|Lots to be happy about|
MOSCOW, Idaho – There may have been ups and downs during the University of Idaho’s first scrimmage of the fall but there are some aspects that, no matter the moment, are improved – speed, talent and depth.
“There were a lot of things that were encouraging,” coach Paul Petrino said after the Vandals scored 15 touchdowns and one field goal during Saturday’s scrimmage. “In the beginning, the offense got after them and scored a lot of touchdowns. Then in the middle, the defense came back and really got after the offense.
“That’s good to see both sides of the offense play well at times. We just have to keep improving.”
Quarterbacks Chad Chalich and Matt Linehan shared time along with true freshman Jake Luton. Chalich finished the day with 93 yards on eight of 16 passing with Linehan’s passes covering 276 yards on a 20-of-39 outing.
Petrino said every play is a learning moment for the developing quarterback corps.
“There were times both of them did good things,” he said. “They’re both young. Every day is a teaching day. Every day is a learning day. Sometimes we have to slow things down and teach those two because the most important thing is developing those two. They’ll keep improving. They’ll keep learning. They’re both great kids.”
Their favorite target was sophomore receiver Deon Watson (six for 86) with Jacob Sannon pulling in four for 108 and two TDS. Tight end Jared Klingenberg also had two touchdowns with the other passing scores going to quarterback-turned-receiver Joshua McCain and running back/receiver Richard Montgomery.
Newcomer Elijhaa Penny was the leading rusher with 17 carries for 76 yards with three touchdowns. Returners Jerrel Brown and Kristoffer Olugbode each scored twice.
Another newcomer, linebacker Irving Steele, led the defense with 10 total tackles with Jordan Grabski collecting nine and Marc Millan, Tom Hennessey and Tony Lashley accounting for eight each. Defensive end Anthony Rice had three sacks although veterans Quinton Bradley and Maxx Forde made their presences known repeatedly throughout the day.
“Right at first,” said Petrino of a string of 45 plays that netted nine touchdowns in the early going, “I was impressed with the offense.
“In the middle, I thought the defense was the best they’ve played since I’ve been here.”
Practice resumes Monday with the first two-a-day (9 a.m. and 4 p.m.). On Tuesday, they practice at 9 a.m. with another double Wednesday followed by 9 a.m. practices Thursday and Friday and next Saturday’s 10 a.m. scrimmage.