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Posts tagged: Vandals

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.



Linehan family making its mark at UI … again

It was 30 years ago that Scott Linehan ascended to the starting quarterback's job at the University of Idaho, after an apprenticeship under Vandals legend Ken Hobart. 

Now he's the passing game coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys after several coaching stops in the college and pro games — including two-plus seasons as head coach of the St. Louis Rams. And now his son Matt (in photo above) has taken over the family business as starting quarterback of the Vandals, though coach Paul Petrino insists the competition is still open between Matt and Chad Chalich.

For more on the Linehans and Idaho football, click on the link.


And now a few words from Idaho QB Matt Linehan . . .

After his first collegiate start, redshirt freshman Matt Linehan — the son of another former Vandals quarterback, Dallas Cowboys assistant coach Scott Linehan — shares his thoughts on his performance and other matters. 



After near miss, Vandals turn attention to WMU

After losing 11 games by an average of 31 points in his first season as head coach, don't think that Idaho's Paul Petrino didn't see the silver lining in Saturday's 38-31 setback at Louisiana-Monroe.

It's just that he's not in the silver lining business.

Still, the combination of the Vandals' improved play and the fact that they're still looking for a their first win of the season makes him all the more eager for Saturday's home opener against Western Michigan at 2 p.m.

For more on the Vandals, follow the link.


The suspension, and suspense, continue

Say, maybe the Idaho Vandals and Florida Gators can play each other on Xbox 360.

It may come to that. Another day passed with no resolution on whether the two teams' game — washed out by rain and lightning last Saturday — will be played on another date this season, or whether the Vandals will get the $975,000 payday they were counting on for their trouble.

For more on the Vandals, follow the link.

Vandals, Florida mull rescheduling options

They couldn't get the game played on Saturday night, which immediately raised questions whether it will get played at all. But an announcement on whether Idaho and Florida will reschedule the 2014 season opener that was first declared “terminated” and then simply “suspended” due to lightning and unplayable field conditions could come today.

For more on the Vandals and their scheduling dilemma, click on the link. 


Idaho’s Florida connection jazzed to go home again

What everyone else in college football calls “body bag games” are something entirely different to guys like Richard Montgomery and Jacob Sannon.

Of course, there isn't an underdog out there who thinks he's auditioning to be a victim. 

Click on the link for more on the Vandals. 

Chalich, Linehan to share QB duties in opener

Call it resolution or call it compromise, but the big question dogging the Idaho Vandals into the first week of the college football season — who's the quarterback? — has been answered.

It's both of them.

More on the Vandals below.  


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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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

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