[Vandal] Idaho Incinerated On The Inferno

robiegruss at aol.com robiegruss at aol.com
Sun Oct 17 07:43:39 PDT 2021

>From The Lewiston TribuneLewiston, IdahoSunday, 17, 2102
Idaho Incinerated On The Inferno
Barriere passes for 600 yards as Eagles rout Vandals
By Stephan Wiebe 
CHENEY, Wash. — Playing on the blazing red turf known as the “Inferno,” No. 2 Eastern Washington scorched, incinerated and completely evaporated Idaho’s football team Saturday at Roos Field.
Eagles quarterback Eric Barriere torched Idaho’s offense for a school-record 600 yards and accounted for eight touchdowns in EWU’s 71-21 beatdown.
The game looked nothing like two teams that’d evenly split their previous four contests, nor like a Big Sky Conference series that’d turned into a regional rivalry in recent years.
Instead, it looked more like Idaho’s 68-0 beatdown of NCAA Division II Simon Fraser to start the season, or the 79-7 spanking the Vandals received from Football Bowl Subdivision power Penn State in 2019.
It’s like the teams weren’t even on the same level.
“They kicked our butt,” Idaho coach Paul Petrino said. “They’ve got a great quarterback, they’ve got a really good team and they outplayed us in every way possible.”
Barriere had been putting up gaudy video game numbers all season for EWU (7-0, 4-0 Big Sky). Against Idaho (2-4, 1-1), he took it a step further.
The sixth-year senior systematically picked apart Idaho’s ­secondary with precision and poise. His receivers at times found themselves wide open, and other times made spectacular grabs in tight coverage.
It didn’t matter either way for Barriere, who leads the FCS with more than 3,000 passing yards on the season. In comparison, second place in the category going into the weekend went to Presbyterian’s Ren Hefley with a measly 2,040 — the only other quarterback with more than 2,000.
Meanwhile, Idaho had to turn to its third- and fourth-string quarterbacks. With no CJ Jordan or Mike Beaudry, the latter of which injured his shoulder late in Idaho’s 42-35 win Oct. 9 against Portland State, the Vandals went with running specialist Zach Borisch and true freshman Gevani McCoy.
It was Borisch who rumbled off Idaho’s biggest play of the game — a 75-yard sprint up the middle of the field that cut EWU’s lead to 14-7 in the first quarter.
But the Eagles answered just three plays later, with Barriere finding Freddie Roberson for 64 yards and then running in himself from 12 yards out.
By the fourth play of the second quarter, EWU led 36-7 and had amassed 400 yards of offense. The Eagles didn’t let off the gas from there.
EWU coach Aaron Best said after the game he found it fitting that Idaho went with its “Grumpy Joe” logo on its helmets because the Eagles’ moto all week was “stay salty.”
“These guys wanted it pretty badly, they showed that today,” Best said. “There was no quit even after halftime being up a lot of points.”If a single play could sum up the game for Idaho, it would be an EWU third-and-a-mile conversion in the fourth quarter. Facing third-and-34 from their own 25-yard line, Barriere swung a screen pass out to running back Dennis Merritt, who rolled 39 yards before going down.
The Eagles scored a touchdown a couple plays later to go up 64-14.
When asked about the play after the game, Barriere’s response was the epitome of confidence.
“I was expecting a touchdown, actually,” Barriere said. “We know what we can do as an offense. We were just trying to get Dennis the ball real quick, set up a quick screen and let Dennis do the rest. And that’s what he did.”
Idaho’s offense at times moved the ball with methodical drives. An eight-minute drive in the second quarter led to one of running back Aundre Carter’s two short touchdowns.
But Idaho also had three turnovers, including two interceptions by McCoy.
The true freshman was thrust into the fire against the No. 2 team in the country and McCoy showed some spunk, taking a few big hits.McCoy finished 7-of-14 passing for 82 yards. Borisch had 58 passing yards to go along with 119 on the ground.
Going into the game, the pair had attempted a single pass on the season — Borich’s 46-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Cash on a trick play against the Vikings being the lone attempt.
But injuries to Jordan and Beaudry changed Idaho’s plans at the position, although neither quarterback is expected to be out for the season.
Petrino said Borisch also is banged up with all the hits he takes, so another passer is needed, which is where McCoy came in.
The Vandals won’t have long to dwell on their decimation. The Vandals face their second straight top-five opponent when Montana heads to the Kibbie Dome this coming Saturday. The No. 5 Griz are coming off a 28-21 loss to Sacramento State.
“Now, we’ll find out what we’re made of,” Petrino said. “Getting our butt kicked like that and now we have to come back and play Montana, a really good team too.”
“Hopefully we’ll get a couple guys healed up, but regardless we’ll find out what our character is all about. When you get knocked down how are you going to get up?”
RUSHING: Idaho, Za. Borisch 23-119, Au. Carter 10-34, Ro. Johnson 3-11, El. Cummings 3-9, Ni. Romano 2-8, Je. Jackson 1-2, Ge. McCoy 4-(minus 1). E. Washington, Is. Lewis 9-86, De. Merritt 11-77, Ju. Jackson 11-55, Gu. Talkington 1-15, Ef. Chism III 1-4, No. Ulm 1-2, Team 1-(minus 3), Er. Barriere 6-(minus 23).
PASSING: Idaho, Ge. McCoy 7-14-2-82, Za. Borisch 4-7-0-58. E. Washington, Er. Barriere 26-35-0-600, Gu. Talkington 2-3-0-24.
RECEIVING: Idaho, Me. Stevenson 3-74, Je. Jackson 3-48, Te. Traynor 1-7, Ro. Johnson 1-6, Co. Whitney 1-4, Mi. Noil 1-3, El. Cummings 1-(minus 2). E. Washington, Fr. Roberson 9-192, An. Boston 5-175, De. Merritt 3-102, Ja. James 4-60, Ef. Chism III 3-56, Ro. Mason 4-39.
Stars Of The Game
The easiest player of the game pick of all time goes to ERIC BARRIERE. The EWU quarterback passed for 600 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for another score, breaking a plethora of records in the process. He did it on only 26 completions. Also coming up with big performances for the Eagles were receiver FREDDIE ROBERSON (10 catches, 192 yards, 2 TDs) and running back DENNIS MERRITT (179 total yards, 1 TD). For Idaho, ZACH BORISCH ran for a 75-yard touchdown and finished with 119 rushing yards and 58 passing yards. AUNDRE CARTER added a couple of short rushing touchdowns.
Turning Point
The Eastern Washington offense could do no wrong. Facing a third-and-34 early in the fourth quarter, Barriere tossed a screen pass to Merritt, and he scampered 39 yards for a first down. The improbable first down kept the EWU drive alive and set up a 33-yard Barriere touchdown pass moments later, which put the Eagles up 64-14. It was that kind of night for the Vandals.
Up Next
The Vandals host No. 5 Montana at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Kibbie Dome.
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