Vandal road victory is Taylor made

Taylor Davis made led Vandals to 33-29 win at SJSU

MAKING THE SECOND START OF HIS CAREER AT IDAHO, redshirt sophomore quarterback TAYLOR DAVIS delivered the spark the Vandal offense needed, ending a six-game losing skid with a 32-29 win at San Jose State. After throwing for just 33 yards last week against Hawaii, Davis completed 13-of-20 attempts for 162 yards and a TD at SJSU, while senior tailback Kama Bailey erupted for 163 yards and two TDs.

The Vandals went into Saturday's game at San Jose State as 9.5-point underdogs to the Spartans while slogging through a six-game losing streak - an array of frustrating losses that included a 1-point overtime setback at Virginia and a 2-point home loss last weekend against Hawaii. During that span the Vandal offense went dormant, averaging less than 17-points per game (with the defense and special teams typically scoring as much or more than the offense).

Last week against Hawaii the Vandal coaching staff gave redshirt sophomore quarterback Taylor Davis the starting nod and an opportunity to make his first career start at Idaho. He struggled in his first action as Idaho's starter, throwing for just 33 yards over the first three quarters. In the fourth, with Idaho nursing a narrow 1-point lead (up 14-13) and looking for an edge to add to their lead, Davis was replaced by senior Brian Reader. The Vandals went on to lose the game 16-14 on a late Warrior field goal and were unable to capitalize on a stellar Idaho defensive effort.

This week the QB battle continued, and Davis again won the starting nod. Coach Akey officially handed the starting role to Davis (he would not be splitting series with Reader), and the youngster delivered as his confidence level steadily increased throughout the game.

Senior tailback and slot receiver Kama Bailey gained 174 yards all-purpose yards at San Jose
Going into the fourth quarter the Spartans held a commanding 22-10 lead. But this week the Vandal coaching staff stuck with Davis, and this week the Vandal offense, led by Davis and senior tailback Kama Bailey, blew up for 22-points and 223 yards of offense in the final period for the Vandal victory. Before SJSU's last scoring drive, the Vandal D had held the Spartans to just 13 total yards in the pivotal fourth quarter.

With Bailey and the Idaho offensive line churning up yards on the ground, Davis led Idaho on three long fourth quarter drives of 79-, 81-, and 85-yards. During that span Davis was 4-of-5 for 85 yards through the air, while the Vandals dominated on the ground with 134 yards on 19 carries. Bailey was a player possessed, accounting for 105-yards in the fourth quarter alone including a 70-yard scamper that led to a touchdown and Idaho's 32-22 lead with 1:33 left in the game.

Bailey's electrifying run set up that final score for Idaho, but it was junior tailback Ryan Bass operating behind a determined offensive line who provided the muscle as he carried a slew of Spartan defenders 7-yards to the one yard line. On the next play he dove through an enormous hole on the right side of the line for the score and Idaho's biggest lead in any game since the second week of the season.

Statistically, Davis finished 13-of-20 (65% completion) for 162 yards with one touchdown and a long of 49-yards. He was sacked five times on the afternoon, including a costly safety in the second quarter, but maintained his composure in leading the comeback win. The game ball could easily go to Bailey, who finished with a blistering 163 yards rushing on 19 carries (8.6 yards per carry) and two touchdowns on the afternoon. He would finish with 174 all-purpose yards.

The Vandals finished with 17 first downs in the game with 345 yards total offense, including 183 yards rushing. The Vandals went 4-of-4 in the redzone, scoring touchdowns all four times. Idaho was penalized just three times for 14 yards.


OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

Trey Farquhar - The redshirt junior set a new career-best with his second quarter 55-yarder just before the half. This could also be considered the turning point in the game. SJSU had just missed a 46-yard attempt when the Vandals turned it around and drove to the SJSU 38 yard line in 39-seconds. Farquhar hit his field goal as time expired, and the Vandal offense had life going into the lockerroom at the half. His 55-yarder officially is the second longest field goal in Vandal history (tying Mike Hollis, '93 and Ben Davis, '98). Unofficially, it looks like this is the longest field goal kicked outside the Dome for Idaho.

Mike LaGrone - Idaho's starting H-Back caught four passes on the afternoon for 65 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that propelled Idaho to it's first lead of the game and a 25-22 score with 3:59 left in the game. LaGrone was intricately involved in Idaho's first half touchdown as he hauled in a 37-yard pass from Davis that put the ball at the 13-yard line.

Mike Scott - Idaho's newest receiver played like a veteran once again, hauling down four receptions for 51 yards, including the 49-yarder that set-up Idaho's fourth quarter barrage. That play moved the ball from the Idaho 31 to the SJSU 20, then Bailey would carry it twice (17 yards, then a 3-yard TD) to cut SJSU's lead to 22-17.

Tre'Shawn Robinson - The Vandal offense will get the accolades for Saturday's win at San Jose State, but the Vandal D kept this game from getting out of hand after giving up 17 first quarter points (primarily on Idaho offensive and special teams miscues). Led by senior middle linebacker and Defensive Team Captain Tre'Shawn Robinson (15 tackles, 8 solo), the Vandals wouldn't give up another Spartan TD until late in the fourth quarter with Idaho up by 10 points.

Korey Toomer - Tied for second on the game with seven tackles, Toomer again show-cased his athletic skill on key stops for the Vandals. He also showed off his versatility, as he carried the rock on Idaho's 2-point conversion (lined up in the backfield behind A.J. Jones playing fullback). His dive over the right side into the endzone gave Idaho a 25-22 fourth quarter lead.

Sophomore noseguard Quayshawne Buckley (6-4, 292, Soph)
Quayshawne Buckley - His stats aren't going to make headlines, but it is impossible not to acknowledge the impact sophomore noseguard Quayshawne Buckley (6-4, 292) has made this season on the Vandal defensive line. Against the Spartans he was in on five tackles, including a tackle for loss. But the disruption he brings, combined with Michael Cosgrove, Jesse Davis, and Karel Kearney, is transforming the Idaho interior defensive line. For the season Buckley has accumulated 26 tackles, with his best game coming against Virginia where he had six tackles and a sack for a 15 yard loss.



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