Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
Silver vs. Gold
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 04/24/2014
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MOSCOW, Idaho – Paul Petrino is a happy coach right now. Heading into the annual Silver and Gold game, which marks the end of spring football, he is seeing progress he didn’t expect just yet in a relatively young University of Idaho team that also has a host of newcomers.

“I’m happy,” Petrino said. “We’ve had a better spring than I hoped. We’ve done better than I thought we would at this point. It’s been good; real good.”

The Silver and Gold game, which will be aired live on SWX-TV, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Kibbie Dome.

The spotlight battle between quarterbacks Chad Chalich, a sophomore, and Matt Linehan, a redshirt freshman, continues and likely will last into fall camp. Petrino said he’s seen significant progress in them, he also has seen the group that protects them advance by leaps and bounds.

“Our offensive line has really improved,” said Petrino of the group that includes 10 players who started at least one game in 2013 as well as a handful of transfers who not only are big but are quick, strong and savvy.

He also likes the progress of the defense, which also has an infusion of talent from the junior college ranks.

“Up front. Quarterback. Playing defense,” he said. “That’s how you win games.”

The players have been divided into Silver and Gold teams for Friday’s contest, which will be as game-like as possible.

“As young as we are, it’s important,” he said of the game-like conditions. “The more gameday atmosphere they can have; the more reps they can have, the better.

“Anytime you can make it a gameday atmosphere and they’re out there on their own, it’s important. Anytime they can go out and play a whole bunch of football and not be scripted, that’s good for us.”

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