Vandals head to Nevada to wrap up 2011

Junior tailback Ryan Bass

Junior tailback RYAN BASS and the Idaho Vandals will put a cap on what has been a disappointing 2011 season Saturday at Nevada. The Vandals (2-9 overall, 1-5 WAC) will try to beat the Wolf Pack (6-5, 4-2 WAC) for the first time since joining the WAC in 2005. It is the last chance for Idaho to do that since Nevada is heading to the Mountain West Conference next season.

INSIDE SLANT

Idaho likely will start senior Brian Reader at quarterback after coming off one of his best performances of the season when he passed for 275 yards and a touchdown against Utah State. He completed 27-of-39 passes with just one interception. He had been in a battle with sophomore Taylor Davis, who made a pair of starts in the middle of the season.

The Vandals have clinched last place in the WAC, a spot they last finished in 2007, which was current coach Robb Akey's first season in Moscow.

The Vandals are 3-0 in games played in December since becoming a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision.


NOTES, QUOTES

--Idaho needs a victory at Nevada to avoid losing 10 games for the first time since 2008.
--Idaho has a streak of 48 consecutive games without being shut out.
--Idaho has 20 seniors who will be playing their final game of their career Dec. 3 at Nevada.

SERIES HISTORY: Nevada leads Idaho 19-9 (last meeting, 2010, 63-17 Nevada).

SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: Idaho ranks 112th nationally in total offense (301 yards per game) and is scoring just 21.9 points per game this season, which ranks 99th in FBS.

SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: Idaho's defense ranks 92nd overall in the FBS. The Vandals allow 423 yards and 31.2 points per game.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm not excited obviously about what the won-loss record is this season. It's enough to make you want to puke." -- Idaho coach Robb Akey said after the Vandals lost their ninth game of the season to Utah State on Nov. 19.


STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

THIS WEEK'S GAME: Idaho at Nevada, Dec. 3 -- The Vandals try to avoid a 10-loss season against the Mountain West-bound Wolf Pack.

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Vandals must find a way to slow down Nevada's pistol offense, something it hasn't been able to do in recent seasons. Idaho needs to take care of the ball on offense, tackle well on defense and make plays on special teams to spoil the Wolf Pack's Senior Day.


PLAYERS TO WATCH:

LB Treshawn Robinson -- The senior middle linebacker leads the Vandals with 108 tackles and ranks fourth in the conference at 9.8 per game.

RB Princeton McCarty -- The senior running back needs 33 yards to establish a career-best season on the ground. He has 648 yards this season.

P Bobby Cowan -- He ranks second in the nation in punting with an average of 46.89 yards per punt.


ROSTER REPORT

--RB Troy Vital (foot) is questionable for the Nevada game.

--WR Armauni Johnson (broken arm) is out for the rest of the season.

--DE Jesse Davis (leg) is doubtful for the Nevada game.



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