In what might be
the understatement of the year, Jason Gesser said this past week has “been a
Indeed. Not only was he assigned
the role of interim head coach for the University of Idaho Vandals, but in his
role as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, he had to send his
starter (and one other player) packing for violating team rules.
“This last week has been a
whirlwind,” Gesser said at his weekly news conference. “We have to be prepared
for any situation that comes across our desk and make the proper decisions for
the guys that are in the room, that are proud to be Vandals, that want to go
out there and continue to fight.”
The fight continues Saturday at 2
p.m. with the annual Dads’ Weekend game – this year versus an improved San Jose
State University team. The Spartans are 6-2 overall and 2-1 in the Western Athletic
Conference with their losses to Utah State and Stanford. The Vandals are 1-7
and 1-2 in the WAC and are coming off their bye week.
Gesser announced senior Logan
Bushnell will start at quarterback with Taylor Davis spelling him in the second
quarter – and possibly longer.
“It’s going to be whoever is
performing the best,” Gesser said.
As he works into the role as
interim coach, Gesser said he is relying heavily on the veteran coaches around
him – particularly defensive coordinator Mark Criner.
“I’m not able to oversee both,” said
Gesser, who had taken over the role as lead esteem builder. “They’re starting
to figure it out. Here is the situation we’re in. We can whine about it and cry
about it and pack it in, or we can stick together, suck it up and move forward
and make something out of this.
“Let’s bounce back, pull each
other along and let’s go.”
The Vandals are 1-7 overall and 1-2 in the Western Athletic Conference and are coming off their bye week. San Jose State defeated Texas State 31-20 last weekend to improve to 6-2 overall and 2-1 in the WAC.
Jason Gesser will be heading into his first game as a collegiate head coach when the Vandals take on the Spartans. Gesser also wears two other hats – those of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, in addition to his role as interim head coach. He is a graduate of Washington State University where he was an All-American quarterback. He played in the NFL and the CFL before heading to the coaching ranks.
Mike McIntyre is in his third season at San Jose State and is 12-21 overall as a head coach. The Spartans were 5-7 last season and have losses this year only to Stanford (ranked #21 at the time) and Utah State.
Idaho leads the series, which first was played in 1946, 12-10-1. The Vandals won last year at San Jose State to extend their win streak against the Spartans to three.
The game is on the Go Vandals Network, which is carried on various outlets throughout Idaho and Eastern Washington as well as on Altitude, which airs on DirecTV and Dish Network. Bob Akamian is handling the play-by-play with Larry Polowski providing the analysis.
This is week is Dads’ Weekend with the annual Black Out the Dome game as well. Commemorative T-shirts are available at the Vandal Store.
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.
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 died last summer.