2008 Idaho Preview |
2008 Idaho Offense
2008 Idaho Defense |
2008 Idaho Depth
2007 CFN Idaho Preview |
2006 CFN Idaho Preview
Alright, so it
wasn't exactly a great first year in the Robb Akey era, going
winless against FBS teams and 1-11 overall, but there were a few
positive strides made. Not many, but a few.
Even in the midst of a horrible season, the team still tried hard,
still tried to work through the problems, and still gave excellent
effort. Fine, so losing at home to Utah State isn't exactly a plus,
but the silver lining is that all the inconsistencies and all the
mistakes should slow down for a team loaded with experience ... on
Head coach: Robb Akey
2nd year: 1-11
Off. 22, Def. 17, ST 4
Best Vandal Players
1. RB Deonte Jackson, Soph.
2. SS/PR Shiloh Keo, Jr.
3. C Adam Korby, Sr.
4. OT Kris Anderson, Sr.
5. FS Virdell Larkins, Jr.
6. TE Eddie Williams, Sr.
7. RB Princeton McCarty, RFr.
8. PK Timo Amancino, Sr.
9. QB Nathan Enderle, Soph.
10. LB Andre Ferguson, RFr.
2008 Record: 0-0
Sept. 6 Idaho State
Sept. 13 Western Michigan
Sept. 20 at Utah State
Sept. 27 at San Diego State
Oct. 4 Nevada
Oct. 11 at Fresno State
Oct. 18 at Louisiana Tech
Oct. 25 New Mexico State
Nov. 1 San Jose State
Nov. 8 OPEN DATE
Nov. 15 Boise State
Nov. 22 at Hawaii
Nov. 29 OPEN DATE
2007 Record: 1-11
Sept. 1 at
USC L 38-10
Sept. 15 at
Wash St L 45-28
No Illinois L 35-24
Hawaii L 48-20
San Jose St L 28-20
Fresno State L 37-24
NMSU L 45-31
Nevada L 37-21
Boise State L 58-14
Forget about the
defense for a little while. It was awful last season and it isn't
exactly going to be a brick wall this year, but to have any hope of
keeping up with the decent WAC teams, the offense has to show more
firepower and it has to do it on a consistent basis.
There's a great back in Deonte Jackson to work around, the entire
receiving corps returns, and QB Nathan Enderle has a year under his
belt. Four starters return to the line that has a few all-stars and some
potential next-level talents in C Adam Korby and LT Kris Anderson, so
now there has to be more consistency and far more efficiency in the
This year, the offense will have to do far more until the defense solves
two huge issues, the pass rush and linebacking corps. The Vandals had
the second-worst pass rush in the WAC and were 118th in the nation in
pass efficiency defense; the two went hand-in-hand. However, until the
three new starting linebackers can prove they can adequately replace
David Vobora, JoArtis Ratti and Brandon Ogletree, teams will try running
There is decent talent, good athleticism, experience on offense, and
possibly the best special teams in the WAC, so now it all has to come
together, to go along with the try-hard attitude showed late last year,
to start making some noise.
What to watch for on offense: The running game. It wasn't bad
last year, thanks to Deonte Jackson, but it should be even better with
redshirt freshmen Princeton McCarty and Corey White ready to add even
more dash, and with a veteran, good line to pave the way. With a shaky
passing game needing to improve, the offense will rely on the ground
attack early and often.
What to watch for on defense: The safeties. Shiloh Keo has been
one of the WAC's best strong safeties over the last two seasons, and now
he's joined by Virdell Larkins, a JUCO transfer who originally signed
with Cal. The two are great athletes who'll make up for the mistakes
made by the corners.
The team will be far better if …
the quarterbacks can complete a pass. You can't win in the WAC if you
can't keep up the offensive pace, and the passing game is front and
center for Idaho after finishing 118th in the nation (only FIU was
worse) in passing efficiency. The Vandal quarterbacks combined to
complete just 45% of their throws with 14 touchdown passes and 23
interceptions. The interception and touchdown totals have to be
reversed, and the completion percentage has to be around 60%.
The Schedule: There's not a gimme in the bunch on the FBS slate with the one true
winnable game at Utah State. On the plus side, big WAC games against
Nevada, San Jose State and Boise State are at home, but road games at
Fresno State and Hawaii might be ugly. Outside of the opener at Arizona
the non-conference schedule isn't all that bad, but Western Michigan
will be good and a trip to San Diego State is a likely loss. Basically,
a win over Idaho State early on is a must. Idaho won't go 1-11, but
it'll likely be the underdog in all 11 FBS games. Not helping matters is
only one off week with the season ending on November 22nd at Hawaii.
Best Offensive Player:
Sophomore RB Deonte Jackson. Jackson was the offense at times last
year with four 100-yard games, a 214-yard effort against Cal Poly, and a
99-yard day against USC, but he isn't a big enough back to handle the
ball 257 times again. He likely won't have to with more weapons on
offense, and now he should be even more effective.
Best Defensive Player:
Junior SS Shiloh Keo. Only 5-10 and 175 pounds, he hits like a much
bigger safety and is one of the surest tacklers in the WAC. He's also an
elite punt returner, averaging a whopping 16.8 yards per try last
season. Now, with only four starters returning on defense, Keo has to be
even more of a leader and even more effective.
Key player to a
Sophomore QB Nathan Enderle. Call last season a warm-up as Enderle was
trying to get his feet wet. He had a few promising moments, but he threw
way too many interceptions and killed way too many promising drives. He
had to fight all spring to get his job back, and while backup Quin
Ashley is an interesting, mobile option, there's no question going into
the fall who the No. 1 is. For now.
The season will be a
success if …
the Vandals win five games. They haven’t won more than four since 2000
and haven’t cranked out a winning season since 1999,
and it's going to take a lot of luck and some major improvements in the
pass rush and passing game to get to five wins. A winning season would
make Robb Akey the WAC coach of the year.
Sept. 20 at Utah State.
There are few teams on the schedule at Idaho's level, and Utah State is
one of them. In the team's WAC opener, Idaho has to avenge last year's
24-19 season-ending loss to the Aggies to get the season off to a decent
2007 Fun Stats:
- Completion percentage: Opponents 66.2% - Idaho 45.2%
- Sacks: Opponents 30 for 204 yards – Idaho 16 for 109 yards
- Fourth down conversions: Opponents 13 of 19 (68%) – Idaho 17 of 30