Idaho makes its second straight appearance in Provo this Saturday evening without any silver linings to an otherwise dismal season. The Cougars destroyed the Vandals by 7 TD's in 2011 as Idaho seems to be college football's favorite team for virtually most foes to strike a considerable beatdown against. So far Idaho has been crushed by the likes of Eastern Washington, LSU, North Carolina, Texas St, La Tech and SDSU. With their lone win coming at home against New Mexico St, things once again look bleak for Idaho's chances to capture their second win.
The Vandals score an average of 16 points per game, while yielding 42 ranking them 123rd and 121st respectively on both sides of the ball. All it takes is a couple of opposing TD's to set the tone, and while BYU has perhaps fallen short of expectations as some would suggest, wins will only enhance the quality of which bowl they may clinch. The Vandals will be homeless next season as the WAC becomes football defunct. They've decided they'd rather be independent and FBS than try to find a home in an FCS conference, which perhaps makes more sense than most fans would first envision.
BYU (5-4) may have let a crucial game slip earlier this season in a tough loss to Oregon St, but their quality of wins more than makes up for it including Georgia Tech and Utah St. BYU certainly is no powerhouse offensively averaging just over 26 ppg, however they yield only 14 which ranks 17th in the country. This tuneup against Idaho is just a stepping stone toward the Poinsettia Bowl. Hopefully it will provide the Cougars the opportunity to play a good, clean game, without accruing any more injuries than they've already suffered.
Since taking over the starting job back in September, Riley Nelson has kept this Cougar offense a float with solid performances week after week. Nelson is currently averaging 202 yards a game over this five game span. Incredibly consistent, Nelson has also thrown twelve touchdowns and five interceptions during that same frame. Jake Heaps, who began the year starting, has also been solid as well throwing for over 1000 yards so far this season.
For Idaho to be successful they cannot lose their composure and be weary of their alignments as well as their clock management. The offensive line last week against San Jose State was beyond pathetic allowing Taylor Davis to get sacked six times by one of the worst teams in the nation in that category. Defensively the Vandals will have to keep playing tough and avoid getting beat because of poor coverage or tackling.
Week after week I've said it time and time again. You saw Oregon lay a 56 point schelacking over Colorado a few weeks back, then last week the Northern Illinois Huskies rolled a 63 point shutout against UMass. After a 1-4 start I've hit 6 straight and am no about to break a sweat this Saturday evening laying some more heavy chalk as we look to roll once again and at the very least duplicate the 70% success we've enjoyed over the last 2 seasons. Best of luck however you play!