North Texas Game Honorees

Idaho's game with North Texas was a bitter pill to swallow, but some props have to be given to the Vandal Defense for keeping our team very much in this game.

In a little over a quarter and a half last weekend, the Idaho offense had some noteworthy success moving the football against a North Texas defense ranked among the Top 10 in the nation. It wasn't pretty, but twice Idaho moved within field goal range, and kept our defense off the field. Starting quarterback Brian Lindgren threw for an efficient 107 yards while completing 7 passes on 10 attempts. During the same span, the defense held the Mean Green scoreless, and would give just 43 yards total offense throughout the first half.

But, in a single blow, Lindgren (the top rated passer per game in the conference, by about 100 yards per game) was lost for the season with a dislocated shoulder. Enter sophomore Adam Mallette, in the most significant playing time of his career. The offense would struggle just to move the ball the rest of the day (a fairly predictable outcome, given the strength of the defense he was facing), as the NT defense took command.

Fortunately, the Idaho defense under first year Defensive Coordinator Ed Lamb held, yielding just 10 points and 275 yards total offense. They gave our team every opportunity to win (picking off 2 passes, blocking a field goal, and making enough big plays to keep NT out of the endzone). There is little doubt the award winners come from the defensive side of the ball this week.

Honorable Mention:
Jordan Kramer
, 6-2, 235, Senior, Strongside Linebacker
Jordan has gone 3 consecutive weeks on our radar screen, and Saturday was no exception. He led the team with 15 tackles (10 solo), and moved to the top of the conference with 94 tackles on the season. He's also tied with senior defensive lineman Tali Atoe for the team lead in sacks (5), and also tied with Tali to lead the team in tackles for loss (12). He is playing as tough and consistent as you would expect a senior linebacker to play.

The Cyber Game Ball Winners:
Nicq Hale
, 5-10, 171, Sr, Cornerback
We're pretty impressed with the effort that Nicq has put into this, his senior season at Idaho. He's been in a season long battle for starting duties with senior Ed Rankin, and has started 5 of Idaho's 10 games this year (2 games at the beginning of the year, and the last 3 games). He's appeared in every game. Against UNT he had 5 tackles (4 impressive solo tackles), and is playing tougher against both the run and the pass as the season carries on. Not bad, considering he was a walk-on out of Mountain Home, Idaho in 1998. He redshirted the '98 season, and saw action in both '99 and '2000. He missed last season, and has played well throughout 2002. Congrats to Nicq for sticking with the program, and coming back strong for his senior season.
Nicq Hale, 5-10, 171, Senior
Mountain Home, Idaho

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