2014 Idaho Preview: What You Need To Know
Idaho QB Chad Chalich
Idaho QB Chad Chalich
Posted Jun 7, 2014

Preview 2014 - What You Need To Know About Idaho (Getty Images)

2014 Idaho Preview

What You Need To Know

- 2014 Idaho Preview 
2014 Depth Chart & Unit Rankings To Come This Summer

What You Need To Know About The Offense: The offense couldn't keep up the pace, struggling up front to keep the quarterbacks from getting popped, and not generating enough for a running game that had to be abandoned too early thanks to a defense that couldn't come up with a stop. The line has the potential to be stronger with several key parts back and good size at tackle. The running back situation is okay with a few different options and body types to play around with, and quarterbacks Chad Chalich and Matt Linehan can play if they get time to work. Dezmon Epps will be one of the Sun Belt's best receiving weapons, and there's enough help around him to take some of the heat off.
What You Need To Know About The Defense: The D can't be any worse, and it could make some big strides forward. Absolutely abysmal, the Vandals finished dead last in the nation in scoring defense, second-to-last in total defense and couldn't seem to find anything that worked. There's experience returning with the strength potentially up front with QuayShawne Buckley working inside and Maxx Forde getting into the backfield on the end. The secondary that was lite up has the potential to be far stronger with some good athletes, while the undersized linebacking corps is quick.

1. DT QuayShawne Buckley, Sr.
The 6-4, 305-pound senior was booted from the program for a stretch, but came back in and turned out to be the team's best force up front by far. With good size and excellent quickness, he gets off the ball in a hurry, making seven sacks and 16 tackles for loss along with 46 stops. He's not an intimidating presence against the run, and he's not necessarily an anchor, but he's steady and needs to be accounted for on every play. When the motor is on, watch out.

2. WR Dezmon Epps, Sr.
He came to Idaho as a top receiver and defensive back recruit, and he quickly found a home. The offense lacked weapons and firepower last year, but Epps did his part with a team-leading 79 catches for 980 yards and four touchdowns. The 5-10, 170-pound former transfer from the City College of San Francisco was steady throughout the year, but he came alive late with 175 yards and a score in the blowout loss to Old Dominion and seven catches for 126 yards in the 80-14 pasting from Florida State.

3. P/K Austin Rehkow, Soph.
He came in as a true freshman known for his huge leg and great range, nailing a 67-yard shot in high school. In his first year he was shaky on field goals, missing his first two before connecting on ten of his last 15 including all five chances in the win over Temple, but where he really made his mark was as a punter. A boomer, he cranked up a 47.8-yard averaged and put a whopping 24 inside the 20. Getting a chance to try 75 kicks, he had lots of practice.

4. DE Maxx Forde, Sr.
A decent do-it-all end, the 6-5, 261-pound veteran finished fourth on the team with 63 tackles to go along with 5.5 sacks and nine tackles for loss. A good tackler in the open field, he's a smart, quick defender who comes up with the stop when he gets to the ball. With his combination of experience and size, he has the potential to be even more dangerous in the backfield and be more of a force against the run.

5. LB Marc Millan, Jr.
While he's not all that huge, the 6-1, 215-pound strongside linebacker can hit, leading the team with 90 tackles with four sacks and 11 tackles for loss. Also decent in pass coverage, he came up with four broken up passes. The transfer from Santa Ana College was exactly what the defense needed, and while the overall numbers might not have been there for the D, he did his part showing off the speed and athleticism the linebacking corps had to have.

6. C Mike Marboe, Sr.
The line hasn't been anything to write home about, but the 6-2, 296-pound Marboe has been one of the positives as the anchor for the last three seasons. A nice recruit with good bulk, he's extremely quick off the ball and is good on the move. He's a longtime starter who knows what he's doing – he should be a Sun Belt all-star.

7. QB Chad Chalich, Soph.
At 6-0 and 205 pounds, Chalich isn't all that big, but he can throw and he knows how to win. The 2011 Gatorade Idaho Player of the Year won two Idaho state championships with his great accuracy and good, live arm. He got his chances last year, and while he didn't light things up, he connected on 61% of his passes for 1,224 yards and five scores with three picks and ran for 204 yards. He's a baller to build around, but he first has to prove he can handle the full-time gig.

8. CB Delency Parham, Sr.
The secondary was a nightmare last season, partly because Parham didn't grow into the top corner he was expected to be right away. The 5-11, 180-pound transfer from Santa Barbara City College has the ball skills, the tools and the talent, but he only came up with two broken up passes and no picks along with 20 stops. His improvement and presence at one corner spot could be the key to the secondary.

9. QB Matt Lineham, RFr.
There's a chance he takes over the starting quarterback job early on. The star recruit out of Michigan sat on the sidelines last year, but he might be too good to not get a shot over Chad Chalich. At 6-3 and 185-pound size, Lineham has decent size and is a phenomenal athlete to go along with his textbook throwing motion.

10. SS Bradley Njoku, Sr.
A key part to the rotation over the last few seasons, the 6-1, 202-pound strong safety followed up a 43-tackle season by finishing second on the team with 89 tackles with an interception and three tackles for loss. With good size and 4.5 speed, he has all the tools and all the potential to become a factor, but he needs to be used more when the ball is in the air – he has to spend way too much time in this defense dealing with the ground game.

- 2014 Idaho Preview