|Vandals seek redemption|
MOSCOW, Idaho – Redemption is heavy on the minds of the University of Idaho football team as the Vandals prepare for Week 2 of the college football season and a trip to Bowling Green State University. Redemption from 2011. Redemption from last week.
“We’ve got to get the performances to come out,” coach Robb Akey said after a disappointing opening-season loss to Eastern Washington last Saturday. “The practice field is one thing. The game field is another. We need to eliminate the apprehension. Let’s go play the way we’re capable of playing.”
That didn’t happen last week, nor did it in the Vandals’ 2011 season opener when the Falcons won at the Kibbie Dome.
“If you don’t play the way your team is capable of playing, that’s a little bit aggravating,” Akey said. “I expect we’re going to see a lot of clean up. … We don’t feel real good coming out of last week’s game.”
Quarterback Dominique Blackman will make his Vandal debut at Bowling Green against a defensive front that Akey had high praise for after Bowling Green stayed within two scores of perennial SEC power Florida. He has a variety of weapons at his disposal, among whom is junior college transfer Najee Lovett who had one of the best receiving game in two years for the Vandals with eight catches for 105 yards last weekend. In all, six players were utilized in the receiving corps last week with the running game in the hands of Ryan Bass and James Baker.
“Our biggest challenge is to make sure we play the way we have in practice; we execute the way we’re capable; we be more consistent,” Akey said.
Akey said the defense is on the verge of taking control.
“It was the big plays,” he said noting the long gains given up occasionally to Eastern Washington. “We need to cut down on the big plays. That is a lot of what happened if you just take the defensive aspect. It was big plays. We have to be good with our eyes and attack things Bowling Green brings to the table.”THE RECORDS
Both teams are 0-1 with the Vandals opening at home with a 20-3 loss to Eastern Washington University last Thursday and Bowling Green State falling 27-14 at No. 23 Florida.
Robb Akey is in his sixth season as head coach at Idaho. After rebuilding in his first two seasons, his 2009 team won the Humanitarian Bowl and his 2010 team was on the verge of repeating as a bowl team. He is a graduate of Weber State University and coached for his alma mater (1988-94) as well as Northern Arizona University (1995-98) and Washington State University (1999-2006) before taking over at Idaho in his first head coaching job. He is 19-43 with the Vandals.
Dave Clawson, in his 13th season as a head coach and his fourth with the Falcons, is 14-24 at Bowling Green State and 72-72 overall as a head coach. He is a 1989 graduate of Williams College in Massachusetts.
The series is tied 1-1 with the Vandals winning the first meeting in the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl and the Falcons winning at Moscow last year.
The game will be on the Vandal Sports Network, which originates out of KTRV (Channel 12.1, Nampa, Idaho) and is carried on SWX (6.1, Spokane, Wash.), NTRV (12.2, Magic Valley) and Altitude Sports (Dish  and DirecTV ). Greg Franke (play-by-play) and Tom Cole (analyst) are the announcers for Saturday’s game.
Tom Morris (play by play) and Evan Ellis (analysis) again are calling the gameday action with KZFN (FM 106.1) as the flagship of the statewide, 14-station network. A complete list of stations is on page 3.
Idaho’s captains for the 2012 season are receiver Mike Scott (senior; Palo Alto, Calif.), cornerback Aaron Grymes (senior; Seattle, Wash), and punter Bobby Cowan (senior; Vancouver, Wash.).
ONTO THE FIELD
The Vandals have added a third element to their entrance onto the playing field. Traditionally, they have carried an American Flag and a battle ax commemorating the tradition of the Vandal. This year, they’ve added a flag that honors the memory of former Idaho receiver Ken McRoyal, who was died last summer.