Let's see. Nathan Enderle threw three interceptions (two in the fourth quarter) and was benched before the biggest drive of the season. Idaho was penalized 11 times for 113 yards. Linebacker Treshawn Robinson was ejected in the first half. Idaho squandered a scoring opportunity with a fumble inside the 5-yard line.
And despite all that, the Vandals rallied for the second straight week to pull out a 29-25 win over San Jose State. Ho hum, right?
Click below for more on another heart-pounding Idaho victory, its fourth in a row.
First off, the Vandals certainly don’t make things easy for themselves. As Robb Akey pointed out after this one, Idaho overcame adversity — and a lot of it was self-created. But the defense came up with three key stops in the fourth quarter, holding SJSU to a field goal, turnover on downs and interception from Kenneth Patton to seal the win.
It was a rousing performance from a defense that looked uber-shaky at moments, strong at others.
The Vandals (5-1, 2-0 in the WAC) were able to muster the decisive scoring drive with Enderle on the bench and backup Brian Reader under center. Reader completed his only pass attempt — a crucial 11-yarder to Eric Greenwood. But the last march was all about a rushing attack that was money most of the night. The Vandals ran seven straight times after Reader’s completion, and punctuated the winning drive with a stirring DeMaundray Woolridge 5-yard TD run.
Woolridge is quickly becoming one of the most clutch performers Idaho has had in a LONG time. He has eight touchdowns through six games, and he’s averaging 6.0 yards per carry behind a stellar offensive line. (Princeton McCarty is also shining behind that line as well.)
Now, what does this mean? For starters, Idaho is alone atop the WAC with a 2-0 record. And it’s one win from locking up a bowl berth. That victory could very well come against Hawaii, which is getting rolled by Fresno State as I write this.
Akey said afterward that Enderle is still the team’s starter — though pulling him at such a crucial juncture isn’t exactly a vote of confidence. Reader has shown he’s very capable, and Idaho coaches — no matter the position — aren’t hesitating to make a switch during games.