What's the difference between 1-11 and 2-10? In five years, it won't seem like much to Idaho and New Mexico State. But for the Vandals who want to shed a six-game losing streak and head into Paul Petrino's first full offseason with positive vibes, today's game at New Mexico State definitely means something.
The Vandals and Aggies meet this afternoon in Las Cruces at 12:30 PST, and both teams will try to squeeze some joy out of the final week of what's been a trying season for each program.
Idaho at New Mexico State
Kickoff: 12:30 p.m.; Memorial Stadium, Las Cruces, N.M.
Records: UI 1-10; NMSU 1-10
Overview: The Vandals and Aggies have almost been carbon copies this season, each winning just one game as FBS independents before they settle down in the Sun Belt in 2014. It's been a frustrating fall for both first-year coaching staffs -- Paul Petrino's at Idaho and Doug Martin's at NMSU -- but a win in today's season finale would still be significant, Petrino said. "I don’t know if that’s big of a difference in recruiting, but it would be a huge difference for us going into the offseason," he said. "I think it would give you great momentum …" The Vandals have dropped six straight, the last four with Taylor Davis starting at quarterback for the injured Chad Chalich. Petrino said it was unlikely Chalich would see time against the Aggies. UI junior Dezmon Epps needs 63 yards receiving to become the first Idaho wideout to reach the 1,000-yard mark since Max Komar in 2009. Epps has 73 receptions and four touchdowns.
Line: NMSU by 3.
Quotable: "Probably as much as anything, that are guys have continued to show up and practice hard. And the ones that are left and the ones that are around have had a good attitude and worked hard and we’ve improved each worked. That’s probably the biggest thing that’s encouraging — the freshman class and how everybody’s continued to work hard. We’ve improved each week and it would be great to go out there and finish the season doing the same thing." -- Paul Petrino on what he's been happy with this season