2006 Idaho cheerleading team.

Idaho crowd at the Idaho State game earlier this season.

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