Consecutive trips to the South, sandwiched around a bye, are behind the Idaho football team. Now it gets to back-to-back games in the Kibbie Dome to wrap up its home season, starting this afternoon with Texas State at 2.
It's Dad's Weekend in Moscow, and we've got our usual gameday preview after the jump.
Texas State at Idaho
Kickoff: 2 p.m.; Kibbie Dome, Moscow, Idaho
Records: Texas State 5-3; UI 1-7
TV/Radio: SWX/Altitude; 1080/1280-AM
Overview: Last year these teams met as conference opponents in the final season of football in the WAC. Texas State has already made the jump to the Sun Belt, and Idaho will follow next season. Because the Vandals are playing a future conference foe at home, the game has more significance to coach Paul Petrino. "(We want to) make people know that when they travel all the way here that it's going to be a tough place for them to play," he said, "and a tough place for them to win." The Bobcats, who throttled UI 38-7 last year, lean on a run-dominated option offense. They average 139.8 passing yards (115th in FBS), but they're 42nd in the nation with 192.3 rushing yards per game. Idaho is expected to start third-string QB Taylor Davis for the second consecutive week.
Line: Texas State by 11
Better equipped this time: Last year, Idaho looked ill-prepared to face Texas State's option attack. The Bobcats rolled up 337 yards on the ground in an easy win. Now that Petrino has implemented the read-option at UI, the Vandals' defense at least will have a better sense of how to handle the Bobcats' offense. And the Vandals even spent their bye week (the one before the Ole Miss game) with Texas State partly in mind. Said Petrino of his defense and the option, "They see it all the time in practice, they saw it all through pre-fall and all spring, so that should help. Because a lot of times if you never see it, you go against the scout team, it's not the same. That's why during bye week, we went ones versus ones a lot, some of those also looking forward to this game."
Injury report: As we noted earlier in the week, quarterback Josh McCain (shoulder) was suited up in practice but had on a red jersey to denote his injured status, while Chad Chalich (shoulder) was not in pads. Taylor Davis took most of the the reps with the first-team offense -- and accompanied Petrino on his weekly radio show, which further points to him starting. (Of course, Petrino said as much to reporters on Monday and Tuesday). Other key injuries for Idaho: DE Quinton Bradley, shouder (he was working on his own during Tuesday's practice and looked to be healthier than he's been); OT Jesse Davis, knee; OG Dallas Sandberg (undisclosed); CB Solomon Dixon (undisclosed).