MOSCOW, Idaho – If you haven’t paid close attention this fall, you might be wondering how the Idaho Vandals went from 10- and 11-loss seasons – four of them in a row before 2015 – to bowl eligibility. What is the previously hapless football program doing now that it didn’t or couldn’t do for years?
Perrion Callandret sometimes looks down at his jersey on the court and remembers. He remembers how blessed he was to play with his half-brother as a freshman, despite the fact that he was 18 and Glen Dean was 24.
Behind a 476-yard passing day from quarterback Matt Linehan, the Idaho Vandals clobbered New Mexico State 55-23 on Saturday to post their most convincing win over an FBS opponent – and their most points – since 2003.
When Aaron Duckworth heard that a UNLV television broadcaster last week compared his physique and running style to former NFL All-Pro running back Maurice Jones-Drew, he responded with a surprised look … and a smile.
Paul Petrino shouldered all of the blame. The backbreaking blocked field goal, the poor execution on offense, the shoddy special teams? “That all just goes back to me,” the Idaho coach said Saturday afternoon after a second straight Pac-12 school overwhelmed the Vandals.
It was an early August evening, and Idaho’s first preseason practice had just ended. Tight end Buck Cowan, surrounded by cameras, was telling reporters that Matt Linehan was one of the best quarterbacks in the country.