From now through the end of the season, Idaho (6-2, 3-1 WAC) will be taking on teams who are battling for the precious few bowl slots the WAC has to offer. Nevada last week made their statement, and Idaho has four more games to build on their tremendous start to the 2009 season. It all starts this Saturday, when the Vandals host La Tech (3-4, 2-2 WAC) for Homecoming at the University of Idaho.

Well, Colin Kaepernick was obviously found by his parents in a space pod in the farthest corn field from behind their house, where he was raised by his father to run all over the gridiron.

Well, at least that's what Vandal fans were saying in the wake of Nevada's Vandal beat down, easing the pain of the staggering one-man wrecking crew display the reigning WAC Offensive Player of the Year put on last Saturday.

70-45? Are you kidding me? Sounds like a basketball score.

The only thing the Vandals can do is forget that game immediately. They need to concentrate on the remainder of the season, starting with the Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech, who travel to Moscow for Homecoming. What a weekend it will be in Moscow! Homecoming and Halloween, all wrapped up in a Fall University of Idaho campus. There is PLENTY of action on the Palouse weekend, as there is an opportunity to watch a plethora of Vandal sports over the course of the long weekend. Vandal fans should be out in force!

The Vandals look to get back on the winning track as they face an inconsistent Louisiana Tech team. After falling behind the Utah State Aggies last weekend, the Bulldogs came charging back only to fall short in the end. But this Bulldog squad can play. At 3-4, 2-2 in conference play, La Tech has had impressive showings, and then the not so impressive.

The simple fact remains that the Vandals cannot afford to take anyone lightly.

Coach Derek Dooley is in his third year of coaching the Bulldogs and has yet to lose to the Vandals. La Tech is 3-1 in the series which started when the University of Idaho joined the Western Athletic Conference. Vandal fans should be more than happy to be back at home, as this is a game between two programs that desperately need this win. The Vandals need to show they can bounce back after a loss. The Bulldogs need to prove they can win on the road.

It's easy to point out the positives on offense in last week's performance. For the second week in a row, Enderle found Maurice Shaw on a downfield bomb that scored. And for emphasis, he connected on 73-yard bombs not just once, but twice. Aside from these two touchdown tosses, Enderle was impressive in this outing, throwing bombs and lasers all over the field, hitting various targets and moving the chains. But the main thing Vandal fans can take out of this game was that there is a legitimate deep threat in the Enderle to Shaw connection. Even more dangerous is the Max Komar connection. He is as fast and as elusive as any receiver in the nation. The guy knows how to get open, and busted out a three touchdown performance.

On the other hand, the Vandal rushing attack was shutdown for most of the game. The Vandals were down early, and having trouble stopping the Nevada offense only compounded the situation. It became a shootout, and that leaves little room for a running game. However, Deonte Jackson would not be denied. Jackson's shifty moves and ability to break tackles became the only highlight out of the usually dynamic group as he ran for a 59 yard touchdown. Jackson found ways to make yards while Woolridge and McCarty were silent all afternoon. Being back in the Dome, expect the Vandals to find what was lost last week, and that's a solid running attack. All three backs should see success behind an offensive line that took a little too long to warm up last Saturday.

What are the bright spots on defense? The Idaho Vandals have 3 WAC defensive Players of the Week this season. Count ‘em, three: Shiloh Keo, Aaron Lavarias and Joseph Dickson have all won the award, which goes to show there are studs on the Vandal D. Idaho fans can step away from the edge and concentrate on all the position battles, all the youth and all that the Vandal defense has brought to the 2009 season. Last Saturday was, in no way, indicative of what has gone on this season. It should be more than interesting to watch how this unit responds against La Tech, especially the linebackers.

Bottom line is that the Vandal defense has proven it can create quarterback pressure, stuff the run and create turnovers. This is still the same defense that has made key stops at significant points in the game, week after week.

However, just like on offense, consistency has been the problem. They have yet to put together an entire game of solid play. They are also going through a two game streak of letting teams out of third-and-long situations. This week will be a great test for the defense because La Tech has a balanced offensive attack. They will see run and pass, so there will be plenty of opportunities to gather a defensive stop. Some key injuries include cornerbacks Isaac Butts and Aaron Grymes. Butts is out, but Grymes may play. Outside of that, expect the Vandal defense to show up with a little attitude, trying to recapture their swagger with a solid performance.

As mentioned before, if anyone is expecting La tech to show up and roll over, they have never met Coach Derek Dooley. This La Tech team has talent, and lots of it. There is speed and there is size on both sides of the ball. Here are a few La Tech players to note.

Bulldogs To Watch On Offense

WR Phillip Livas – this guy has all world speed. Last week his streak of 29 games catching a ball came to an end, but he made up for it on a kickoff return to breathe life into the Bulldogs. Livas returned a second-quarter kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. He's dangerous with the ball in his hands.

RB Daniel Porter is a very good back. He's rushed for almost 600 yards this season, sporting a 5.2 average with 6 td's. He's got good size, good quickness and can move the chains. His longest run from scrimmage is 64 yards, so he can take it to the house on every carry.

QB Ross Jenkins – Jenkins has thrown for 1247 yards this season, with 8 td's to 4 int's. Jenkins is an efficient passer, that doesn't make many mistakes. He's a good enough athlete he can also hurt you with his legs, but Jenkins will use the pocket to throw down field more often than not. He can lead his team down the field and score.

TE Dennis Morris – he's La tech's leading receiver. Big and fast, Morris is a load to bring down. Jenkins' obvious favorite target, he sees a fair share of passes come his way. Averaging 17.2 yards a catch, his soft hands make him an endzone threat at all times.

Bulldogs To Watch On Defense

LB Jay Dudley— Dudley is coming on for the bulldogs. The sophomore linebacker led the Bulldogs in tackling last week with 15 and also had 1.5 tackles for loss gathering the team's only sack. La Tech is looking for him to pick up where he left off last week, and provide a monster game.

LBs Adrien Cole - Cole leads the team in tackles. Only a sophomore, he is a tackling machine and the leader of the defense. Cole can force turnovers with his big hits as well. The linebackers are young, but they are fast and bring it with every hit.

S – Deon Young – Young is their best defensive playmaker. A ballhawk and excellent hitter, Young has all the skills. Whether he's blitzing or in coverage, his presence is made throughout the game with his hard nose hitting, and his knack for interceptions.

S – Tank Calais – Calais rounds out the excellent safety tandem on the La Tech defense. Calais is the bigger hitter of the two, and will be looking to dismantle any receiver in his area.

Defensive Line – The La Tech defensive line is deep, experienced and very big. This is not one of the smaller defensive lines in conference. The matchup between the Vandal Offensive line and the La Tech Defensive line is noteworthy in that these are two of the bigger units in the WAC. It should make for an all out war in the trenches.

In Summary

A little changeup is needed for us all. Vandal fans need to take a step back and look at the body of work the Vandal Football team has produced. It's been years since we've had so much to cheer about. Long touchdowns runs, bruising offensive drives, long bomb passes, swarming defense, big hits, quarterback sacks…

So much to cheer about…

Now we need to show our team that we appreciate their dedication and sacrifice by heading to the Dome! What better way to celebrate the Vandals than Homecoming? It's fall. It's football. It's Vandal football. It's time to head back to the rolling hills of the Palouse and take in the fall colors.

It's time to head back home -- Tribe from the North -- and remember what it's like to…


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