Vandals Lose More Than Just Game To UNT

In Idaho's first shutout loss since 1986, the Vandals lost to SBC front-runner North Texas 10-0 in Denton, Texas. Helping to fuel the Mean Green's victory was the additional loss of Idaho starting quarterback, junior <b>Brian Lindgren</b>, with a separated shoulder early in the 2nd quarter.

Idaho's struggles to put the ball in the endzone consistently continued Saturday night as Idaho suffered its first shut-out loss since the Keith Gilbertson era, when Idaho lost at home to Northern Arizona in a mid-season 1986 game (they would lose that game by a final score of 0-24). However, in front of 11,689 fans in Denton, Texas, Idaho gave one of it's best defensive performances of the year and kept the Vandals in the game throughout.

Led by another oustanding effort by senior Strongside Linebacker Jordan Kramer, Idaho gave up its fewest points since Montana State scored just 7 in 2000. For the day Jordan had possibly his best overall performance as a Vandal with 15 tackles (10 solo), and was in on most plays from beginning to end. The effort should vault him to the top of the tackle list in the Sun Belt Conference.

Idaho's defensive backfield would also record 2 interceptions on the day (the most picks in a single game in quite some time), with senior safety Sergio Robleto snagging one, and junior cornerback Rod Bryant getting the other (Rod's pick also resulted in a 15 yard return). North Texas would end the day completing just 3 passes in 14 attempts.

The Mean Green rushed relentlessly, as we knew they would, putting up 225 yards on 50 attempts. But the Idaho defense played admirably, especially considering the amount of time they spent on the field. They gave Idaho an opportunity to win this game, yielding just 43 yards total offense to UNT in the first half, and holding them to a 10 point burst to start the second half.

Offensively, Idaho was able to move the ball in the first half (203 yards), but the going got much tougher for the Vandals when starting quarterback Brian Lindgren left the game with a separated shoulder early in the second quarter. Sophomore Adam Mallette came in off the bench and gave an admirable effort against a UNT defense ranked among the Top 10 in the nation, but the Idaho offense could not get points put on the board. There were a couple opportunities (a couple missed field goals in the first half, and one missed scoring opportunity late in the game), but the offense struggled to make plays and keep drives alive.

If Brian is lost for the remainder of the season (that is the early indication), his 233 completions will rank him 6th all time on the single season completions mark, between John Welsh (251 in 2000) and Scott Linehan (231 in 1986). His completion percentage of 62.6 also ranks him 4th all-time for a single season, between John Welsh (62.9 in 2000) and Steve Nolan (62.3 in 1990).

The loss of both Brian and senior receiver Josh Jelmberg (Josh went down with a shoulder injury against MTSU, and is uncertain to return for the rest of the year) will be a major challenge for the team, as they prepare for their last 2 games of the season. Both games will be at home in The Dome, starting next week against Arkansas State (who lost this weekend to UL-L), and in 2 weeks against SBC leading New Mexico State (who lost this weekend to Utah State).

Hopefully a full week of Adam working with the first team offense, and continued stingy play by the defense, will allow the team to finish strong the remainder of this season.

Read More

Idaho Official Site, Game Summary and Stats

Spokesman Review Article

Denton Chronicle articles (will need free sign-up)

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