Courtesy: Ilya Pinchuk (Moscow, Idaho)
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The Vandals are 0-2 after falling at North Texas and Wyoming on the road in their first two games. Northern Illinois is coming off a Week 2 bye after beating Iowa in its opener.
Paul Petrino is in his first season at Idaho and his first as a head coach. While it is his first head coaching job, it is not Petrino’s first stint at Idaho. His coaching career began at Carroll College (his alma mater, 1989). From Carroll, he went to Idaho where he coached running back, receivers and special teams from 1992-94. From Idaho it was on to Utah State (1995-97), Louisville (1998-99), Southern Mississippi (2000-02), Louisville (2003-06), Atlanta Falcons (2007), Arkansas (2008-09), Illinois (2010-11) and Arkansas (2012).
Rod carey is in his first season as head coach at NIU after serving two seasons as an assistant for the previous two seasons as the Huskies won back-to-back MAC Championships. He is a graduate of Indiana University (1993) and coached previously at Minnesota, Wisconsin-Stout, Illinois State and North Dakota.
Idaho is playing the 2013 season as an FBS independent before rejoining the Sun Belt Conference in 2014. The Vandals have been independent previously – 1893-1907 and 1959-62.There are six other independent FBS programs – Army, BYU, Navy, New Mexico State, Notre Dame and Old Dominion.
The series between Idaho and Northern Illinois is tied at 3-3. They last played in 2009 with Idaho winning 34-31 at DeKalb. The first game was in 1969 – a 47-30 home victory for NIU.
There is no television for Saturday’s game. The live stream can be viewed through VandalXtra on www.GoVandals.com.