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#118: Idaho Football Preview

   by Matt Fargo - 06/19/2008

The College Football season may be a long way off but Matt Fargo is already deep in study and will once again provide his take on each and every NCAA team. We start from the bottom and move up so keep checking in for more previews!

No. 118 Idaho Vandals

2007 Record ~ 1-11 SU ~ 3-8 ATS

Starters Returning ~ Offense (11) Defense (8)

Even though the Vandals won just one game last season, which came against 1-AA Cal Poly, there is hope on the horizon. Topping the list is the fact there is no new head coach as Robb Akey is back for a second season after Nick Holt and Dennis Erickson both departed after one season the previous two years. Looking at the returning personnel, Idaho is getting 19 starters back including the entire offense so there is a good building block to start. The Vandals are still a year away however as problems aren’t easy to fix.

The offense brings everyone back but that may not be the best thing. The Vandals finished last season 91st in total offense and 96th in scoring offense so a repeat of those rankings would be a disaster. A year of experience can only make things better but don’t expect a huge turnaround especially right away. The running game, which ended last season 51st in the nation, will once again be the strength. Running back Deonte Jackson had a great freshman season, running for 1,175 yards on 4.9 ypc.

The Vandals desperately need to improve upon their passing efficiency which was next to last in the country after tossing 23 interceptions and completing only 45.2 percent of their passes. Nathan Enderle has the tools and the size to be successful but he must limit mistakes that came in bunches last season. The offense won’t matter much however if the defense cannot hold anyone. The stop unit allowed 37 or more points seven times and finished 111th in the country in scoring defense with 36.9 ppg allowed.

This is still a very young team with a lot of growing pains expected. The Vandals made no one any money last season, going 3-8 against the number including a 1-8 ATS mark over the last nine games. The schedule is not horrible this time around with six home games including three of four to end the season. After an opening trip to Arizona, the Vandals get Idaho St. and Western Michigan at home and then get a winnable road game at Utah St. A 3-1 start could do wonders for this young team as well as pad the bankroll.

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