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NIU vs Idaho: A short history of a strange rivalry

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Taking a look back at the historical matchups between the Northern Illinois Huskies vs the Idaho Vandals in 2007 and 2009 as well as facing their current coaches under previous teams.

Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

A new thing I'm going to do is rant about whatever opponent that we're going to face on Fridays, because Friday is the day to do this sort of thing. Nobody knows why we play Idaho but we seem to do it every couple of years and that's fine because Idaho is an interesting team to play. We're 3-3 overall vs the Vandals. We're not going to talk about the 2-2 battles from 1969-1975 but rather the fact that we're 1-1 since 2007 including 2009 which was our last home loss.

Remember 9/26/2009: THE LAST HOME LOSS

31-34 L to Idaho to put the Huskies at 2-2 to enter conference play.

What a disaster. NIU was sure going to continue the success they had when they beat Purdue the previous week right? That hard-fought 28-21 victory was going to be a launching pad correct? Eh wrong. The Huskies went down 34-31 in one of the more disappointing losses I had ever seen. Coming off a 30-27 victory over Iowa the biggest thing in this game is to avoid a letdown at all costs.

2009 coverage:

Gah. So much wrong here. It was such a disaster I went crazy with super-detailed articles looking back at preseason rankings for NIU and how they a fared and what the hell happened to the attendance. Whatever. Don't do that again, Huskies.

Remember 9/22/2007: THE LAST KIBBIE DOME TRIP

Huskies come out alive 42-35 to pick up their first win of the season.

2007 was the first time the Huskies traveled to Moscow, Idaho to take on the Vandals. Do you remember that one? We won 2 games that year and this was one of the two wins. The previous incarnation of this blog existed in 2007, which is a wonderful thing to think about.

2007 coverage:

Deja Vu


Position Analysis - Idaho Game (Pt. I)

Position Analysis - Idaho Game (Pt. II)

Sam Hurd!

DE Larry English is Nagurski Player of the Week

Here's a few notes looking back

Larry English was SUCH A BEAST in that game. English had 12 tackles, 5 sacks and 5 QB pressures. He single-handedly beat Idaho's offense all game long and sealed the victory.

New road jerseys had debuted during this game. Since then we've even updated our road jerseys even more. Since they just got the jerseys pretty much everybody had goofy numbers. Running backs making tackles lolz!

Ah, the Huskie "PREVENT D" still was a thing then and Britt Davis was on hands team. More lolz!

Take note defensive line, you have a lot to live up to. Also the secondary we have now is the polar opposite of the secondary we had back then that let Idaho get back in the game. NIU started the game 35-7 and slowly but surely let the Vandals back in this one.



Paul Petrino was offensive coordinator for the Illini when we lost to them 22-28 in on 9/18/2010. What a devastating loss that was. I remember the Illini offense back then was just give the ball to Mikel LeShoure and let him destroy us for 180 yds on the ground. Nathan Sheelhaase also added 115 yds on the ground of his own.

I can imagine Paul Petrino watching this old tape of his then looking at the players he has on this Idaho squad and sobbing at his own desk.

2010 Illinois coverage:


That's right, current Idaho defensive coordinator Ronnie Lee was co-defensive coordinator for Minnesota during the beatdown that NIU gave them back in 2010. 2010 was a weird year.

On 9/25/10, the Huskies bounced back bigtime defeating the Minnesota Golden Gophers 34-23.

2010 Minnesota coverage:

This features one of the greatest runs by a running back in NIU history brought to you by Chad Spann:

So there you have it folks. Now get out there and beat Idaho!! We won't get a chance to play these idiots again until 2018!!!