Robb Akey again addressed Idaho's quarterback play and Brian Reader's status as starter during his Monday morning teleconferences with reporters. Read what he said below.
After another dismal offensive performance from the Vandals in Saturday's loss to Louisiana Tech, Akey said he contemplated pulling starting quarterback Brian Reader. But today in two separate calls with reporters, Akey was emphatic that Reader is “absolutely” UI's starter.
He later said that Reader could be replaced with a backup like any other player during a course of a game, but he's sticking by the senior who went 19 of 47 on Saturday and 17 of 41 in a loss to Virginia.
“The completion percentage is awful, and it has been for two weeks,” Akey said.
Reader has connected on 51 percent of his passes this season, and just 47 percent against FBS teams. The Vandals' only win came against FCS opponent North Dakota.
Akey said receiver Marcel Posey, who was knocked unconscious late in Saturday's game, was released from Gritman Medical Center on Sunday and has responded very well. He suffered a concussion and has a sore neck. Akey said he's questionable for Saturday's game at New Mexico State.
Akey reiterated that DT Michael Cosgrove should be able to play Saturday after injuring his groin. Tailback Ryan Bass was cleared for last week and suited up, but didn't seen any action. DE Benson Mayowa said before the game that he expected to play this week. Mayowa has missed the last two weeks with a knee injury.
The improvement of the defense has been a positive during a gloomy stretch. Akey said the D is operating with more confidence and played a very physical game against Louisiana Tech. Still, he hoped for more takeaways last week. La. Tech didn't turn the ball over, though a would-be fumble and Idaho return was reviewed and upheld. Korey Toomer jarred the ball loose from receiver Quinton Patten in the second quarter after it looked like Patton had caught the ball and taken two steps. Aaron Grymes picked up the ball and started running the other way when officials ruled it an incompletion. The Vandals later forced a punt, but LTU intercepted Reader on the next possession and returned the pick for a TD to go up 10-2.
“That scoop and score gives us a strong lead and some momentum in a big way,” Akey said. “It looked like to me like a catch and fumble but didn’t get called that way.”