MOSCOW, Idaho – Idaho can still achieve a winning season and a possible spot in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, but the Vandals are running out of time. They need to change the trajectory of their season now. Here are three things to watch in Idaho’s homecoming matchup against Portland State.
1. Home, sweet home
At 1-3, 0-1 in the Big Sky Conference going into the game, the Vandals need to grasp their home advantage. After spending three weeks on the road, they have three of their next four games in the Kibbie Dome before tough road finales against Montana State and Idaho State. A win against the Vikings before an expected big homecoming crowd today would be the start of stabilizing the season.
2. Who is that guy?
Vandals freshman running back Elisha Cummings got loose for 125 yards in 15 carries against UC Davis. This came in the wake of rushing for 84 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in Idaho’s first three games. Cummings seems to be getting his feet under him in the running game, and he brings a level of quickness to the task seldom seen in the Big Sky Conference. A big game against Portland State could serve notice to Big Sky teams that Cummings is someone who must be accounted for in defensive game plans for the rest of the season.
3. Next man up
Football is tough. Every team deals with injuries through the course of a year. Three days before their game against Portland State, though, Idaho’s starting quarterback C.J. Jordan, who was injured in the first series at UC Davis, still had an arm in a sling while watching practice. Jordan will be replaced by graduate transfer Mike Beaudry, Idaho’s starter last spring before being sidelined by a positive COVID-19 test . Stalwart nose guard Rahsaan Crawford watched the workout while wearing sweatpants, and wide receiver Hayden Hatten, who suffered a back injury in a loss against Indiana and who caught three passes against UC Davis, was not on the field. Terez Traynor stepped up against the Aggies and made himself a preferred target, making 10 receptions for 131 yards. He looked sharp in practice this week.
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