The Idaho football team comes off a historic weekend as the team prepares to face Appalachian State.
CBS ranked Idaho No. 95 in the nation, one spot ahead of Oregon. The boost came from Idaho’s win over New Mexico State Oct. 15. The Vandals (2-1, 4-3 overall) scored 55 points, their most since 2003.
“It makes Sunday a lot nicer day,” Idaho head coach Paul Petrino said in a press conference.
The game was a success for the offense, with 651 total yards, and the defense, with five sacks, two fumbles and six forced punts. Three different receivers finished the game with over 100 yards.
Petrino was impressed by the defense’s speed.
“We’ve concentrated on not only getting stronger, but getting faster,” Petrino said.
Petrino said the Mountaineers know how to put a good offensive line together.
The Mountaineer’s running back Jalin Moore ran for 106 yards on 14 attempts during the team’s 24-0 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette Oct. 12. He has 660 yards this season with five touchdowns. He averages 5.3 yards a carry.
“They do a great job of running the outside zone, and then they mix it up with some options,” Petrino said. “It makes them tough to defend. We have to go down there with a plan and stop the running game no matter who is in there.”
Appalachian State quarterback Taylor Lamb threw for 201 yards and one touchdown. He was 15-26 with one interception and was sacked twice. By comparison, junior quarterback Matt Linehan threw for 476 yards, four touchdowns and one interception on 36 attempts.
The Mountaineer’s defense recorded five sacks, 10 tackles for loss and held Louisiana-Lafayette to zero points.
“I think they’re better on defense,” Petrino said. “They’re a team that, as a coach, you like to watch on tape. They play the game the way it is supposed to be played.
The Mountaineers did not force any turnovers.
Idaho’s defense, on the other hand, specializes in turnovers. Sophomore linebacker Kaden Elliss has three interceptions this year.
Petrino said the team is taking the season one day at a time.
“The most important thing today is today’s practice,” he said. “We just have to go out there and get better.”
With two more wins, Idaho will be bowl eligible at the end of the season.
Idaho kicks off against Appalachian State 12:30 p.m. Saturday in North Carolina.
Brandon Hill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org on Twitter @brandonmtnhill