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Vandals’ season-ending blowout irks A.D. Spear

Idaho Vandals running back Kama Bailey eludes Nevada defender Duke Williams during the second quarter. (Associated Press)
Idaho Vandals running back Kama Bailey eludes Nevada defender Duke Williams during the second quarter. (Associated Press)

RENO, Nev. – Backup quarterback Tyler Lantrip passed for 340 yards and four touchdowns as Nevada routed Idaho 56-3 on Saturday in a performance that left Vandals athletic director Rob Spear unhappy with the program.

Aaron Bradley had seven catches for 136 yards and three touchdowns for the Wolf Pack (7-5, 5-2 Western Athletic). Rishard Matthews had 12 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.

Lampford Mark rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown for the Wolf Pack, who had 587 yards of total offense.

The lone score for Idaho (2-10, 1-6) was a 19-yard field goal by Trey Farquhar with 4:01 left in the second quarter. Farquhar missed two attempts before that.

“I’m very disappointed with the way we ended this season,” UI coach Robb Akey said. “I’m not happy about the record. I’m certainly not happy about the performance today, but that certainly doesn’t break what I believe about these guys and what this team can do and what we can go make happen.”

Akey said his staff will begin recruiting in earnest as soon as they get home.

“We can recruit our tails off and replace these seniors and get some guys who can make some things happen.”

First, though, he has a meeting with Spear on Monday.

The athletic director was clearly steamed in his postgame radio appearance. “I don’t even know what to say about this,” he said. “It was an unacceptable performance from our football team.

“I’m going to sit down with Coach Akey on Monday and we are going to evaluate every point about this football team because we are going to get better.”

The A.D. said every position on the field and coaching staff will be evaluated during the meeting, as well as the players’ academic performance and work in the community.

Akey talked to the returning players after the game to make sure “we won’t ever live through something like this again. We’re going to get it done through hard work, and we better be ready to work.”

Akey had some optimism in the early part of the game, as the teams played to a scoreless tie for almost all of the first quarter.

“The way things started, I thought we’d have a chance,” Akey said. “Then we didn’t get the stops made. We didn’t play well on offense.”

Nevada took a 7-0 lead with 20 seconds left in the first quarter on a 6-yard run by Mark.

A little more than 5 minutes later, the Wolf Pack made it 14-0 on a 63-yard pass play from Lantrip to Bradley, who caught the ball near the line of scrimmage before finding an opening down the right sideline to score with 9:58 to go in the opening half.

Lantrip went to Bradley again – this time with a 15-yarder, to push the Wolf Pack out to a 21-3 advantage with 2:37 before halftime. Nevada made it 28-3 with 10 seconds left in the half when Lantrip found Tray Session with a 28-yard scoring strike.