Twelve seconds into the game, the Vandals were down 7-0. By the end of the first quarter, they were on pace to give up 140 points. Louisiana Tech's blistering offense cooled a bit after that, but never enough for Idaho to catch up in a 70-28 loss.
The Vandals (1-7, 1-2) clinched their 12th losing season in the last 13 years.
More after the jump.
The Bulldogs, the nation's top scoring team, found little resistance in their most productive performance of the season. Their 839 total yards set a school record and were the most for an FBS team this year.
The Vandals' defense, after giving up 337 rushing yards a week ago to Texas State, proved even less effective slowing LTU's ground game. The Bulldogs had 408 rushing yards, with 232 coming from freshman Kenneth Dixon.
Dixon registered a school-record six rushing touchdowns, the first of which came from 1 yard out after Todd Handley fumbled the opening kickoff.
“We spotted them right there from the get-go,” Idaho coach Robb Akey said. “And when we did get settled in, we didn’t get the run game stopped.”
Akey fell to 20-50 at Idaho in six seasons. This is the third time the Vandals have yielded 70 points in Akey's tenure — and third time this season they've given up at least 60 points.
“It hurts like hell,” he said. “And that’s a capital (h).”
Idaho managed just 304 total yards and ran 36 fewer plays than the Bulldogs. Going against the nation's worst pass defense, quarterback Dominique Blackman completed 20 of 35 passes for 199 yards and two interceptions.
The Vandals' longest pass play came on a 58-yard double pass from receiver Roman Runner to Najee Lovett for a touchdown. That cut LTU's lead to 14-7 in the first three minutes of the game.
Early on Idaho looked like it could keep pace. After the trick play, the Bulldogs drove 84 yards for a touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, Handley went 92 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-14 LTU.
But LA Tech then reeled off 28 unanswered points to turn the game into a rout.
“ If we’re going to be in a shootout, we’ve got to shoot,” Akey said. “… We're going to get our butts to work. As coaches we have to work our tails off and help these guys to make some more plays and to get stops, and as players, they will work their tails off. That is a hard thing to go through as a player.”
Idaho is off next week before hosting San Jose State on Nov. 3.