The University of Idaho Vandals entered Saturday night's game against top ranked USC as 46 point underdogs with few people - outside of the Vandal team itself - believing they would win...let alone cover the spread. Instead, in front of just over 91,000 fans, Idaho came out and played a courageous game before falling 38-10 to the Trojans. It was an impressive start for a young Vandal team.

Welcoming Idaho to USC was the Trojan mascot.

The University of Idaho Vandals take the field as sun sets in Los Angeles.

Looking back at the L.A. Coliseum tunnel near the the end of the first quarter with Idaho down 7-0 to USC.

MAKING PROGRESS: Redshirt freshmen Jonah Sataraka (61) and Aaron Lavarias (95), as well as the rest of the young Vandal defensive line played admirably against a powerful Trojan offensive line.

LEADING THE CHARGE: True junior Eddie Williams was Idaho's top receiver with 52 yards on four reception, including this catch that went for 29 yards and gave Idaho the ball at USC's 7-yard line.

ADMIRABLE PERFORMANCE: Redshirt freshman Adam Shamion, a graduate of Post Falls High School (Idaho) moved into the starting middle linebacker role during the second quarter when starter Jo'Artis Ratti went down with an injury. The big freshman finished with three tackles and a forced fumble. Idaho didn't get to USC QB John David Booty for a sack, but they did get a couple hits on the Trojan signal caller.

FAMILY LEGACY: University of Idaho true freshman wide receiver Eric Greenwood (6-6, 200) saw his first collegiate action in the Coliseum. INSIDE SLANT: Here is a bit of USC trivia concerning Greenwood generously shared with us by a Greenwood family member. Eric's grandfather, Chuck, played end for USC in the early 50's. Eric's late father, Scott, played TE for Washington in the late 70's. Scott, who was in Don James's first recruiting class at UW, started on the team that beat Michigan in the 1978 Rose Bowl and started UW's rise to national prominence. Remarkably Eric is the third generation in his family to play a game in the Coliseum, and the prospects for Eric being part of a growing program at Idaho are not lost on the family.

THREE-WAY IRON MAN: University of Idaho junior Mike Iupati, Idaho's starting left guard, played the role of Iron Man on Saturday night in a way that it hasn't been played at Idaho since the days of Idaho legends Wayne Walker and Jerry Kramer. In those days, Walker (who went on to the NFL to play for Detroit) punted and played linebacker. Kramer (who went on to fame at Green Bay) kicked and played guard. Against the mighty Trojans, Iupati made it a tri-fecta by lining up as a defensive tackle in goal-line situations and on kickoff returns as a blocker. Why "iron man"? Both Larry and Pat caught the action as Iupati stuffed a Trojan double-team on the goal line, and his performance as an offensive lineman Saturday was tremendous.

QUICK KICKS: Idaho junior kicker Tino Amancio went one for three Saturday night, including this kick that was good and reduced USC's lead to 21-3 going into halftime.

SWITCHING SIDES: Idaho junior offensive tackle Kris Anderson made the switch from right tackle (the position he started at all last season) over to the left side to protect quarterback Nathan Enderle's blind side. Againsted the vaunted USC D-Line, Enderle was sacked just once.

RISING TO THE TOP: Junior Billy Bates (6-5, 285) switched tackle positions with Anderson during fall camp, and has been a starter on the Vandal line throughout spring and fall drills.

TIGHTEND DEPTH: Idaho sophomore tightend Peter Bjorvik (6-4, 259) saw significant duty Saturday night against USC, predominantly as a blocking end.

2006 DEFENSIVE SCOUT TEAM POY: Junior Andrew Blevins, Idaho's 2006 Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year, saw significant duty Saturday as a backup linebacker, including stuffing the running play above.

PUNTER EXTRAODINAIRE: Junior T.J. Conley was superb Saturday night, giving Idaho multiple opportunities to down the ball inside the USC ten yardline and getting good distance and hang-time on his punts.

QUICK STUDY: True freshman Joseph "JoJo" Dickson earned serious playing time and finished with 3 tackles on the night.

FRESHMAN FURY: Idaho's top backup rush end Jonathan Faraimo got his first collegiate tackle against USC backing up senior Ben Alexander (Ben finished tied for second on the team with 5 tackles in the game).

OUTSTANDING EFFORT: Sophomore right guard Adam Juratovac battled back from a hand injury to start at guard for Idaho in the Coliseum.

BANNER GAME: True sophomore strong safety Shiloh Keo, named an honorable mention Freshman All-American last year, had a phenominal game against USC, nabbing two interceptions and scooping up a fumble, as well as leading the team with 10 tackles on the night (tied with senior free safety Chris Smith for the tackle lead on the night). Keo also returned two punts and averaged 8 yards per return as well as being the lead blocker on kickoff returns.

LEADING RECEPTIONS: Sophomore wideout Max Komar led Idaho with five receptions on the night for 28 yards.

CAPTAIN LEADERSHIP: Junior center Adam Korby was impressive up front for Idaho as the Vandal line held off an impressive USC front.

EXCELLENT OPENING ACT: First year Defensive Coordinator Mark Criner had the Vandal defense well prepared for Idaho's first game of the season Saturday night. Although the D got off to a rough start, he and his staff helped keep his young defense focused and poised throughout the night.

QUIETLY SUCCESSFUL: He doesn't play a position that gets a lot of press, but senior tightend Rolly Lumbala was outstanding against USC, with 2 receptions for 22 yards, including this 18 yard reception.

FIRST START OF CAREER: Southern Idaho native Taylor Rust made his first career start, lining up as Idaho's top strongside defensive end. He finished with three tackles on the night, including an 11-yard fourth quarter sack.

CAPTAIN LEADERSHIP: Senior weakside linebacker David Vobora, a first team All-WAC selection last year, finished with four tackles and one pass breakup against USC.

IN FOR THE SCORE: Idaho junior tailback Jayson Bird helped Idaho avoid the shut out when he got the Vandals into scoring position with this 29 yard scamper.

ALL Vandals Top Stories