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Posts tagged: Vandals

Is Chalich in or out? Don’t ask the coach

Idaho's bye week produced more drama than some of the Vandals' game weeks have.

But during his weekly press conference on Tuesday, coach Paul Petrino did his best to snuff it out, refusing to address reports that quarterback Chad Chalich (above, in a photo from spring ball) has decided to leave the Vandals' program at season's end and transfer  to the University of Montana.

The Vandals, winners of just one of 10 games, close their 2014 football season Saturday with a trip to new Sun Belt Conference member Appalachian State. For more, follow the link to the jump.

Idaho Vandals hit rock bottom in loss to Troy

This was the flip side of those storybook Senior Day memories.

Idaho hoped to send 19 seniors out on an uptick in their final Kibbie Dome appearance Saturday afternoon. Instead, it was all banana peels and pratfalls for the Vandals, who fell to Troy 34-17 in a Sun Belt Conference game — the Trojans getting three interceptions by Montres Kitchens and a pair of long touchdown receptions from Bryan Holmes (above, beating UI's Armond Hawkins).

For more perspectives on the Vandals' dismal day, jump on the link. 

And the beat goes on with Mike Marboe

Mike Marboe is a throwback, maybe in every sports sense of the word.

He's the epitome of a durable grinder you simply can't get out of the lineup — he's started all of the 45 games for which he's suited up as an Idaho Vandal after redshirting his first year on campus. But his roots go much deeper. He's a fifth generation Vandal, whose great-great-great grandfather Clancy St. Clair was one of the school's regents. 

For more on Marboe (No. 74 above), who plays his final home game at Idaho on Saturday when the Vandals face Troy at the Kibbie Dome, jump on the link. 


Vandals see wheels come off again in the fourth quarter, fall to Aztecs

Tied at halftime. Down a touchdown to start the fourth quarter. Driving. Inside the opponent's 10-yard line. 

Poised once again for a possible breakthrough victory against something other than a fellow college football bottom-feeder, the Idaho Vandals instead lost their poise — surrendering the ball on a red-zone fumble and then a long drive that let San Diego State ease away to a 35-21 victory Saturday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium.

If it wasn't a full fourth-quarter meltdown, it was at least a familiar enough narrative that it got under coach Paul Petrino's skin — though he may have contributed to the problem.

For more on the Vandals and their 21st consecutive road loss, jump on the link.

Vandals take a step out of the Sun Belt

Ah, the November out-of-conference game, college football's favorite non-sequitur. Nothing quite gets the blood running hot like facing  what should have been a September opponent two months later.

The Idaho Vandals (1-7) step out of the Sun Belt Conference this Saturday but stay very much in the sun, with a trip to play San Diego State (4-4) at 3:30 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium. So there's a chance to play in an NFL stadium to jazz up the date, and there's a little family reunion to add sub-text. And, of course, the Vandals will be trying to live down their nightmarish fourth quarter against Arkansas State last weekend.

For more on the Vandals, the link below will take you to page 2.


Vandals undone by eight turnovers

Somehow, the Idaho Vandals weren't completely out of it early in the fourth quarter with five turnovers to Arkansas State's one. They had weathered two Matt Linehan interceptions in his four pass attempts. They had overcome a crushing fumble by Linehan inside ASU's 10 that was returned 93 yards for a touchdown. And they managed to regain the lead shortly after a David Ungerer fumble on a punt return in the third quarter.

But late in the game, with fatigue perhaps setting in, the Vandals could no longer compensate for their mistakes. They were undone by three more turnovers — eight in all — and seven fourth-quarter penalties in a 44-28 loss to the Red Wolves at the Kibbie Dome.

Instead of a statement Sun Belt win, coach Paul Petrino spent his six minutes with reporters bemoaning how Idaho couldn't finish what it started — yet again. As for the players' reaction, well, the media didn't get to hear what they thought. No UI players were made available after the game.

For more on the 1-7 Vandals, click on the link below.

It’s deja Vandal all over again

Now where have we heard this before?

After a bye week that gave them extra time to savor their first victory of the 2014 football season, the Idaho Vandals are deep into prep mode for a run at two in a row when they host Arkansas State on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Kibbie Dome. And the news from coach Paul Petrino this week? That both Matt Linehan and Chad Chalich (pictured above) figure to see action at quarterback.

For more on the Vandals, the click on the link below. 

Chalich steps in, Vandals step up to snap 13-game losing streak

Nuke LaLoosh, the bumpkin philosopher of “Bull Durham,” said it all: “I love winning, man. It's like, better than losing.” 

If they weren't clear on the concept before, the Idaho Vandals certainly were by Saturday night. RIding plays like Josh McCain's 49-yard touchdown catch of a Chad Chalich pass (pictured above), the Vandals halted a 13-game losing streak, dumping New Mexico State 29-17 to make it a happy homecoming weekend in Moscow. 

And for the record, yes, it seemed like genuine joy trumped the relief of ridding themselves of the longest drought in the Football Championship Subdivision, even if it was somewhat tempered by the blow to the head that sidelined starting quarterback Matt Linehan — though no one is saying the “C” word yet. 

For more on the Vandals and their victory, follow the link below.


Idaho football: Tom Hennessey and the value of keeping on keeping on

Tom Hennessey is a Vandal legacy, in that his father — also named Tom — was a standout linebacker for Idaho during its stretch as a Big Sky Conference power, specifically in the mid-1980s.

But he'll leave a legacy, too. Though he's played during one of the worst stretches, in terms of the won-lost record, in Vandal history, the one-time walk-on has provided a singular example of hanging tough that some of his younger teammates might want to emulate — even if the program begins to experience success.

For more on the younger Tom Hennessey and the Vandals, whose homecoming game on Saturday against New Mexico State might seem to be a pretty good opportunity break the nation's longest FBS losing streak, click on the link below.

Homecoming is Idaho’s chance to break nation’s longest losing streak

The obvious bad news for Idaho last weekend was the 47-24 thumping from Sun Belt Conference leader Georgia Southern. The kicker was that back East, Massachusetts went on the road and blasted Kent State 40-17 to end a 12-game losing streak — leaving the Vandals alone with the nation's longest FBS losing streak of 13 games.

Better news: it's homecoming for quarterback Matt Linehan (pictured above) and the Vandals.

And the opponent is in something of a tailspin itself. New Mexico State, the Vandals' old partner in the late, lamented football collective of the Western Athletic Conference, comes to Moscow for the 2 p.m. Saturday game, reeling from five straight defeats after a pair of wins to open the season. 

For more on the Vandals, follow the link below.


Vandals lose to Sun Belt leaders to fall to 0-6

Slow start? Check. Surrendering big plays? Check. Resilience? Check. Inspired comeback? Check. Killing interception? Check, and mate.

The Idaho Vandals followed a familiar scenario Saturday, and once again came up short in a bid for their first victory of the season. Georgia Southern solidified its spot atop the Sun Belt Conference standings, riding a 155-yard rushing day from Matt Breida (above, pursued by UI's Marc Millan, 23, and Tom Hennessey, 30) and the savvy quarterbacking of Kevin Ellison to a 47-24 victory in Statesboro.

The link below will take you to more on the Vandals. 


Vandals’ mountain only gets higher

Idaho and Georgia Southern are both in their first seasons in the Sun Belt Conference — well, in the Vandals' case, it's their first season back after a decade away. But that's a long enough absence to qualify Idaho as a newbie, given that no one connected with the program  has an attachment to the school's first tour through the league. 

In any case, the Eagles seem to have the hang of things already. The Vandals, not so much. The comparison gets a closer look this weekend when the Vandals make another cross-country trip to play the league-leaders in Statesboro.

For more on the Vandals, follow the link. 


Another punch to the gut for the Vandals

They had the ball for 41 of the game's 60 minutes. They forced four turnovers. The quarterback had another 300-yard passing effort, and the running game was located for the first time since the season opener.

And once again, the Idaho Vandals come home with a loss. 

Behind a 284-yard rushing performance by Terrence Franks, the Texas State Bobcats held off Idaho's bid for its first win of the 2014 season, posting a 35-30 victory at Jim Wacker Stadium in San Marcos in front of 21,345 witnesses.

For more on the Vandals and their struggles, follow the link to the jump.

Defending option Idaho’s next challenge

While he continues to exhort his Vandals to keep grinding and do the little things that should, in time, allow them to pull the program out of its losing spiral, Idaho coach Paul Petrino also has to develop some game-changers. He's found one in Austin Rehkow. Problem is, he doesn't play a marquee position like quarterback or linebacker. He's the punter — the live-to-fight-another-day position. 

Still, the sophomore from Central Valley kept matters from getting a lot worse in a hurry during last Saturday's 34-10 loss to South Alabama when the Vandals' offense decided to go south for the first time this year. Yes, he missed a couple of field goals that could have kept things closer, too, but field goals weren't going to save Idaho on this day — and the field position Rehkow's punts provided at least allowed the Vandals to hang in there, whether it was false hope or not.

For more on Rehkow and the Vandals, follow the link.




Offense spins wheels as Idaho falls to 0-4

Idaho's defense didn't get all its problems solved Saturday, or even most of them. But the 27 points it surrendered, in the eyes of Paul Petrino, should have put the Vandals in a position to win their Dad's Day game against South Alabama.

Only the Jaguars blew them out. 

The 34-10 pounding administered by the visitors was perplexing on any number of fronts, but mostly in how soundly they whipped the Vandals offense — the bright spot even as Idaho stumbled to losses in its first three games.

For more on the Vandals and their pratfall in the Kibbie Dome, follow the link to the jump.

Converted QB McCain catches on at Idaho

Among the unlikeliest of breakout stars of the young football season, Josh McCain has become one of quarterback Matt Linehan's go-to targets at Idaho — and a lesson in patience and flexibility in a college athletics culture where often the first reaction of an athlete who doesn't crack the starting lineup is to transfer. 

For more on McCain and the Vandals, the click on the link below.



Vandals still looking for 2014 breakthrough

The improvements are there to be seen on the field, though most are  incremental. But Idaho coach Paul Petrino and his Vandals are starting to get a little desperate to see the real payoff: in the win column.

Now 0-3 — and 1-14 under Petrino since he became head coach for the 2013 season — the Vandals, Petrino said, are “a couple plays away from being 2-1. That's what's a little frustrating, but it gives you great encouragement for the future.

“But, gosh dang, we need to have it start happening.”

The link below will take you to more on the Vandals. 

Ohio drops Vandals to 0-3

What had the early makings of another step backward for the Idaho Vandals turned into something else altogether.

What it didn't turn into was a victory.

Big plays by a pair of freshmen allowed Ohio University to hold off the Vandals 36-24 on Saturday in Athens, Ohio — dropping Idaho to 0-3 this year and 1-14 in the Paul Petrino erea.

The link will take you to more about the Vandals.

Vandals turn attention to Ohio

It's one of those back-to-the-drawing board weeks for the Idaho Vandals.

Confident they had something to build on when they came home from their season opener at Louisiana-Monroe, the Vandals instead find themselves picking up the pieces after a nasty lesson delivered by Western Michigan on Saturday in the Kibbie Dome. Coach Paul Petrino dissected the 45-33 loss on Tuesday and looked ahead to another venture into the Mid-American Conference at Ohio University.

The link below will take you to more about the Vandals. 

Vandals take a step back in 45-33 loss to WMU

So if a football team gives up touchdown plays of 61, 31, 57 and 39 yards it's possible that it could still survive, if the damage was limited to a few big plays. And if it surrenders 210 yards to a rugged running back, well, that might not be certain death — if they don't give up a bunch of big plays, too.

Except Idaho gave up the big plays and the big yards by the big back, and took a pretty big step back from their first week showing in a 45-33 loss to Western Michigan in Saturday's home opener at the Kibbie Dome.

The link below will take you to more on the Vandals.



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SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.


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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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