Are the Vandals About to get Vandalized at Nebraska? Yeah, I Think So
There is a lot of sucking up in this release from the Idaho sports information office ahead of today’s game against Nebraska — good idea to try to come into Lincoln on good terms I guess. But one part of this just jumps off the page if you’re Nebraska.
Yeah, we’ve heard a lot about how Idaho lost four starters on its offensive line, but the Vandals gave up four sacks to North Dakota.
Freakin’ North Dakota? I’m guessing today will be a very long game for the Idaho offense facing the Blackshirts.
Check it out:
Release from Idaho sports information:
The leap from week one to week two of the University of Idaho’s football season is quantum. After a comfortable opener at home against North Dakota (a 45-0 victory), the Vandals are off to Lincoln, Neb., where the No. 6/7 Cornhuskers await with more than 80,000 fans at the ready.
It is a secret to no one that Nebraska – a 49-10 winner over Western Kentucky in its opener, packs a wallop.
“Both those quarterbacks are very, very talented,” Idaho coach Robb Akey said of Husker quarterbacks Cody Green and Taylor Martinez, who had the best game ever by a Nebraska freshman quarterback with 127 rushing yards and 136 passing yards.
“They’ve got a very good offensive front. They’ve got two wideouts that stand out in my mind. They’ve got good guys carrying the football at running back. They’re a well-round team. We’ve got to be prepared to handle the whole package.”
To say the least. Eleven players carried the ball for Nebraska in its opener, while seven caught passes. The story was the opposite in Moscow where 11 players caught passes from Nebraska native Nathan Enderle, the Vandals’ senior quarterback who completed 26 of 39 for 333 yards in the opener. Out of the backfield, junior Princeton McCarty led the charge with 89 yards on 12 carries and Kama Bailey, another junior, added another 50 yards.
Akey said the Vandals’ focus is on building on the opener with pinpoints on reducing the penalties, protecting Enderle while pressuring Nebraska’s QBs, and converting third downs– an area where Idaho was among the nation’s leaders in 2009.
To achieve those goals, the Vandals need to handle the Nebraska defense.
“They’re quite a challenge,” Akey said. “They look very impressive to me. As a defensive coach, they’re fun to watch. … It’s going to be a challenge, yes, but I think our guys are up to it.”
Enderle was sacked four times in Idaho’s opener. All in the first half. Adjustments at the break changed things and, not only was Enderle unscathed in the second half, but the Vandals offensive effectiveness soared.
“We got it cleaned up at halftime,” Akey said. “That’s part of growing up; that’s part of gaining experience.”
As for Enderle, it’s a chance to play in his home state. “It’s going to be fun,” he said. “I have a lot of family and friends who are going to be there.”
It also is a chance for the Vandals to take stock of their progress as a program.
“They’re very talented. We respect what they do,” said Enderle, whose collegiate debut was before a full house against USC at the Coliseum in 2007. “We want to go in there and really kind of measure ourselves up and see where we sit.”
A lot has been made of the Vandals’ revamped offensive line after the graduation of four starters. What Enderle is seeing is a unit that can adjust on the run and one that absorbed what the talented 2009 unit had to show.
“Even though we have a young offensive line, they’ve been around the program for a while,” he said. “They learned some good habits from the older guys last year.”
As far as returning to the stadium that is a mecca for thousands of Nebraskans?
“If you’re a sports fan (in Nebraska), you like the Huskers,” he said. “That’s a great tradition and history there.”