|Vandals announce 2010 football schedule|
The University of Idaho Vandals open the 2010 football campaign at home for the first time since 1998, play rival Boise State on national television, and have their first non-Saturday games since 1960 when coach Robb Akey kicks off his fourth season as head coach this fall.
"One of the things I'm real excited about is getting the Friday night ESPN2 game here with Boise in the Dome," said Akey, in reference to the Nov. 12 matchup with the Broncos. "That's going to be a great four-hour commercial for the University of Idaho and it lets the entire nation see the Vandal-Boise rivalry. That's a great thing."
Akey also likes the Vandals' Thursday night home opener when they take on North Dakota at the Kibbie Dome Sept. 2 - a date that accommodates the Labor Day weekend holiday as the 2010 Idaho team debuts.
"Opening at home is a great thing and being able to do that on a Thursday night is a great thing," Akey said. "It gives us an early start on our fall camp and a couple extra days before we go play the Nebraska game."
After opening against North Dakota, the Vandals travel to Nebraska (Sept. 11), return home to play UNLV (Sept. 18) then wrap up non-conference action at Colorado State (Sept. 25) and Western Michigan (Oct. 2). They have a bye before hitting the Western Athletic Conference portion of the schedule.
"The goal is to have a preseason, get the bye, then have a conference season and take care of business so we have time to prepare for our bowl game," said Akey, who led the Vandals to their first bowl appearance since 1998 with last season's Humanitarian Bowl victory over Bowling Green. "There's a strenuous stretch in there - but that's a good thing."
Conference play opens with the Vandals at Louisiana Tech (Oct. 16) followed by a home game against New Mexico State (Oct. 23), a trip to Hawai'i (Oct. 30) before home games against Nevada (Nov. 6) and Boise State (Nov. 12). Road trips to Utah State (Nov. 20) and Fresno State (Nov. 27) follow with the 2010 regular-season finale at home against San Jose State (Dec. 4).
"Finishing at home against San Jose, we'll have the students back here. That's a great thing," Akey said.