[Vandal] Vandals Found What Was Missing A Little Too Late
robiegruss at aol.com
robiegruss at aol.com
Mon Nov 15 08:45:55 PST 2021
>From The Lewiston TribuneLewiston, IdahoMonday, November 15, 2021
Vandals Found What Was Missing A Little Too Late
By Stephan Wiebe
There are no moral victories in football, but if there were, Idaho would have gotten one Saturday.
The Vandals held their own for 38 minutes of game time against No. 3 Montana State at a packed Bobcats Stadium, making for some nervous glances from many of the 17,000 fans in attendance and causing a couple of biased comments to escape the commentators on the ESPN+ telecast late in the contest.
Several times towards the end of the game, the MSU homers mentioned how “this is the perfect time for us to use our terrific home field-advantage with our great crowd” — or something along those lines.
Sure enough, the raucous and loud Bobcats faithful contributed to a delay of game penalty in the fourth quarter when the Vandals were stuck on their own 14-yard line.
Caleb Lightbourn’s ensuing punt from his own end zone into the wind went only 28 yards and MSU milked four precious minutes off the clock before it scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 3-yard run by Tommy Mellott. That left the Vandals with two minutes, no timeouts and a pipe dream that didn’t pan out.
MSU (9-1, 7-0 Big Sky) took a 20-13 victory and maintained its undefeated record against Football Championship Subdivision opponents this season. It also extended its winning streak to nine games — its longest mark since 2011.
Idaho dropped to 3-7 overall and 2-5 in the Big Sky.
Going into the game, the Vandals were 21.5-point underdogs. If someone were to ask me, I would’ve said that sounds about right.
After all, the Vandals last month lost by 50 points to Eastern Washington (Oct. 16) and by 20 to Montana (Oct. 23) at the Kibbie Dome — two other Big Sky teams ranked in the top 10 and teams that are considered rivals (meaning the games should generally be close).
So where was Saturday’s Vandal team in its other six losses this season? Outside of a 27-20 loss to (Now No. 6-ranked) UC Davis on Oct. 2, Idaho’s defeats have largely been disappointments considering the expectations going into the fall.
Idaho’s biggest leap over the weekend seemed to come on defense.
Going into the game, MSU was second in the Big Sky in scoring offense at 32.3 points per game.
And while the Vandals did allow 258 rushing yards, they limited MSU to 106 yards passing and garnered timely stops on defense, including several three-and-outs and an interception by Marcus Harris in the red zone in the second quarter.
Idaho was also playing without starting quarterback Mike Beaudry for the third time this season. Coincidentally, all three games the senior missed were Idaho’s three biggest opponents — EWU, Montana and MSU.
Idaho coach Paul Petrino didn’t elaborate on the QB’s absence but alluded to it being injury related.
In stepped sophomore Zach Borisch on short notice and he performed admirably against arguably the toughest defense the Vandals have faced in conference play. Borisch went 8-of-18 passing for 157 yards and one touchdown and ran for 70 yards on 23 carries. He was sacked five times.
If the Vandals can build on their positives against the Bobcats — like tough, timely defense and few costly mistakes on offense — then Idaho has an opportunity to end the season on a high note against Idaho State in its finale this weekend.
Idaho at Idaho State
Idaho will conclude its season at noon Pacific on Saturday against Idaho State at Holt Arena in Pocatello.
The Vandals fell to 3-7 on the season and 2-5 in the Big Sky Conference with a 20-13 loss Saturday at Montana State. Sophomore quarterback Zach Borisch was 8-for-18 passing for 157 yards and a touchdown, adding 70 yards rushing on 23 carries. Freshman running back Elisha Cummings caught two passes for 52 yards. Junior linebacker Tre Walker had 11 tackles including, including four solo stops. Freshman safety Tommy McCormick had 10 tackles, including seven solo stops.
The Bengals fell to 1-9 overall and 1-6 in Big Sky play with a 32-29 loss at Cal Poly. Quarterback Sagan Gronauer was 23-for-38 passing for 273 yards with two touchdown and two interceptions. Running back Tyevin Ford carried the ball 26 times for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Shane Dailey Jr. had six catches for 95 yards. Safety Jacob Jones had eight tackles, including six solo stops.
Here’s how you can find the game:
TV: The game will be broadcast on SWX. It is available on channel 36 on Sparklight. It is not on DirecTV or Dish Network.
Radio: Learfield IMG College again is broadcasting the Vandals. Here in Lewiston, the game will be broadcast on KOZE-AM (950). Also, it will be broadcast on KZFN-FM (106.1) in the Moscow area, KORT-AM (1230) in Grangeville and KLER-AM (1300) in Orofino.
Chris King will be the play-by-play announcer, and Trent Cowan, a former Idaho standout, will be the analyst. The two are in their first season covering the football team.
Odds: There are no odds as of yet.
Fun facts: Idaho owns a 29-13 edge in the series that dates to 1916, and have won 12 of the past 15 meetings. But in the spring, Christian Frederickson caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Vander Waal midway through the fourth quarter as the Bengals scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to turn a one-point deficit into a 24-15 lead. Idaho got a late touchdown, but it wasn't enough as the Bengals held on for a 24-22 victory. ... The two schools were scheduled to play each other on November 11, 1978, but transportation issues with Idaho State caused them to forfeit, giving Idaho a 1-0 win. ... In the 1970s, the teams played each other every season, with the Vandals winning six times to the Bengals' four.
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