Latest from The Spokesman-Review
The Vandals completed their second of three intrasquad scrimmages today before the Silver and Gold game on April 23. I wasn’t able to make it, but read on for a report from UI.
There were some notable names missing from the Vandals’ first spring scrimmage, including wideout Preston Davis. His start to the season is in serious jeopardy after tearing his ACL on Tuesday. Read on for more about Davis’ injury and Quin Ashley’s role at safety, plus more notes.
Enjoyed a beautiful morning/early afternoon at Idaho’s practice field to take in the Vandals’ third practice of the spring. Read on for a story that will appear in tomorrow’s S-R.
As you might expect after three or so months off, the Vandals’ first spring session wasn’t always crisp. In fact, coach Robb Akey said Idaho could use some WD-40 to knock off all the rust. We have some more thoughts from Akey and offensive coordinator Steve Axman below after Day One of spring practice.
Idaho’s 15-day spring football regimen starts Thursday, and the Vandals’ situation is much different than a year ago at this time. Read on for my story for tomorrow’s S-R and additional quotes from Robb Akey.
The Lewiston Tribune this morning reported Idaho football coach Robb Akey has agreed in principle to a contract extension. The deal comes after prolonged negotiations. No details were given in the story. “We needed to come to an agreement on what the contract was going to be, to get it extended so that it would be a good thing so we can keep taking this thing forward,” Akey told the paper. “And we got details worked out, and we came to an agreement this week that needs to go to have their approval.”
The reshuffling of Idaho’s football staff appears to be complete. Today coach Robb Akey announced the hiring of tight ends coach Al Pupunu, who spent the last two years at Southern Utah University. Pupunu was a longtime NFL tight end (mostly with the San Diego Chargers) before going into coaching.
He comes to UI after QB coach Jonathan Smith left to become offensive coordinator of Montana. Offensive coordinator Steve Axman is assuming Smith’s responsibilities, while Pupunu will take over coaching tight ends from Axman. You can find more below.
I’ll also be back later to give an update on the Vandal men basketball team’s encounter with New Mexico State tonight. You can follow it live here.
All that agony caused by an excruciating overtime loss to Boise State? The Vandals erased much of it Saturday night in pasting their most ardent rival. Keep reading for more on the 79-55 win and news about Robb Akey’s coaching staff.
Great read this morning from John Blanchette on former Idaho Vandal and Green Bay Packer great Jerry Kramer. For some reason, Kramer is not in the NFL Hall of Fame. Check out Blanchette’s take here.
Idaho announced a large haul of signees today, including Arizona State transfer tailback Ryan Bass and defensive end Maxx Forde, who switched his committment from Washington State late in the process. Read on for my story about the Vandals’ day.
Thankfully for the Idaho men’s basketball team, it only had a couple days to reflect on Monday’s heartbreaker against Boise State. Read on for more about upcoming games (including tonight vs. Fresno State at the Dome).
We also have a couple football-related links for you.
According to the Idaho Stateman, Idaho AD Rob Spear has offered football coach Robb Akey a new deal and is waiting to hear back on the deal. Akey led the Vandals to an 8-5 season and an Humanitarian Bowl victory. He has been occupied by recruiting, which wraps up Feb. 3.
Jonathan Smith, who spent six years as an Idaho football assistant, has been hired by the University of Montana as its offensive coordinator. Smith joins the staff of former Washington State assistant Robin Pflugrad.
The former Oregon State QB also interviewed for the New Mexico State offensive coordinator position. He’s drawn widespread praise for his development of Nathan Enderle, who piloted the nation’s 12th-ranked passing offense this past season.
Smith was the longest-tenured Vandal coach. He was originally hired by Nick Holt after being a grad assistant at his alma mater.
After having nearly 24 hours to digest what took place inside Bronco Stadium yesterday, I realized there’s a lot we weren’t able to touch on — stuff that simply got lost in the postgame melee.
Keep reading for extra quotes, thoughts and links on Idaho’s heart-stopping 43-42 win over Bowling Green.
Well, it came in much more dramatic fashion that Idaho fans would have liked, but the Vandals finished off the year with a win — and, man, what a win it was. All sorts of intrigue in the final moments of the Humanitarian Bowl, and you can read my game story and notes below the link.
Idaho’s offense sputtered for much of the first half, but UI put together two nice drives and four defensive stops to go into halftime with Bowling Green tied 14-14. The Vandals evened the score 19 seconds before the half when Nate Enderle found Eric Greenwood for a 7-yard fade pass, capping a 10-play drive.
UI has stopped BG on fourth down, blocked a field goal and forced two punts. But the defense also allowed an easy 35-yard TD pass to Freddie Barnes on the game’s first possession, and gave up a 59-yard TD run later. Barnes set the NCAA record for receptions in a season (with 143) at the 1:51 mark of the first quarter. He has nine catches for 111 yards.
The day has finally arrived for Idaho fans — they get to see the Vandals play in the postseason for the first time since 1998. Greeting them in Boise this morning is a fresh blanket of snow, a good 2 inches worth.
Click below for links and a breakdown of the Humanitarian Bowl. You can also follow my in-game updates at twitter.com/SR_JoshWright.
I’m getting ready to fly out of Spokane to Boise in mere moments, but I wanted to post my Humanitarian Bowl advance a bit early. Columnist John Blanchette is already in the Treasure Valley; you can read his column from today here.
Click below for the advance and check back later for more Vandal updates.
There is just a little over 48 hours until the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, and John Blanchette and I will be there to provide coverage. Before then, we’ve got links of note (including interviews at other schools for Idaho assistants) and leftover quotes from my story on Robb Akey. Keep reading.
As part of our bowl coverage of the Vandals, I’ve written a profile piece on coach Robb Akey. It touches on him being adopted as a baby, his long road to becoming a head coach and relationship with Mike Price — among other things.
You’ll find the story below. Enjoy and merry Christmas.