So let's take a moment Vandal fans.
|The famous clock tower of the Admin Building|
In honor of Homecoming, let's recognize the University of Idaho for what it is; the state of Idaho's premier University. A classic college town tucked away in the rolling hills of the Palouse, the U of I's prestige is in its campus, education, arts, alumni and research. It's the best educational experience the state of Idaho offers; and it has the alumni and awards to back that statement.
It's all about tradition.
|The new J.A. Albertson Building (College of Business)|
Now, in Idaho's 114th year of playing college football, this year's Homecoming opponent is New Mexico State. The two schools have split the last six games, and the games always prove to be close and exciting. Last year was no exception with lots of scoring and the Vandals unable to keep up with the Aggies high powered offense. Expect Coach Hal Mumme's Aggies to still be high octane. This should have the Vandal faithful wondering how many points the Aggies put up. The Aggies enter the Dome in a must win situation if they want to be in Bowl contention.
Aggies High Powered Offense
Aggies on Defense
Senior linebacker La'Auli Fonoti (6-4, 253) has moved from an outside linebacker spot to the defensive line. Fonoti has responded by giving them much needed pressure from their defensive front. In fact, Defensive Coordinator Joe Lee Dunn has moved more than Fonoti from linebacker to defensive line. Justen Alford (6-2, 227. Jr.) and Chris Nwoko (6-1, 228, Sr) have also made the transition, manning the defensive end positions and it's working out of the Aggies. New Mexico State senior safety Derrick Richardson (5-11, 190) provides the big hit ability in the defensive back field and the leadership for the entire defense. The entire defensive backfield is experienced with seniors. Cornerbacks Marvin Betts (5-9, 180, Sr.) and Vince Butler (5-10, 188 Sr.) shore up the backfield and offer two capable cover corners. The Aggie defense isn't the biggest up front, but their athleticism more than makes up for it. The Aggies are playing their to date.
What the Vandals have to do to WIN
The University of Idaho is holding strong at the bottom of division one football, but that doesn't mean there isn't hope for the Vandal Nation. The games between these teams are notoriously close, and it is Homecoming. It's time for the Vandals to lay it out on the line and play for pride. But this year's Vandal football team has been a Jeckyl/Hyde type team. They show signs of improvement one week, and then it all disappears the next week. Now the season has boiled down to gaining the experience necessary to compete next year, and hopefully upsetting a team along the way.
Vandal fans can't help but drown their sorrows in online venting via suggestions, opinions and antidotes, most of which border on the ridiculous and insane. A program that has endured four coaching changes within the decade, along with a purging of players with character issues has to be given time to rebound. It's been a year and a half and already Vandal fans have run out of patience. Now every armchair AD and coach seems to have the perfect solution to the University of Idaho's athletic woes. This can be more difficult to endure than the season itself.
But the Vandal Nation must trudge on, and there is no weekend like Homecoming to reflect on why the University of Idaho is so important. With this reflection, Vandals will find their memories stretched throughout the years they spent on that beautiful campus, and a moment of clarity and peacefulness will set in. It is then, and only then, when Vandal football fans will realize that change takes time, and there's a surplus of that, and if they want it done right, they will have to be patient.