Jordan Kramer, Vandal Outside Linebacker
"We thought there was no way they could play with us and obviously they proved us wrong," Idaho linebacker Jordan Kramer said. "I guess we just overlooked them."
The quote above pretty much sums up what happened in Monroe this past Saturday. You could probably make a claim that this has been the mindset of the team each of the past 2 weeks.
Statistically, Jordan is right on. The difference in the performance between the Vandals and the Indians throughout the season leading up to this game is about as vast as the Grand Canyon. How vast?
Their offense was ranked at or near the bottom of most SBC statistical categories, averaging 10 points per game against Kansas State, Mississippi, Tulane, Arkansas State, and McNeese State. We were averaging almost 28 points per game against Washington, Oregon, Washington State, Boise State, San Diego State and Montana. Both defenses (Idaho's and Monroe's) were giving up just over 40 points per game, but Idaho's were coming against the 3 top 25 teams, the #1 WAC team, the #1 team in 1-AA, and an exceptionally athletic SDSU team.
By this measure alone, you would expect Idaho to have some success against ULM. Unfortunately, this game, played in front of 1000-2000 Indian fans (as estimated by Bob Curtis), would be a show-case of what happens when a mid-major takes another mid-major lightly.
Michael Dunlap / The News Star
|ULM Indian's defense celebrates one of many big plays on the day.|
But this team, which inexplicably would take anybody for granted this season, fell short for the second week in a row.
The Vandals mercifully gets this weekend off. They will hopefully use the time to make good on what looked, at least during the first 5 weeks of this year, as a potential turning point for the program. A season that started with an impressive victory over San Diego State and hard fought losses is shaping up to be a very long season.
We sincerely hope this team finds a way to snap out of whatever self-inflicted rut they are in, and get back to performing at the level they are capable of performing.
Even if the players don't believe they can get back to playing their brand of tough football, but we do.
Idaho Official Site, Game Summary and Stats
The News Star (Monroe, LA newspaper)
Spokesman Review Article