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Idaho_Vandals

2011 Record: (2-10, 1-6 in WAC)

Head Coach: Robb Akey (19-43 at Idaho, 9-30 in WAC)

Last Bowl Game: 2009 Season Humanitarian Bowl: beat Bowling Green 43-42

2011 Preview

 

Schedule Glimpse:

2012 Schedule Link

Must Win: 8/30 vs Eastern Washington, 10/13 at Texas State, 11/17 vs UTSA

Paying the Bills: 9/15 at LSU

Revenge: 9/8 at Bowling Green, 10/6 vs New Mexico St, 10/20 at La Tech, 11/10 at BYU, 11/24 at Utah St

 

Statistical Snapshot:

2011 Statistics Link

Stat to Cheer: returned three punts for a TD out of 17 tries

Stat to Fear: converted 29.1% of third down opportunities (114th in Nation)

 

Personnel:

Phil Steele's Returning Starters (Offense: 5; Defense: 5; Specialists: 2)

Key Defensive Returnees: S Gary Walker (109 tackles), LB Conrad Scheidt (93 tackles)

Key Offensive Returnees: WR Mike Scott (55 rec), TE Michael LaGrone (21 rec, 3 TD)

Top Recruits: S Ma'ne Manaea (Scout.com's #78 Safety), DT Semisi Tupou (JUCO), TE Eric Lemke (#88 TE), QB Chad Chalich (#94 QB), QB Austin DeCoud (#101 QB)

 

Inside Scoop with Nick Jezierny of The Idaho Statesmen:

CFBZ: When we talked last year the thought was that Idaho had a shot to have a decent year and get to a bowl. Unfortunately, they won just two games. What went wrong?

Nick Jezierny: Idaho's quarterback play was, to be nice, atrocious last season. A part of that was due to a nonexistent running game, which was due in part to an awful offensive front.

 

CFBZ: Idaho will be breaking in a new starting QB this year. Who will get the ball and what do they bring to the table?

Nick Jezierny: It's too early to tell. Juniors Taylor Davis and Dominique Blackman are competing for the starting QB job, and the race won't be decided until fall camp. Davis has a little more experience and is the more mobile, while Blackman has the size and is considered a better thrower.

 

CFBZ: Which players need to step up this year if Idaho wants to get back to bowl eligiblity?

Nick Jezierny: The quarterback position and offensive line must play better. If that doesn't happen, it doesn't matter how improved the defense is. That side of the ball, as well as special teams, should be the strength of the Vandals. But the offense will have to produce better.

 

CFBZ: What is your gut feeling on the final record for the 2011 season and what makes the season successful in your eyes?
 

Nick Jezierny A .500 record would be a success considering road games at LSU, North Carolina and BYU. The Vandals must win four or five conference games for bowl eligibility to happen and sneak a nonconference win against either Wyoming or Bowling Green, too.

 

Verdict:

After winning just three games in his first two years at Idaho, Robb Akey posted a record of 14-12 in his next two years. Idaho felt they were headed in the right direction but last year they won just two games and now face an uphill battle.

This year, Idaho promotes running back coach Jason Gesser to offensive coordinator. Gesser wants to play a more aggressive style but he has to find the right fit at quarterback first. The offensive line is also going through a transition as they replace three starters and move to a new blocking scheme. It will be interesting to see how Gesser fairs as he's just one season removed from coaching high school football. The offense will be the key to the Vandals season. 

2012 Prediction: 3-9

 

Previous 2012 Previews:

MAC: Bowling Green, EMU, Toledo, WMU

Sun Belt: FAU Owls, North Texas, ULM

WAC: New Mexico St,


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