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Josh Wright

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Sports

Idaho Vandals have been on receiving end of injuries

MOSCOW, Idaho – Back in mid-August, a week into fall camp, Idaho offensive coordinator Steve Axman surveyed the Vandals’ collection of wide receivers and was encouraged by what he saw. “I think we’re on our way of developing a real nice corps of receivers,” he said at the time.
Sports

Vandals lose close one to Hawaii as last-second FG comes up short

MOSCOW, Idaho – Trey Farquhar has booted long field goals before – longer than what he faced with eight seconds left on Saturday. That’s why Idaho coach Robb Akey had his arms in the air when Farquhar’s 53-yard attempt started sailing toward the goal posts. “I was confident we were going to make the play,” Akey said.
Sports

Vandals lose when long field goal falls short

UPDATED: Sat., Oct. 29, 2011

Trey Farquhar has booted long field goals before – longer than what he faced with eight seconds left on Saturday. That’s why Idaho coach Robb Akey had his arms in the air when Farquhar’s 53-yard attempt started sailing toward the goal posts.

Sports

Akey not giving up hope that Vandals can make run

MOSCOW, Idaho – The Idaho football team hasn’t won since Sept. 10, and even that victory – against lower-tier North Dakota – is of little consequence at this point. But while the 1-6 Vandals have been “as cold as the damn ice cubes in a freezer,” as coach Robb Akey put it, the rest of the Western Athletic Conference hasn’t been turning heads either.
Sports

Vandals need to take advantage of New Mexico State’s weak run defense

MOSCOW, Idaho – Idaho football fans have scrutinized the erratic play of quarterback Brian Reader in recent weeks, and for obvious reasons. But it’s not just the Vandals’ passing attack that is languishing. Running the ball has proven even less fruitful for Idaho through the first half of the season.
Sports

Idaho fans grumble as Reader struggles

MOSCOW, Idaho – The faint sound of boos began early in the third quarter, just a small segment of University of Idaho fans voicing their frustration over the Vandals’ offensive futility. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around Saturday, the jeering was unmistakable – from every corner of the Kibbie Dome.
Sports

Vandals lose to Louisiana Tech

UPDATED: Sat., Oct. 8, 2011

Hunter Lee ran for a career-high 134 yards, Nick Isham threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score, and Louisiana Tech spoiled Idaho’s homecoming game with a 24-11 win Saturday.
Sports

Idaho Vandals in doldrums on both sides of football

MOSCOW, Idaho – The quarterback play has been nowhere as efficient. The running game is far less productive. And the daring coaching decisions have yet to pan out like they did two years ago. In almost every respect, this year’s Idaho football team doesn’t stack up to the 2009 Vandals, the gold standard that UI fans use to gauge the health and direction of the program.
Sports

Vandals offensive line coach McDonell enjoys return to region

MOSCOW, Idaho – The second-floor Kibbie Dome office is large enough for two desks, a mini-fridge, a flat-screen TV that hangs on the wall and not much else. This is the space John McDonell shares with Jason Gesser, the quarterback he helped recruit to Washington State more than 13 years ago. McDonell and Gesser are now members of the Idaho football coaching staff, and often they find themselves talking about the early days at WSU.
Sports

Vandals play at Virginia in bid to get on track

MOSCOW, Idaho – He’s a bedrock senior and defensive captain, a player who last year exerted so much energy in a blowout loss to Nevada that he was immediately taken to a hospital and treated overnight for dehydration. Tre’Shawn Robinson, if there was any doubt, is fully invested in the Idaho football program. And in his last go-around at UI, he remains confident the Vandals can shed their inconsistency and still compete for a WAC title.
Sports

Vandals after more than cash against Virginia

He’s a bedrock senior and defensive captain, a player who last year exerted so much energy in a blowout loss to Nevada that he was immediately taken to a hospital and treated overnight for dehydration.
Sports

Vandals’ offense sputters in defeat to Bulldogs

MOSCOW, Idaho – By now, it’s more than an occasional occurrence. The Idaho offense slips into hibernation mode, the defense grows frustrated and weary, and the Vandals’ opponent pounces. It happened again Saturday in a 48-24 loss to Fresno State, only this funk was more inexplicable than others through the first month of the football season.
Sports

Vandals would like to make amends against Fresno

MOSCOW, Idaho – The opening week of conference play, the Dads’ Weekend crowd, the fact that Fresno State will ditch the WAC after this year – all these factors should help make for a lively scene this afternoon in the Kibbie Dome. And if Idaho dispatches the Bulldogs for the first time in nine tries, the Dome will really pulsate.
Sports

Texas A&M ‘best non-conference team’ UI has faced under Akey

MOSCOW, Idaho – Robb Akey was scanning through Texas A&M’s offensive formations on film the other day when something caught his eye. Lined up on the outside for the Aggies, where receivers usually roam, was what appeared to be a nimble tight end. Akey stopped the tape and looked at the play again. Only then did the Idaho football coach realize he had been wrong the first time – he had been watching 6-foot-4, 220-pound wideout Jeff Fuller.
Sports

Vandals receiver Scott learns on the run

MOSCOW, Idaho – Mike Scott looked at the caller I.D. on his phone. It was the day before he was scheduled to leave for Las Cruces, N.M., and Idaho defensive coordinator Mark Criner was calling. This was in July of this summer, long after most college football teams had wrapped up their 2011 recruiting. But Scott, a junior college wide receiver, was still available – or at least he had been.
Sports

Vandals wake up in time to beat Saints

Deep into the second quarter, with the Idaho sideline in a daze and the Vandals’ season in limbo, the coaching staff decided to change things up. They were going to simplify the offense. No more throws down the field, coaches told quarterback Brian Reader. It was time to go back to what made UI’s passing game hum two years ago.
Sports

Vandals overwhelm North Dakota

UPDATED: Sat., Sept. 10, 2011

Idaho quarterback Brian Reader threw for 299 yards and four touchdowns Saturday as Idaho rebounded from its season-opening loss, defeating North Dakota 44-14.
Sports

Idaho coach Robb Akey warns Vandals not to take North Dakota lightly

MOSCOW, Idaho – It wasn’t just a dreadful performance against Bowling Green that Idaho football coaches used the past few days to get the Vandals in the proper frame of mind for lower-division North Dakota. They also pointed to the shocker that unfolded a week ago in Corvallis, Ore.
Sports

UI bowled over

MOSCOW, Idaho – It wasn’t supposed to go this way. Not in the first game in the spiffed-up Kibbie Dome. Not after Idaho football coach Robb Akey declared his team ready for another march to the postseason. The Vandals, appearing ill-prepared for the start of the season, were steamrolled by Bowling Green 32-15 on the opening night of the college football season.
Sports

Bowling Green overpowers Vandals in opener

It wasn’t supposed to go this way. Not in the first game in the spiffed-up Kibbie Dome. Not after Idaho football coach Robb Akey declared his team ready for another march to the postseason.
Sports

Senior QB Brian Reader leads Vandals into opener

MOSCOW, Idaho – On the first day of fall camp last month, Idaho football coach Robb Akey approached Brian Reader – a senior who bided his time behind a four-year starter – and supplied a clear message. “I remember the first practice we had out here,” Akey recalled last week. “I said, ‘We gave you the keys (to the offense) back there in the spring and you started driving. I want you to drive the damn thing fast now – and drive it like an Escalade, a fast Escalade.’ ”
Sports

Vandals’ Mayowa has found a home at defensive end

MOSCOW, Idaho – Back in Inglewood, Calif., just outside Los Angeles, Benson Mayowa made sure to heed his parents’ words. Stay away from gangs, they reminded him often in high school. And he did – even if many of his friends did not. “It was rough out there,” said Mayowa, who managed to avoid the worst of his crime-ridden hometown.
Sports

Idaho makes strides in firming up its defense

MOSCOW, Idaho – The defensive line seems capable of withstanding the toll of a 12-game season. The linebackers are battle-tested and, in the words of their coach, can “flat run.” And the cornerbacks are perhaps starting to respond to Robb Akey’s criticism. Does that mean the University of Idaho defense is poised, finally, for a breakthrough? Even defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Mark Criner can’t be sure. But he sees progress.