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A Texas-flavored opener for Vandals

Idaho football fans will get the first taste of the Vandals' 2013 season -- and Paul Petrino's head-coaching career -- this evening in Denton, Texas. The Vandals clash with the North Texas Mean Grean, a Conference USA team that went 4-8 in 2012 and is a 16-point favorite. Kickoff is 4 p.m. Pacific.

We've got lots to share after the link.

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Our preview of the game for today's Spokesman-Review centers on the development of Paul Petrino's offensive style, from his days as a young assistant at Idaho working under Scott Linehan to his time at Southern Miss with Jeff Bower. An excerpt:

MOSCOW, Idaho – When Idaho runs the first play from scrimmage of the Paul Petrino era this evening at North Texas, it could line up in an option-based offense that has its roots at Carroll College with Petrino’s father, Bob Sr.

Or the Vandals might use a one running back spread offense popularized by Dennis Erickson. Then again, maybe they’ll start with a two-back power formation – something Petrino’s brother, Bobby, adopted while coaching under Tom Coughlin in the NFL and Bruce Snyder at Arizona State.

Petrino could go in any of these, or other, directions in his head-coaching debut. Which is exactly what he’s had in mind since replacing Robb Akey in December.

“Really what we want to be is multiple,” he said. “And we want to make the defense defend both the run and the pass. A lot of times we’re really going to try to spread them out and throw the ball around, but then in the fourth quarter you’ve got to be able to run the football to win.

“That’s what it really comes down to.”

Petrino’s offense is an amalgamation of what he learned in his 22 years as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator – bits and pieces from Scott Linehan and Art Valero at Idaho, Jeff Bower at Southern Mississippi and Chris Klenakis at Arkansas.

If you missed it on Thursday, we also had lots for the S-R's football preview issue, including this look at how Petrino is building the Idaho program with discipline and passion, these story lines, and a short story on impact freshman Richard Montgomery.

And here's a look at how Idaho has fared in season openers in the last decade. The last two openers under Robb Akey didn't go so well.

  • 2012: 20-3 loss to Eastern Washington
  • 2011: 32-15 loss to Bowling Green
  • 2010: 45-0 win vs. North Dakota
  • 2009: 21-6 win at New Mexico State
  • 2008: 70-0 loss at Arizona
  • 2007: 38-10 loss at USC
  • 2006: 27-17 loss at Michigan State
  • 2005: 38-26 loss at Washington State
  • 2004: 65-7 loss at Boise State
  • 2003: 25-0 loss at Washington State



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