| March 22, 2018

Football: A Glimpse into the Season

August 21, 2017

Idaho football closed out fall camp with a scrimmage at the Kibbie Dome, the final look at the team before the season opener against Sacramento State.

University of Idaho head coach Paul Petrino said he saw both positive and negative come from the scrimmage game.

“There were a lot of good things,” Petrino said. “The offense looked really sharp in the red zone, but hurt themselves on some drives turning the ball over. The defense did a great job of causing those turnovers though. A lot of times some of the guys on defense covered better than they have, which is very positive, and the defensive front has been playing well all camp.”

Both sides of the ball showed strengths in the final preseason closeout. The defense came out tough, creating a total of six unofficial turnovers ­— four interceptions and two fumbles.

Sophomore defensive back Lloyd Hightower said he liked the way the team was able to create turnovers.

“That’s always great to see picks,” he said. “We really were just trying to make stuff happen, all trying to get better.”

Senior wide receiver Reuben Mwehla said he also thought that the team looked good on all sides of the ball in the final season scrimmage.

“I think we did good as a whole,” Mwehla said. “Our defense was making plays, was getting interceptions and at the same time our receivers were making big plays, running backs were making great runs and the (offensive line) did a great job too. So overall I think good team scrimmage.”

Debuting the season for special teams is redshirt freshman kicker and punter Kade Coffey. Coffey made 8 of 10 attempts at the extra point.

Aside from the play action, also seen on the field was amped up comradery. Idaho defensive coordinator Mike Breske said this was part of the game plan and will continue to be part of it heading forward into the season.

“We have kind of got a thing from Coach (Petrino) about ‘tap the hat’” Breske said. “Guys are having fun out there, they got to play football with passion, you see them tap the hat after a good play and that’s all part of it. Have some fun.”

One athlete stood out above all when it came to enjoying the sport and having fun with it. Mwehla looked good on the field, but the biggest surprise came from his pregame performance. This performance was not on the field but rather blasting through the Kibbie Dome speakers, getting the team pumped and ready for play. Mwehla said he has been writing music since he was young and has brought his outside talent within the program.

“I’ve been making music ever since I was like nine,” he said.  “I told coach Petrino that I made some music and he was like, ‘Hey, why don’t you make a song for the team?’”

Mwehla said that this is something he has enjoyed sharing with the team and something he thinks is unique to Idaho.

“It’s a cool thing,” he said. “I don’t think a lot of people would do that so it’s just a unique experience.”

As the season quickly approaches, Petrino said now is the time to start looking forward and preparing to unite as a team as the regular season approaches.

“Now it’s time to come together,” said Petrino. “We’ve being going against each other, going at each other, and now we need to come together and get ready for the opener. It’s time to starting working toward that.”

Idaho takes on Sacramento State at 6 p.m. Aug. 31 at the Kibbie Dome.

Meredith Spelbring can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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