Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 64° Partly Cloudy
Sports

Linehan sharp in Idaho spring game

Sean Kramer Correspondent
MOSCOW, Idaho – Scott Linehan doesn’t get to step foot on his old stomping grounds often. The former Idaho quarterback created a name for himself at the Kibbie Dome in the early to mid 1980’s. These days he’s the offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, which makes finding time to visit his alma mater difficult. He found good reason to this weekend, even with the hectic NFL Draft coming up next week. He witnessed his son, current Idaho sophomore quarterback Matt Linehan put the finishing touches on a spring that has him sitting atop the quarterback depth chart and in position to claim the starting job when Idaho opens against Ohio University on Sept. 3. The younger Linehan threw for 467 yards on 22 of 24 passing with six touchdowns and no interceptions on only two incomplete passes during Idaho’s Silver and Gold Spring Game on Friday night. “He had a great day, he was on fire. I don’t know if he missed any throws if he missed any,” third-year coach Paul Petrino said. “ … He still put every throw right on the money, it doesn’t matter (who’s on defense) if you’re making every throw perfect or on the money.” Linehan worked exclusively with the first-team offense (silver team), connecting with three different targets for scores of 42 yards or longer for his first four touchdown tosses. Dezmon Epps was clearly his favorite target, hitting the senior three times for touchdowns and accounting for most of Epps’ 260 yards on the night. Epps, who earned his way back into the program after being dismissed last spring, has replaced the graduated Josh McCain as Idaho’s top receiving target. He claims to always be open, which has certainly been the case all spring. “I’m starting to think he might be,” Linehan said. “I’m just going to go with what he says. The best part of him is he’s always being a competitor, as long as he’s got that drive and the will to win, he just brings positive energy to our team.” And Petrino offered a warning to Sun Belt Conference teams about the player replacing the Sun Belt’s leading receiver in 2014 in Josh McCain. “If we keep playing the way we’re playing there won’t be many people in our conference who can cover Dez. So that’s a little different breed of cat we’re trying to cover there,” Petrino said. Epps helped open up passing lanes for former Coeur d’Alene standout Deon Watson, whose transition to tight end produced 175 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, the new 3-4 defensive scheme of current volunteer and soon-to-be defensive coordinator Mike Breske held the backup offense to only three touchdowns, all in the air. Senior Quinton Bradley led the effort with three sacks. “(The defense is) one-hundred percent better, I was fearful that I wasn’t going to understand the calls. Right now everybody has a good grip on it,” Bradley said.
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.