Friday, March 3, 2017

Farewell to 2016:Idaho Vandals

Idaho Vandals
9-4 (6-2)

2016 Schedule
Beat Montana State 20-17
Lost to Washington 50-14
Lost to Washington State 56-6
Beat UNLV 33-30
Lost to Troy 34-13
Beat UL Monroe 34-31
Beat New Mexico State 55-23
Lost to Appalachian State 37-19
Beat UL Lafayette 23-13
Beat Texas State 47-14
Beat South Alabama 38-31
Beat Georgia State 37-12
Beat Colorado State 61-50 (Potato Bowl)

MVP Offense: QB Matt Linehan
Linehan played his best season as a Vandal in 2016 after starting for the last three seasons. The junior passed for 3184 yards and 19 scores against 10 INTs. He attempted an average of 31.9 passes per game, and wound up with 244.9 yards passing per game. He added an additional four rushing TDs as well. He had his best game of the season in a win over New Mexico State, when he passed for 476 yards and four scores, and he finished the year by passing for 200 or more yards in a game eight times.
MVP Defense: LB Tony Lashley, DB Jayshawn Jordan, DL Aikeem Coleman
Lashley finished with a team leading 105 tackles in 2016. The sophomore LB added 9.5 TFLs to his work as well. He finished with 14 tackles as a season high against South Alabama, and finished in double figures in tackles five times.
Jordan, a senior, finished second in team tackles with 94. He finished with seven PBUs, and led the team with six INTs on the season, which was one of the best performances nationally.
Coleman finished with 41 tackles on the line as a junior. He led the team with 11 TFLs, and finished with a team leading eight sacks. Coleman also finished with seven QB hurries.
Others of Note
After Linehan, no other QB attempted more than 10 passes on the season.
Isaiah Saunders led the team in rushing with 731 yards and nine scores. Idaho rushed for 24 scores as a team.
Six different receivers caught 20 passes or more.
Idaho won the tackling efficiency battle, as they recorded 65.31 tackles per game, while forcing 70.54.
Idaho was penalized an average of 5.6 times per game. They averaged just 4.6 penalties per game at home, and 6.3 on the road.
Austin Rehkow hit 49/56 FG attempts in the last two seasons combined.
Rehkow's punting average dropped almost four yards per attempt in 2016 from 2015.
Idaho finished with 11 more turnovers than their opponents.
Best Win: Colorado State
In their final bowl game before dropping back to FCS football in 2017, Idaho laid a whooping on Colorado state in a game that was not nearly as close as the final score indicated. Idaho dominated the Rams in Boise to close out a shocking nine win final season in FBS football.
Worst Loss: Washington State 
IN a long spanning regional rivalry, Idaho was not even in the same building with the Cougars. This game forced Idaho to reconfigur a bit, and they only lost two more games after this debaclke of a loss.
2017 Non Conference Schedule: 8/31 Sacramento State*, 9/9 UNLV, 9/16 at Western Michigan, 10/21 at Missouri
The schedule is a bit strange given the fact that Idaho will be dropping back to the Big Sky Conference in FCS football in 017. Sacramento State is now a conference game, and all three other non con games are now against upper level competition. The Vandals have long had their way against UNLV, and this game reads as a toss up. Western Michigan and Missouri may very well both be losses. Best case scenario here is 2-2, worst case is 1-3.

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