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Idaho Vandals vs. Northern Illinois: A Primer

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Idaho...Idaho...that's right POTATOES!!!  WRONG.

Sure you may have seen enough crappy commercials like this one that Idaho and Potatoes are synonymously ingrained in your mind through years of torture.  But not in Moscow, located in the Northern part of the state.  I thought Moscow was in Russia?  Oh well.  They pride themselves on producing WHEAT, PEAS & LENTIL my friends.  Much unlike those smurf-turf freaks down south in Boise, who feast on spud like it's birthday cake.  Don't piss an Idaho fan off, they're called Vandals for a reason.  (Note: Idaho's fans are actually some of the most welcoming in the nation).


The distance from Moscow, ID to Dekalb, IL?  Just over 1,400 miles.  They're in an Eastern Michigan-esque situation as Washington State is only less than 10 miles the west of school in Pullman.

Reading Material

Looking ahead to Idaho (UW Dawg Pound)
Five Questions with Vandal Nation (Mountain West Connection)
Boise State 2009 Opponent Preview: Idaho (OBNUG)
2007 NIU @ Idaho Coverage (Vintage RABA)

Highlights from their first game @ New Mexico State

So far this season

9/05 @ New Mexico State 1-0 (1-0) W 21-6

In 3 redzone opportunities, NMSU squandered away whatever chance they had by fumbling, missing a FG and throwing an INT.  NMSU almost outgained the Vandals putting up 342 yds to Idaho's 350.  The Aggies are arguably the worst team in the WAC.  Their only win was a 21-18 squeaker over FCS Prairie View A&M.

9/12 @ Washington 1-1 (1-0) L 42-23

Washington was ahead early by a 35-9 margin (three field goals) and the Vandals scored most of their points in garbage time.

9/19 San Diego State 2-1 (1-0) W 34-20

SDSU gave Idaho the ball early for a pick-6.  Soon after that, they fumbled the ball inside their own 20, giving the Vandals an easy FG .  SDSU just got killed by 9 penalties for 85 yards, including two pass interference calls in the same Idaho drive that put the Vandals up 27-13 in the 4th.  Score was 20-27 with less than 3 min left in the game.  The Aztecs are the 2nd worst team in the MWC.  Their only win was a 35-19 win over a very bad FCS team in Southern Utah.

National Rankings

The season's only 3 games in, but Idaho has played low-ranked peers such as NMSU & SDSU.  This is the best their stats are going to look the entire season:

Category National
Actual National
Actual Conf
Western Athletic
Conference Leader
Rushing Offense 81 127.00 Air Force 344.33 6 Fresno St. 269.67
Passing Offense 29 253.33 Texas Tech 444.33 2 Hawaii 423.33
Total Offense 58 380.33 Texas A&M 589.50 5 Hawaii 515.33
Scoring Offense 72 26.00 Houston 50.00 4 Boise St. 39.33
Rushing Defense 29 93.33 Oklahoma 40.67 1 Idaho 93.33
Pass Efficiency Defense 92 137.74 Arizona St. 64.46 6 Boise St. 82.55
Total Defense 58 336.33 Arizona St. 149.50 3 Boise St. 284.33
Scoring Defense 63 22.67 Oklahoma 4.67 2 Boise St. 14.00
Net Punting 84 34.67 Georgia 47.36 6 Boise St. 43.82
Punt Returns 48 10.00 Louisiana Tech 45.50 4 Louisiana Tech 45.50
Kickoff Returns 66 21.36 Arizona St. 50.75 5 Boise St. 35.09
Turnover Margin 12 1.33 Arizona St. 4.00 1 Idaho 1.33
Pass Defense 87 243.00 Eastern Mich. 78.00 6 Boise St. 154.67
Passing Efficiency 53 130.92 Notre Dame 186.14 4 Hawaii 180.65
Sacks T-110 .67 TCU 5.50 7 New Mexico St. 2.00
Tackles For Loss 111 3.33 Oklahoma 11.33 7 Boise St. 6.67
Sacks Allowed 55 1.67 La.-Lafayette .00 5 Boise St. .67


Offense - Meh.  Middle of the pack in nearly everything.  It's obvious they try to throw the ball around as they are averaging just over 253 ypg in the air.  That's 2nd in the WAC behind Hawaii. 

Defense - Their highly ranked rushing defense is a little eschewed because SDSU & Washington like to throw the ball around, while NMSU's offense just sucks overall.  Their pass eff D is brutal and Harnish should be able to pick his spots all day.  This makes sense, because they get next to zero pressure on the QB or anybody in the backfield.

Special Teams/Other: Coach Kill talked up their punter in the press conference, but there is nothing to show that in the stats.  Their 12th ranked turnover margin is a big reason why they have won 2 games so far this season.

Impact Players

Category Player National
Rushing DeMaundray Woolridge   50.67
  Princeton McCarty   43.33
  Deonte Jackson   30.00
Passing Efficiency (Min. 15 Att./Game) Nathan Enderle 57 131.62
Total Offense Nathan Enderle T-42 229.33
  DeMaundray Woolridge   50.67
  Princeton McCarty   43.33
  Deonte Jackson   30.00
Receptions Per Game Max Komar   4.00
  Daniel Hardy   4.00
  Eric Greenwood   3.33
  Preston Davis   3.00
Receiving Yards Per Game Max Komar T-38 85.67
  Daniel Hardy T-74 65.67
  Preston Davis   41.33
  Eric Greenwood   30.67
Interceptions Shiloh Keo T-70 .33
  Joseph Dickson T-70 .33
Punting (Min. 3.6 Punts/Game)      
Punt Returns (Min. 1.2 Ret./Game)      
Kickoff Returns (Min. 1.2 Ret./Game) Kama Bailey T-55 23.75
  Matthew Harvey T-87 20.50
  Max Komar T-92 20.25
Field Goals Trey Farquhar T-15 1.67
Scoring Trey Farquhar T-57 8.00
  DeMaundray Woolridge T-57 8.00
All-Purpose Runners Max Komar T-73 118.00
  Daniel Hardy   65.67
Sacks Michael Cosgrove   .33
  Jonah Sataraka   .33
Tackles Shiloh Keo T-90 8.00
  Joseph Dickson   6.00
  Paul Senescall   6.00
Tackles For Loss TreShawn Robinson   1.00
  Michael Cosgrove   .67
  Jonah Sataraka   .67


QB Nathan Enderle has been starting since the last time we faced the Vandals in the Kibbie Dome 2 years ago.  On the season so far, he's 50 of 84 (59.5%) for 690 yds, 2 TDs and 2 INTs.  He's gonna sling it around to...

WR Max Komar & TE Daniel Hardy.  Both have around 12 catches, around 200 yds receiving and a TD each.  Komar is 5'11 and Hardy is 6'4" while hailing from Anchorage, AL.

At RB it looks like 3 guys can tote the rock, similar to the situation that we had last year with everybody getting some touches.  The transfer from Wazzu in Woolridge is a bowling ball at 5'9" 241 lbs and their redzone threat with 4 TDs.  Jackson can do everything at 5'8" 190 and McCarty is the speed guy at 5'8" 174.

On defense, their main playmaker is Free Safety Shiloh Keo.  It's important that we account for him at all times either running the ball or passing.  Linebackers JoJo Dickson and Paul Senescall seem to be servicable as well.

On special teams, K Trey Farquhar has a bunch of points, because it seems like the Vandals can't punch it in to the end-zone a lot of the time when they are in the redzone.  He missed 2 against SDSU in the Kibbie Dome last week.

The Gameplan

It doesn't seem like Idaho's defense warrants any type of scare, so Kill is going to run straight at the Vandals until they stop us.  Like Purdue, the biggest asset for the Vandals is their offense and we want to keep those guys on the bench.

If they decide to go balls out stopping the run, then Harnish will have all day in the pocket to pick his spots in Idaho's secondary.  i actually hope this happens because its always good to get our passing game tuned up for WMU next week.