[Vandal] For Idaho, Final Week Of Long Season
robiegruss at aol.com
robiegruss at aol.com
Wed Nov 17 10:06:18 PST 2021
>From The Lewiston TribuneLewiston, IdahoWednesday, November 16, 2021
For Idaho, Final Week Of Long Season
Vandals coming off tough loss heading into rivalry game at Idaho State
By Stephan Wiebe
MOSCOW — For many college football teams across the nation, two weeks of regular-season play remain. Some will begin preparation for playoffs soon thereafter and, in the Football Bowl Subdivision, a whole month-plus of bowl games looms.
For the Vandals, however, they have one last chance to make a splash.
Idaho’s season will conclude at noon Saturday (ESPN+) when it faces in-state rival Idaho State in the Battle of the Domes — a clash for a traveling trophy that currently resides in Pocatello.
“This will be the last time this group of guys ever plays the game together, and (you) play for a trophy, play for who represents the state at this level,” Idaho coach Paul Petrino said. “I think they’ll be fired up and ready to go.”
Each team is coming off heartbreaking losses — the Vandals (3-7, 2-5 Big Sky) falling late to No. 3 Montana State, 20-13, and the Bengals (1-9, 1-6) dropping late to Cal Poly, 32-29.
Petrino said the final game of the season usually comes down to who wants it more.
“That’s what I told them: the last game of the year usually is what team is most excited and what team wants to play the most,” he said. “So that needs to be us.”
The Vandals understandably were disappointed after Saturday’s painful loss to the Bobcats.
Idaho was within striking distance of MSU the entire time, even holding a 13-13 tie late into the fourth quarter.
At one point, Idaho had the Bobcats stuck at their own 3-yard line. But MSU converted a pair of third downs and reversed the field position, pinning Idaho deep in its own territory.
Petrino was visibly upset with a no-call on a pass attempt from Zach Borisch to Terez Traynor in which Idaho’s receiver appeared to be interfered with. The Vandals couldn’t escape and MSU later turned a short field into a go-ahead 3-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tommy Mellott for his third score of the game.
“I think they were disappointed afterward ’cause they played so hard and gave themselves a great opportunity to win,” Petrino said. “Just a couple plays here and there, a couple calls here and there that were tough, but I think we’ll rebound.”
Petrino listed several Vandals as standing out on film in the narrow loss. Offensive linemen Logan Floyd and Abe Christensen “rated out really high,” and on defense linebacker Tre Walker (11 tackles), defensive tackle Noah Elliss (six tackles) and cornerback Marcus Harris (red zone interception) were standouts. Five of Walker’s tackles came in the fourth quarter.
Petrino didn’t have much to say on the status of senior quarterback Mike Beaudry other than that his absence Saturday was injury related and that “it’s kinda day to day with Mike right now.” The senior has missed three games this season with injuries.
The Vandals came out of the game against MSU in good shape, the coach said, although he doesn’t foresee anybody else who is already out returning this week. Notables who have been absent in recent weeks include running back/returner Nick Romano (arm) and fullback/tight end Logan Kendall (lower body).
“Usually when you play really hard physically, you don’t get a bunch of guys banged up,” Petrino said. “And we came out of that game injury free would be the best way to say it.”
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