| February 23, 2018

Opinion: Home-field Advantage

October 2, 2017

The Idaho Vandals are preparing to play the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday, and they should start to prepare for the win.

Idaho comes into the game with a 2-2 record compared to that of their opponents who have a weaker record at 1-3.

The Vandals played a crazy game last weekend in Mobile against South Alabama, resulting in their first Sun Belt win of the season. The Cajuns, meanwhile, lost a heartbreaker to Sun Belt opponent UL-Monroe.

Idaho has too much momentum on their side to not win this game. Coming up with a win in double overtime in Alabama with two lightning delays proves that Idaho can win in tough situations and win in the face of adversity.

The Cajuns also experienced a double overtime game, losing to conference foe UL-Monroe 56-50. A loss like this is hard to come back from, especially against a Vandal team that is flying high right now.

Louisiana-Lafayette’s defense has allowed an average of 40 points a game through the first four games of the season. The Vandals offense has finally been clicking together the past few weeks, and it will show on Saturday playing against the Cajun defense.

Watch for a strong running game from Isaiah Saunders and Aaron Duckworth, which will open up the passing game for quarterback Matt Linehan.

A strong Vandal defense will be tough for the Cajuns going against the linebacker core of junior linebacker Tony Lashley, sophomore linebaker Ty Graham and junior linebacker Kaden Elliss, with all three combining for 51 total tackles on the season. The defense will make its presence known early behind those three, and the Vandals playmaking secondary.

Homefield advantage is another factor that will take play in a Vandal win. It will be the culmination of Homecoming week, which means wild and crazy fans and a packed Kibbie Dome to cheer on the mighty Vandals. There are few domes like the Kibbie in college football, and it will play to the Vandals advantage on Saturday.

Both teams come into Saturday after bye weeks, so this is a must win for both teams. The Vandals will try to separate themselves from the rest in the Sun Belt and start the season 2-0 in the conference. The Cajuns are trying to get their first conference win of the season and their second win of the year overall.

Momentum, home field advantage, homecoming hype and strong play from the last two weeks — Vandal fans should prepare to celebrate a homecoming win this Saturday.

Chris Deremer can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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