November 3, 2012 in Sports

Vandals play first game under Gesser

By The Spokesman-Review

MOSCOW, Idaho – The last time the University of Idaho played a football game without Robb Akey on the sideline was Nov. 25, 2006. Dennis Erickson was the coach. San Jose State was the opponent. And Jason Gesser was still a professional quarterback.

The Vandals begin the post-Akey era today by again hosting SJSU at the Kibbie Dome, and leading the remade Idaho football program is the 33-year-old Gesser.

Since last playing two weeks ago, UI has ousted Akey after five-plus seasons as coach, replaced him with Gesser and dismissed two players – including starting quarterback Dominique Blackman – for a violation of team rules.

It’s hard to imagine a more eventful bye week.

“Seven days have felt like a month for me right now with everything going on,” said Gesser, the former Washington State star who’s in his second year of college coaching.

Gesser admitted Monday that he had been so preoccupied with everything swirling around him that he wasn’t sure what type of offense San Jose State runs. Nor had he seen much of David Fales, the Spartans’ QB who ranks second nationally in completion percentage (73.2).

As the Vandals’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Akey, Gesser had no need to worry about an opposing team’s QB or offensive system. But now as the interim leader of the program, he’s had to adjust to his new duties – all while keeping his old ones.

It’s not likely to get much easier against the resurgent Spartans (6-2, 2-1). They’re a 20-point favorite and would become bowl-eligible by beating the Vandals (1-7, 1-2) after three straight losses in this series.

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