IDAHO BOUNCED BACK FROM A FRUSTRATING LOSS TO LOUISIANA TECH LAST WEEK TO TAKE DOWN NEW MEXICO STATE…
IDAHO INSIGHT: Idaho heads to islands
Idaho managed to keep a positive trend alive by beating New Mexico State 37-14 to give the alumni a homecoming victory for the third year in a row. The Vandals have followed up each of their three losses this season with a victory. Now the challenge for coach Robb Akey's team will be to put together a winning streak, which the Vandals (4-3, 1-1 WAC) have yet to do this season.
That won't be easy this week. Idaho travels to Hawaii to take on the Rainbow Warriors, who are leading the WAC. The game is the first in a critical series for Idaho, which still needs to win three more games to become bowl eligible for the second year in a row.
After the trip to Hawaii, the Vandals will play back-to-back home games for the first time this season when Nevada and Boise State come to town. Idaho hasn't beaten either squad since joining the WAC in 2005.
The Vandals have been awfully tough in the Kibbie Dome this season, outscoring their three opponents 112-21. They got three first-half touchdown passes from quarterback Nathan Enderle to jump out to a 31-0 lead and held on for an easy 37-14 victory over New Mexico State.
Enderle connected with three different receivers for scores and didn't throw an interception for only the second time this season. Both of New Mexico State's touchdowns came in the final minute of each half.
--Idaho will be playing in its fourth consecutive homecoming game this week when the Vandals play in Hawaii. It also will be the fifth time zone Idaho has played in the past six weeks.
--For the first game this season, Idaho's defense didn't force a turnover. The only turnover the Vandals got against New Mexico State came on special teams.
GAME BALL GOES TO: WR Maurice Shaw -- Shaw returned from a one-game suspension and had six catches for 73 yards and a touchdown. Shaw's touchdown came on a beautiful over-the-shoulder grab, while he also made a brilliant one-handed catch that went for 31 yards.
KEEP AN EYE ON: RB Princeton McCarty -- McCarty, who missed a game with a broken hand and played sparingly last week against Louisiana Tech, ran for 50 yards and a touchdown in the win over New Mexico State.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think we started real fast, real physical. We came out how we should every week. We just didn't finish the game." -- Idaho receiver Maurice Shaw, to the Spokesman Review, on Idaho's fast start and sluggish second half in which the Vandals managed only two field goals.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
LOOKING GOOD: DE Aaron Lavarias made seven tackles, including two for losses in the win over New Mexico State. K Trey Farquhar made all three of his field goal attempts against New Mexico State, bouncing back from an 0-for-2 effort the previous week. P Bobby Cowan punted six times for a 50.7-yard average with a long of 59 yards.
STILL NEEDS WORK: Idaho managed only 88 yards rushing against New Mexico State and averaged only 3.3 yards per carry. The Vandals ranked 108th in the nation in rushing entering the game. The Vandals allowed three more sacks in the win over New Mexico State. They ranked 118th in the nation in sacks allowed entering the New Mexico State game. Idaho committed nine penalties for 118 yards in the win over New Mexico State.
--LB JoJo Dickson broke his leg in the victory over New Mexico State and had surgery after the game.
--WR Maurice Shaw returned from a one-game suspension after he was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence.
--LB John McKinley, who plays mostly on special teams, broke his leg during the win over New Mexico State.
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