[Vandal] Four Vandals Play Roles In NFL’s First Week

robiegruss at aol.com robiegruss at aol.com
Mon Sep 14 08:56:07 PDT 2020

>From The Lewiston TribuneLewiston, IdahoMonday, September 14, 2020
Four Vandals Play Roles In NFL’s First Week
By Colton Clark
Four former University of Idaho football standouts opened their 2020 NFL seasons Sunday, with each of them entering the day slotted as starters.
Here’s how they fared:
Benson Mayowa — The eighth-year NFL journeyman, a Vandal from 2009-12, made a couple of key plays from his post as right-side defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks, who handled the Atlanta Falcons 38-25.
The nimble rusher got in front of Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan on a fourth-and-3 late in the first quarter, batting away a pass in the backfield to set up a quick Seahawks score.
With just over a minute left in the third — and Atlanta’s offense on the field on a fourth-and-2 at Seattle’s 11 — Mayowa beat his man around the edge and gave chase to a scrambling Ryan. Mayowa soared through the air, getting his hands on the longtime Falcon’s backside, then dragged him down for a sack. Not long after, the Seahawks were up three scores.
Mike Iupati — The former All-American first-round draft pick, now in Year 2 as Seattle’s starting left guard, helped ward off Atlanta’s rush, paving the way for a near-perfect day from star quarterback Russell Wilson, who totaled 322 yards and four touchdowns on 31-of-35 passing.
Wilson was sacked three times.
Iupati, an 11th-year NFL veteran and former All-Pro, was tagged with a false start, but had at least two bulldozing blocks in the rushing game to fashion holes for running back Chris Carson.
Jesse Davis — The fourth-year Miami Dolphin and official team captain started his 42nd NFL game, this one at right tackle during a 21-11 road loss to the New England Patriots.
The Asotin native, who has played every O-line position except center since 2017, will provide the experience this year for Miami’s rebuilding trenches. A bright spot: The Dolphins allowed just one sack on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Kaden Elliss — The versatile Vandal from 2015-18 was slated in pregame to make his first career NFL start in his fourth game since being drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the seventh round in 2019.Third-round pick Zack Baun, a rookie out of Wisconsin who’d been competing with Elliss for the spot, was a late scratch.
But New Orleans mostly fielded a 4-2-5 formation throughout its 34-23 home win against Tampa Bay, limiting Elliss’ reps to sporadic appearances as the first-team strongside linebacker in the Saints’ 4-3 base set. Elliss, who sustained a season-ending knee injury in Week 3 last year, played ample minutes on three special-teams units, where he’d been put to work as a rookie.
He didn’t record any statistics.
Elliss’ first snap on defense happened to be Tom Brady’s first touchdown as a Buccaneer — a goal-line quarterback sneak in the first quarter.
Former All-American Idaho guard Mark Schlereth, now a Fox sportscaster, was on the call for Seahawks vs. Falcons. “Stink,” a three-time Super Bowl champion during an NFL career that spanned from 1989-2000, brought up his alma mater, calling the school the “Harvard of the Northwest.”
Elijhaa Penny, a 1,000-yard Vandal rusher in 2015, is set to start at fullback tonight, when his New York Giants host the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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