Around the Clubhouse

Brief conversations with Ed Lamb and Joel Thomas, and a look at some player position updates for this weekend.

Comments from Defensive Coordinator Ed Lamb
One thing can be said without question: Our football staff has been extremely approachable, whether it was bad times last year or the better times this year. Earlier this week Ed Lamb took a couple of minutes out of his busy schedule to answer a couple quick questions we had about the team up to this point. Below are his answers.

1) Now that we're done with our PAC 10 schedule do you feel that playing the PAC 10 offenses will be an advantage going into conference play?

I'm really proud of the way our guys have hung in there, we have asked them to keep working hard and they have not quit. I am anxious for them to get the success they deserve.

I think that the PAC 10 schedule has been an advantage for us, we have judged ourselves against the best, and now we know where we stand. Because of the inconsistent success that we have had during games, this team still believes it can be good. We can still have a winning season, become conference champions, and earn a bowl selection. If we can achieve those things, I am certain we will look back at the early 2002 season knowing we missed some opportunities, but proud of 2002 and hungry for 2003.

2) The 3rd and 4th quarter play on defense seems to be much better than the first half. Is this due to adjustments made during half time or are they just playing too tentative at the start?

We have been a better second half team for a number of reasons: We are in great shape, rotate fresh players all game, and learn from our mistakes. Also, as you mentioned we do not start well. We are so hungry for success that we play careful early, trying to avoid mistakes, until we have nothing more to lose. (Winning teams always play like they have nothing to lose, because they don't know the sting of a loss).

...And when asked about the Kibbie Dome noise during the San Diego State game?

The Kibbie Dome crowd noise was a major difference in the 4th quarter when SDSU was trying to audible!


Those are Ed's words regarding noise...We as fans need to show up huge and expect to scream ourselves hoarse this weekend. The guys deserve every ounce of support we can give them!

Catching up with Vandal great Joel Thomas

VV.c's own Vandal88 caught up with Idaho legend Joel Thomas in Louisville earlier this week. For those that don't know, Joel joined our staff last winter, then joined another Idaho legend's coaching staff, former head coach John L. Smith in Louisville, Kentucky. We wanted to congratulate him and the staff on their huge victory last week over Florida State. Below is an excerpt from his message back to us:

...Thanks for the congratulations. It is such an awesome feeling, almost a numb feeling, I could only imagine what the players feel like. Those big dogs up front just played their tales off and the QB made better decisions in the second half.......we outplayed them which makes it even sweeter. Take care, huge win last weekend for the Vandies, all of the Vandals out here were beaming from ear to ear when we saw the SDSU score.

Take care and Go Vandals!!!!!


Losing Joel was tough this summer, but what a classy guy. We wish him and Louisville the best of luck this year...maybe we'll meet in New Orleans (the SBC has a Bowl contract with C-USA)...

Player Shuffling

This week the following changes will be made to Idaho's starting lineup:

Defensive End: For the second week in a row, sophomore Brandon Kania will be the starting Rush End, while Kody Kraus will start at Defensive End. Dennis Taeatafa will backup Brandon, and redshirt freshman Mike Bonelli will be backing up Kody. As has been the case all season, all 4 are going to see extensive playing time.

Strong Safety: Quietly, redshirt freshman Nate Nichols has moved into the starting position at SS, and will be backed up by senior Sergio Robleto. Both have had alot of playing time this fall, and we would expect a healthy rotation between these two to continue the rest of the season. With Nate in the starting lineup, our defensive backfield (among the starters) includes Nate (6-2, 206), Robert Ortega (6-1, 200) at FS, and cornerbacks Ed Rankin (6-1, 188) and Rod Bryant (6-1, 180). In addition to being the fastest backfield we've had in awhile, its probably the tallest we've ever had. Three of these guys should be back next year (Ed is the only senior), so things should be interesting in 2003.

News and Notes

[From the Weekly Football Release on the Official Site] Junior punter Ryan Downes is beginning to make his mark. After booming a 60-yarder last Saturday against Washington, he finished with an average of 46.4 for the game. His season average of 44.57 is SIXTH NATIONALLY...........Senior kicker Keith Stamps, a walkon until he was awarded a scholarship just before the start of the 2001 season, is perfect on PAT kicks by making 17 of 17 this fall. He's four-of-six on field goal attempts after nailing two last week at Washington. His 49-yarder as time ran out in the first half is a career best.


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