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Idaho to play SDSU, moves Fresno game

Idaho has replaced one Mountain West team for another in its 2014 football schedule, moving its return trip to Fresno State to 2018 and picking up a game at San Diego State, athletic director Rob Spear confirmed this morning. "San Diego State needed a home game and Fresno was willing to move, so we made the change," Spear said in an e-mail.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Monday that Idaho will play at San Diego State on Nov. 8, 2014. The Vandals hosted Fresno State this season in the first part of a home-and-home series.

Idaho, which will rejoin the Sun Belt next year after one year of being an FBS independent, is slated to open 2014 at Florida. Other announced games include a home game with Western Michigan and a trip to Ohio.

Davis likely to start at QB for Idaho

After bye week full of practices that Idaho football coach Paul Petrino equated to a "little three-day spring ball," the Vandals are back to the regular routine and preparing for SEC foe Mississippi. And it appears senior Taylor Davis, who was third on the depth two weeks ago, will get his first start of the season. 

Read on for more on that, and for a few other notes.

Idaho’s rally fizzles at Arkansas State

The Idaho football team showed some second-half spunk, but a major special teams gaffe helped Arkansas State race past the Vandals 48-24 at Liberty Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, Ark.

The Vandals lost starting quarterback Chad Chalich in the first quarter to an apparent shoulder injury. Taylor Davis, who started the year as the third-string quarterback, played the rest of the game with Josh McCain (shoulder) also out. Coach Paul Petrino would not comment on Chalich's injury after the game.

Read on for a summary of the game. Idaho enters a bye week at 1-6.

Idaho-Arkansas State preview

The Vandals play outside the Palouse for the first time in more than a month this afternoon. And this trip to Jonesboro, Ark., to play Arkansas State, will be one they'll get used to when they rejoin the Sun Belt next year.

We have a preview of the game below.

Idaho notes: Petrino talks, Rehkow feted

Two days after his team absorbed the worst home loss in Idaho history, Vandals coach Paul Petrino reiterated his main postgame message on Saturday: “Just too many mistakes.”


But Petrino also made it clear that the Vandals have moved on from a 61-14 defeat to No. 23 Fresno State at the Kibbie Dome. He pointed to the team’s spirited scrimmage for underclassmen on Sunday night. “You walk off the field real excited about the future,” he said.

We’ve got more from Petrino, a note on Austin Rekhow and updates on the health of Josh McCain and Quinton Bradley.

Fresno hands UI its worst home loss ever

There have been plenty of lopsided Idaho losses on the road. But never one of this magnitude at home. Fresno State rolled to a 61-14 win on Saturday in front of a sparse crowd at the Kibbie Dome (generously listed at 14,747). It was the worst home loss, by margin of victory, in the Vandals' 119-year history.

You read my our game story here. We've got video of Paul Petrino's post-game news conference and more after the jump.

Preview: Idaho hosts No. 23 Fresno State

Over the past few seasons, and even the last decade, home games for Idaho against ranked teams have been rare occurrences. This afternoon, Vandal fans will get to see 23rd-ranked Fresno State in action — and, something that's more common, they'll watch the UI defense go against another elite quarterback.

We have our game preview below.

Idaho’s revamped O-line takes big step

Idaho offensive line coach Jon Carvin was asked after Tuesday's practice if he was "a little bit scared" to start true freshman Steven Matlock at guard last week. Carvin talked about Matlock's impressive practices. He talked about his toughness and learning the offense. He talked about all the extra work he's put in. Then he finished his answer with this: "Nervous? Nah. It was great."

Pretty much everything about last week was great for the Vandals' revamped O-line in a 26-24 win over Temple, especially compared to UI's ragged play up front the first four weeks of the season.

We were at Idaho's first open practice since its first win of the season, and we've got lots more on the team's offensive line.

Chalich picks up player of week award

Idaho quarterback Chad Chalich, a redshirt freshman from Coeur d'Alene, was named independent offensive player of the week by College Sports Madness after collecting 424 total yards in a 26-24 win over Temple on Saturday.

The Vandals (1-4) are one of seven independent teams in FBS, joining Notre Dame, BYU, New Mexico State, Army, Navy and Old Dominion.

Chalich is believed to be the first UI quarterback to throw for at least 300 yards and run for at least 100 yards. He was 26 of 43 for 310 yards through the air and he ran for 114 yards on 14 carries, including a clutch 10-yard run late in the fourth quarter on third-and-10. He also scooted around the left corner on an option keeper for 52 yards earlier in the game.

The last time an Idaho quarterback rushed for 100 or more yards was Doug Nussmeier, who ran for 107 in a 49-16 victory over Boise State on Nov. 20, 1993. He threw for 198 yards in that game. On Oct. 20, 1984, Scott Linehan rushed for 104 yards and threw for 248 in a 32-25 loss to Eastern Washington.

"It’s a great experience," Chalich said after the game. "It’s a great win for me and especially for this team."

Idaho hosts 23rd-ranked Fresno State on Saturday at 2 p.m. before embarking on a two-game road trip. The Bulldogs (4-0) have opened as a 241/2-point favorite.

Young Vandals give Petrino first win

The last Idaho quarterback to rush for at least 100 yards was Doug Nussmeier in 1993. The last Idaho QB to rush for 100-plus yards and pass for 200-plus yards was Scott Linehan in 1984. And the last Idaho QB to eclipse 100 yards rushing and 300 yards passing in the same game? Apparently, that hadn't happened until today in the Kibbie Dome.

Chad Chalich (pictured with his helmet twisted on a run) was masterful with his arm and his legs in guiding the freshmen-laden Vandals to a 26-24 homecoming win over Temple — their first victory since beating New Mexico State last October. The redshirt freshman QB threw for 310 yards on 26-of-43 passing and rambled for a game-high 114 yards on the ground.

We've got notes and the transcript from Paul Petrino's news conference after his first career win, as well as quotes from Spokane product Austin Rehkow — who booted four field goals, including a clutch 25-yarder late in the fourth quarter.

Idaho-Temple preview

For the first time, the Idaho and Temple football teams will meet today. Both teams are looking for their first breakthrough of the season, and it's homecoming in Moscow.

We've got our usual preview in capsule form below.

Roundup of Idaho football, hoops news

For just the second time this season, the Idaho football team is at home — for homecoming, no less. It plays host Temple on Saturday (2 p.m., SWX), and the Vandals and Owls will kick off about the time the Idaho basketball team ends its first practice of the fall.

We have Idaho-flavored basketball and football news to pass along.

UI does little right in border beatdown

So much for the positive vibes after last week, when Idaho almost took down Northern Illinois. The Vandals were whitewashed in Pullman by Washington State, 42-0. It was the Cougars' first shutout since they held Idaho scoreless in 2003. And it was the first time Idaho was shut out since Week 5 a year ago against North Carolina.

We've got quotes, notes and our story to pass along. And if you want a rundown of the heated exchange between Paul Petrino and Mike Leach, Christian Caple has the details here.

Idaho-WSU primer, from UI’s perspective

Last season, Mike Leach’s first at Washington State, the Cougars went 3-9. This season, Paul Petrino’s first at Idaho, the Vandals are 0-3 with a daunting schedule ahead of them. Most Idaho fans would probably take a 3-9 record, all things considered.

Last season the Cougars played 17 freshmen (including redshirts), as Christian Caple notes. The Vandals played eight true freshmen last week alone.

So, yes, there are similarities between this year’s Vandals and last year’s Cougars — something Paul Petrino drew attention to this week. “They’re probably a little ahead of schedule," he said. "They probably went through a little bit last year what we’re going through right now."

The two Palouse teams play in Pullman at 7:30 tonight. We’ve got a primer, focusing on Idaho’s perspective, after the jump.

Idaho can’t complete upset vs. NIU

It would have been a major upset — a 29-point underdog toppling a BCS bowl team from a year ago. But Idaho couldn't sustain its explosive offense as the game progressed, and Northern Illinois took control up front to pocket a 45-35 win at the Kibbie Dome.

Our game story is here. And we've got notes, as well as excerpts of an impassioned postgame news conference from Idaho coach Paul Petrino, after the jump.

Idaho-Northern Illinois on tap in Moscow

After two weeks on the road, the Vandals' first game day in Moscow is here. Today's 2 p.m. matchup with Northern Illinois actually starts a stretch of four straight Saturdays on the Palouse for Idaho, counting next week's game at Washington State. But that doesn't mean it gets any easier for the Vandals.

We have a look at Idaho-Northern Illinois and a Q&A with Vandals' defensive end Quinton Bradley, whose main goal today is to try to bring down Huskies quarterback and Heisman hopeful Jordan Lynch.

A quality nonconference home foe for Idaho

Idaho has hosted quality teams in the Kibbie Dome in recent years — Nevada with Colin Kaepernick, Boise State with Kellen Moore, the 2007 Hawaii team that went to the Sugar Bowl. But each of those opponents played in Moscow as fellow members of the Western Athletic Conference.

So when was the last time a nonconference foe with the bona fides of Northern Illinois — which will meet Idaho on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Vandals' home opener — came to the Kibbie Dome? We explore that question below and give a season ticket update.

Petrino: Chalich is starter, but McCain will play

With Idaho's offense sputtering through the first two weeks of the season, coach Paul Petrino said he'll continue to platoon redshirt freshman Chad Chalich and junior Josh McCain at quarterback. But he also made clear who's atop the depth chart. "Chad’s the starter. Josh is just going to come in and play," Petrino said.

Petrino said McCain, a junior-college transfer, gave the Vandals a nice spark with his legs in a 42-10 loss at Wyoming. Chalich, meanwhile, "played really well" in the fourth quarter, the first-year coach said. The Coeur d'Alene native has completed 41 of 59 passes (69.5 percent) this season, but Petrino reinforced that he and McCain have taken too many sacks and "both made silly mistakes."

We have more notes from Petrino's Monday teleconference with reporters after the link.

Mistakes haunt Idaho in loss at Wyoming

Idaho forced punts on Wyoming's first four possessions, but a fumble from Chad Chalich near midfield sparked the Cowboys, who routed the Vandals 42-10 at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie. The Vandals gave up seven sacks, struggled on third down and were shut out until Austin Rehkow's field goal with 6:15 left in the fourth quarter. Idaho running back James Baker punched in a touchdown with 18 seconds remaining to give the Vandals their only touchdown — and just their second TD of the season.

More after the jump.

UI gets another shot at Smith, Wyoming

The Idaho football team arrived in Laramie, Wyo., yesterday afternoon, so it will have had about 24 hours to acclimate itself to the altitude by today’s 2 p.m. local time kickoff (1 p.m. PDT) at Wyoming. But playing at 7,220 feet at War Memorial Stadium — the highest-elevated Division I football venue — isn’t what concerns Vandals coach Paul Petrino.

Brett Smith and the Cowboys’ offense are much big worries. Just like they were to Robb Akey and his staff at Idaho last September. We’ve got a primer on today’s rematch after the link.