Last season's matchup between Idaho and Louisiana Tech was a Hallloween thriller that went down to the last second. The Vandals prevailed to become bowl-eligibile. But they also didn't win another WAC game after that.
Keep reading for more about UI's WAC opener this year.
The Vandals are on the last leg of a three-game, four-week road trip that took them to Colorado State, Western Michigan and now Ruston, La. Lots of air miles have been logged, and lots more will be logged in two weeks when they play at Hawaii.
Yesterday's plane ride was a just a bit longer than the one to Western Michigan, which means the Vandals could have "a little bit longer nap," coach Robb Akey said.
"We’re pretty good at traveling right now because we’ve had plenty of opportunities to do it," Akey added. "We’re in a routine, and I like our guys to be in a routine. I think the main thing is that there’s a flow and guys know what to anticipate and what to expect. So, no, we’re not going to travel any different. Matter of fact, we’re leaving at the same that’s we’ve left. The bus is leaving at the same time. It’s in the afternoon — it’s not in the morning. "
Now in Ruston, the Vandals (3-2) face a conference opponent who they probably need to beat to have a realistic shot at the postseason. As it stands now, the most winnable WAC games on UI's schedule: next week at home vs. New Mexico State, Dec. 4 vs. San Jose State, at Utah State on Nov. 20 -- and this afternoon's game with the Bulldogs.
If they win all four, that would give them the necessary seven wins to get to a bowl. But if they slip up once in those four games, they would have to win at Hawaii or at Fresno State -- or beat Nevada or Boise State at home -- to reach their goal.
So, yes, this afternoon is critical.
Here's what LTU coach Sonny Dykes said in regard to the Vandals: "The kids are believing. They’re just one of those teams that believes they can win, and those teams are just very difficult to beat when they’re playing well."
Catch up updates of the game on my Twitter account: http://twitter.com/SR_JoshWright