The Idaho football team’s homecoming winning streak came to an end Saturday with a 34-13 loss to Troy.
“Overall, it was a very disappointing day, we didn’t play as well as we needed to play,” Idaho head coach Paul Petrino said after the game. “We won’t beat anybody playing like we did today.”
The Vandals began the game with a patient offensive attack. Idaho relied on junior running back Aaron Duckworth during the first drive. The Vandals settled for a field goal after junior quarterback Matt Linehan failed to connect with senior tight end Deon Watson.
On the Trojan’s first play from scrimmage, Troy tailback Jordan Chunn tried to force his way up the middle. Idaho sophomore linebacker Kaden Elliss grabbed the ball and recovered. The turnover was Elliss’ third time in two games.
Idaho turned the fumble into another three points with a field goal from senior kicker Austin Rehkow.
Troy wasted no time in taking the lead. In two plays, quarterback Brandon Silvers threw for 74 yards in 14 seconds. Wide receiver Tevaris McCormick took the second pass 36 yards into the end zone and put the Trojans up 7-6.
Faced with fourth-and-two on the next drive, Idaho committed. Linehan’s deep pass to Watson fell to the ground and Troy took over near midfield.
The Trojans capitalized on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Silvers to receiver Emanuel Thompson, who leapt over a Vandal defender for the ball. Silvers landed inside the line.
At the end of the first quarter, Troy led Idaho 14-6.
Idaho defensive back Jordan Grabski intercepted an overthrown pass. The Vandals could not capitalize on the turnover and punted. Chunn extended the Trojans’ lead with a 12-yard run.
Idaho tried to answer before the end of the half, but Linehan was intercepted by wide receiver Blace Brown. At halftime, Troy led 21-6.
The Trojans opened the third quarter with another big play. Silvers threw a 60-yard bomb to Johnson who carried it to the endzone.
“It was just a miscommunication all-around,” senior defensive back Jayshawn Jordan said. “We didn’t our calls or checks that we needed to. Obviously, when we don’t get that, guys aren’t in the places that they’re supposed to be and big plays happen.”
The Vandal defense held together during Troy’s next two possessions and forced the Trojans to settle for a pair of field goals.
Idaho found the end zone for the first time when senior tight end Trent Cowan caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Linehan. The Vandals trailed 34-13.
Chunn’s running was enough to run out the clock.
“It was just a bad job of getting our eyes to the ball and making the catch,” Petrino said.
Linehan ended the game with 122 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked four times and lost 22 yards on carries. Silvers finished with 373 yards and three touchdowns.
Idaho’s three running backs gained 111 yards. Chunn ran for 137 yards for Troy. Jordan led both teams in total tackles with seven.
“We just got to get back to playing four quarters of football being Vandal tough,” Petrino said.
Idaho is on the road 7 p.m. Saturday against Louisiana- Monroe in Louisiana.
Brandon Hill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @brandonmtnhill