Gotta confess that a favorite guilty pleasure is reading the opposing papers after we paste a team, especially an out of conference team. They are nearly always suicidal over losing to us.
Anyway, this piece is from the the Spokesman-Review by John Blanchette.
Correctly, he identifies that Idaho was hoping to make a bowl and they needed this win. He posits that to make a bowl game now, they will need to win a bunch of conference games, which at the current performance level, will require Fresno, Hawaii and Nevada to actually leave the WAC this year instead of next.
Anyway, here are some choice quotes:
OK, one game does not a college football season make, so rather than suggest it’s going to be a long year for the Vandals let’s just say Thursday was a long night. Or a short one – all intrigue having been sucked out of their season opener before the second quarter was half gone.
Bad timing on letting all the sunshine in through the Kibbie Dome’s end walls. This one deserved to be played in the shadows.
Listening to Akey, it sounded as if the Vandals suffered from stage fright: “I need to see a better response to getting hit in the mouth.”
Linebacker Tre’Shawn Robinson thought it was something else altogether. “We got complacent with ourselves,” he said, referencing Idaho’s quick first touchdown and a heartening early stop. “We came out and stoned them and didn’t keep our eyes on the prize.”
The defense, after that attention-getting fourth-down stop on its own side of the 50, didn’t stop anything else. In building a 30-7 halftime lead, the Falcons reeled off six plays of 22 to 76 yards, and five others beyond 10.
“I saw some wide eyes,” Akey said, “and the wide eyes weren’t looking at the keys, because if that was the case we wouldn’t have those guys running free on us.”
But the offense was similarly horrible. Quarterback Brian Reader, finally getting the chance to run the show with the graduation of Nate Enderle, was a dismal 19 of 43 with a pick and two fumbles – victimized by a slew of drops, yes, but also lots of miscommunication, perhaps exacerbated by the fact that three top receivers, including the explosive Justin Veltung, sat out with injuries.
But as openers go, this was more damaging. Favored at home over a team that counts 28 freshmen and sophomores on its two-deep, the Vandals didn’t just lose but laid a smelly egg. And this is no season to be giving away games if there’s a realistic – or at least genuine – aspiration to be playing during the holidays.
“It’s one game,” said Akey, “and we have to make sure one game doesn’t cost us.”
As long as they don’t look back and have to wonder if they were done after this one.