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Paul Petrino says Idaho faces Washington team that is complete package

Idaho quarterback Matt Linehan, taking a hit from Montana State linebacker Mac Bignell in the season opener, guarantees his passing numbers will improve against the Huskies on Saturday. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Idaho quarterback Matt Linehan, taking a hit from Montana State linebacker Mac Bignell in the season opener, guarantees his passing numbers will improve against the Huskies on Saturday. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Vandals at Huskies

Kickoff: 2 p.m. at Husky Stadium

Records: Idaho (1-0), Washington (1-0)

TV/Radio: Pac-12 Network; 1280-AM and 1080-AM

Overview: Paul Petrino sees all the ingredients for an elite football team in No. 8 Washington. “They’ve got fast receivers, good quarterback, good running back, do a good job up front on the O-line and the two guys on special teams (returners John Ross and Dante Pettis) make them tough there, and then defensively they’re good at all three levels,” he said. So how do the Vandals compete with the Huskies? To start, they can’t give up two special teams TDs as Rutgers did in a 48-13 loss to UW in Week 1. Idaho’s defense will also have to limit Washington’s explosive plays – what UI coaches define as passes over 18 yards and runs over 10 yards. And the Vandals will need a much stronger outing from QB Matt Linehan and his receiving targets than they got against Montana State. After he completed 8 of 22 passes in UI’s 20-17 win last week, Linehan’s confidence wasn’t shaken. “I guarantee you it’s better,” he said of the passing game. “That’s a guarantee from me, and we’ll show it in the next couple of weeks.”

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