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Vandals already facing some must-win games
RB Princeton McCarty gained 90 yards at Virginia
The Sports Xchange
Special to GoVandals.net
Posted Oct 6, 2011
THIS WEEKEND IS HOMECOMING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO and the Vandals (1-4, 0-1 WAC) are set to host Louisiana Tech (1-4, 0-1 WAC) in the Dome (2:00pm PST kickoff). Both teams are looking to rebound from losses last week, with Idaho falling 21-20 in OT at Virginia, while the Bulldogs were beaten 44-26 at home by Hawaii. The game is a "must win" for both programs to keep their bowl hopes alive.
The Vandals are going to need a happy homecoming if there season has a chance to have a happy ending.
(1-4 overall, 0-1 WAC) plays
on Oct. 8 in the Kibbie Dome. It's as close to a must-win game as a team can have midway through the season as a loss to the Bulldogs would all but kill Idaho's chances for a WAC championship and seriously jeopardize the team's bowl hopes.
With seven games left, coach
's squad has three home games (Louisiana Tech,
) and four road games (
New Mexico State
San Jose State
). Idaho can afford to lose only two games to reach its goal of six wins and bowl eligibility.
The Vandals are hoping an overtime loss to
will serve as a motivator for the rest of the season, starting with this week's homecoming contest. Tech defeated Idaho last season, so there also is a mode of revenge in Moscow, too.
Idaho will need to play one of its better games to topple Tech, which has given Idaho fits on offense in recent years.
--The Vandals recorded three sacks at Virginia, which is more than the team had in the first four games combined.
--Idaho leads the WAC in turnover margin at plus-.60 per game.
(offense), Tre'Shawn Robinson and Mike Cosgrove (defense) and
(special teams) are Idaho's captains this season.
Louisiana Tech leads 4-2 (last meeting, 2010, 48-35 Louisiana Tech).
SCOUTING THE OFFENSE:
Idaho ranks 114th (out of 120 FBS teams) in total offense at 294 yards per game. The Vandals are 118th in rushing (74.4 yards per game) and have given up 14 sacks in five games. Those are sure signs that the Vandals need to get better play on the offensive line in both run blocking and pass protection.
SCOUTING THE DEFENSE:
Idaho struggles against the pass, ranking 115th nationally at 308.4 yards per game. Some of the issue is coverage, while some can be attributed to the lack of a pass rush. Idaho has just five sacks in five games. The Vandals have been strong in the turnover department, forcing three last week at Virginia.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
"We're not sad, we're not disappointed. We're upset, to put it in good language." -- Idaho coach Robb Akey on a 21-20 overtime loss at Virginia.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
THIS WEEK'S GAME: Louisiana Tech at Idaho, Oct. 8 -- The winner stays alive in the hunt for a WAC title, while the losing team likely will struggle to become bowl eligible.
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Vandals will have its pass defense tested against the wide-open attack utilized by Louisiana Tech. Idaho will need to limit running back
and put pressure on the quarterback. Offensively, the Vandals need to control the ball with runs and short passes and convert those drives into points. Winning the turnover battle is paramount.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
-- The sophomore made his first career start and recorded six tackles, including two for losses and a sack, at Virginia.
-- The senior led the Vandals in rushing for the third game in a row, amassing 90 yards in a loss at Virginia.
-- He averaged 51.2 yards on nine punts against Virginia, including a 76-yarder.
(undisclosed injury) is probable for the Louisiana Tech game.
(ankle) is probable for the Louisiana Tech game.
(foot) is questionable for the Louisiana Tech game.
(groin) is questionable for the Louisiana Tech game.
UI-FSU POST-GAME: The Players
Sep 25, 2011
Vandals fall at New Mexico State
Oct 16, 2011
Vandals get one last shot at Bulldogs
Sep 21, 2011
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