jtv: Robb Akey’s Weekly Press Conference

13 10 2010

As the Idaho prepares to take on Louisiana Tech, head football coach Robb Akey’s was animated as usual at his weekly press conference.
Among the thinks he discussed…

  • The health of junior runningback Princeton McCarty
  • Louisiana Tech’s revolving door at quarterback
  • The Bulldogs defense (allowed just 6 points last week at Utah State)
  • The benefits of having a bye week before conference play

…as for me, I have to go run some wind sprints!  Coach Akey will tell you why…

*Use 480p setting for better quality

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That’s WAC: Week Five

4 10 2010

SCORES AND SCHEDULE
WAC Non-Conference Record
This Week: 4-1 record, 3-0 vs FBS, 0-0 vs top 25
This Season: 18-18 record, 12-17 vs FBS, 2-6 vs top 25

WAC STANDINGS    
  CONF OVERALL
Boise State  1-0  4-0
Fresno State  1-0  3-1
Hawai’i  1-0  3-2
Nevada  0-0  5-0
Idaho  0-0  3-2
San Jose State  0-0  1-4
Utah State  0-1  2-3
Louisiana Tech  0-1  1-4
New Mexico State  0-1  0-4

Friday, October 1
BYU 16 at Utah State 31 – Final

Saturday, September 25
Idaho 33 at Western Michigan 13 – Final
UC Davis 14 at San Jose State 13 – Final
#3 Boise State 59 at New Mexico State 0 – Final
Cal Poly 17 at Fresno State 38 – Final
#25 Nevada 44 at UNLV 26 – Final
Louisiana Tech 21 at Hawai’i 41 – Final

TOP PERFORMERS
Passing:
1. Bryant Moniz, JR (UH): 42-58, 532 yds, 4 td vs Louisiana Tech
2. Nathan Enderle, SR (UI): 30-49, 380 yds, 3 td, 2 int vs Western Michigan
3. Ross Jenkins, SR (LT): 19-26, 215 yds, 2 td, int vs Hawai’i
4. Ryan Colburn, SR (FSU): 12-17, 215 yds, 2 td, int vs Cal Poly
5. Kellen Moore, JR (BSU): 13-18, 196 yds, 3 td vs New Mexico State

Rushing:
1. Vai Taua, SR (NEV): 19 car, 188, 3 td vs UNLV
2. Lamon Muldrow, SR (SJSU): 22 car, 137 yds vs UC Davis
3. Colin Kaepernick, SR (NEV): 13 car, 97 yds, td vs UNLV
4. Doug Martin, JR (BSU): 10 car, 94 yds, td vs New Mexico State
5. Derrvin Speight, SR (USU): 23 car, 91 yds, 2 td vs BYU

Receiving:
1. Kealoha Pilares, SR (UH): 18 rec, 217 yds, 2 td vs Louisiana Tech
2. Greg Salas, SR (UH): 10 rec, 197 yds, 2 td vs Louisiana Tech
3. Josh Harrison, JR (SJSU): 5 rec, 119 yds vs UC Davis
4. Richie Casey, SO (LT): 8 rec, 98 yds, td vs Hawai’i
5. Eric Greenwood, SR (UI): 6 rec, 82 yds vs Western Michigan

CONFERENCE OUTLOOK
After a disappointing showing last weekend, the Western Athletic Conference bounced back this Friday and Saturday.  Utah State got the party started with a dominant performance against BYU (1-4) on national television, and Hawai’i quarterback Bryant Moniz provided an incredible last call, sending everyone home talking about his 532-yard performance against Louisiana Tech.
Boise State and Nevada continued to solidify their status as national powers this season (might be a stretch for the Wolfpack, but I still believe they will be a 1-loss team come December), while Idaho bounced back after a disappointing loss to Colorado State (1-4) by crushing Western Michigan (1-3) on the road (albeit committing four turnovers).
Fresno State did what they were suppose to against an FCS-foe in Cal Poly (3-2).  The talented (for their classification) Mustangs hung around until halftime, then the Bulldogs put them away in the second half with a solid ground attack that finished with 253 combined yards rushing.
In fact, the WAC was a San Jose State away from a perfect weekend.  The Spartans – who I am now convinced is the least talented team in the conference – were out scored 14-0 in the second half by UC Davis (2-3), who notched just their second victory in school history over an FBS opponent.





WAC Pigskin Picks

2 10 2010

Last Week: 8-1  Overall: 14-3

Coming off my most successful week since I started doing my ‘WAC Pigskin Picks’ (this in only week four – yes, the sample size is small people), Idaho was the only team to let me down last week.  I was as caught off guard by Colorado State quarterback Pete Thomas as the Vandals defensive was, as the Ram freshman threw for 386 yards in a 36-34 victory.
But this is a new week, and I expect Akey’s Army to march into Kalamazoo and show everyone their a much better team than what they showed last week.

Idaho (-3.5) at Western Michigan
Kalamazoo, Michigan – 11:00 PM (on KLEW-TV)

  • The Lowdown
    What a difference a week makes.  At this time last Saturday Idaho’s defense was ranked 7th in NCAA in passing yards allowed a game (120.5 yds/gm), and had all the confidence in the world following a 30-7 win over UNLV.  Senior defensive end Aaron Lavariaus called it the best defensive showing he’s seen in five years on the Palouse, as head coach Robb Akey continue to tout the unit as one that “could be special.”
    Then that Vandals (2-2) ran into a freshman quarterback named Pete Thomas and the Colorado State Rams (1-3).  Thomas threw for more yards (386) in four quarters last Saturday than Idaho had surrendered in the 12 previous periods of play combined (361).
    “I hope that our defenses stingers are a little bent and that I’ll see some irritation come out of them,” Akey said at his weekly press conference.  “One ballgame isn’t going to kill us and I’m not going to let it.  I hope it will spark us.”
    Today, we’ll see how quickly the Vandals can get back up.  They face Western Michigan (1-2), a team that ranks 4th in the NCAA with 332.0 passing yards a contest.
    Sophomore signal-caller Alex Carder is coming off a 403 yards performance against Toledo, in which he chucked the rock 64 times, completing 43 passes.
    Senior wideouts Jordan White and Juan Nunez are two of the best the Mid-Atlantic Confernce, as the duo has combined to catch 52 passes for 586 yards in three games.
  • Prediction
    The good news hidden in all this is about the Vandals offense.   Senior quarterback Nathan Enderle is coming off a season-high 347 yard-performance, as wide receivers Maurice Shaw, Preston Davis and Justin Veltung (14 rec, 192 yds, 2 td) are all starting to get healthy.
    What this means – much like last year – Idaho can afford to get into a shootout with any one, as long as the defensive can get a key stop late in the game when in matters.
    The way I see it, this group has too much experience and too much pride to resort back to their playing days of 2009.  Led by Shiloh Keo, the Vandals force at least three takeaways and chalked up their third win of the season.

Idaho 37 at Western Michigan 28

“The Others”
* Record entering play today
UC Davis (1-3) 16 at San Jose State (1-3) 23- 5:00 PM

  • Right now, San Jose State is battling with New Mexico State for a label nobody wants. Worst team in the conference.  The Spartans got boat-raced by Utah 56-3 last week, and their lone victory on the season was a 16-11 nail-biter against FCS-foe Southern Utah.  I think San Jose State pulls it out, but it will be interesting.

#3 Boise State (3-0) 51 at New Mexico State (0-3) 3 – 5:00 PM

  • This is an interesting matchup. Wait… I mean uninteresting.  Boise State is one of the best teams in the nation (duh!), while New Mexico State is one of the worst teams in the nation (duh!).  The Broncos will build a three touchdown lead by the early second quarter (if not the end of the first quarter) and turn this WAC-matchup into a snooze-fest faster than BSU head coach Chris Petersen would bench one of his star-wideout for an unsportmanslike conduct celebration penalty.  (Sorry, Austin Pettis.)

Cal Poly (3-1) 17 at Fresno State (2-1) 38 – 7:00 PM

  • It appears Fresno State is suffering from an identity crisis.  In game one, quarterback Ryan Colburn threw for 247 yards and four touchdowns in a 28-14 win over Cincinnati.  In game two, sophomore runningback A.J. Ellis rushed for 165 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-24 victory over Utah State.  Then in game three, it was back to the air, as Colburn passed for 390 yards and four touchdowns in a 55-38 loss to Mississippi.
    The trend says they go back to the ground, but it really doesn’t matter how they get it done.  For and FCS-team, Cal Poly is good.  But not good enough to take down the Bulldogs.

#25 Nevada (4-0) 48 at UNLV (1-3)14 – 7:00 PM

  • After cracking the top-25 for the first time since the 1950’s, this is a perfect matchup for Nevada.  Senior quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be riding high heading into this instate rivalry game, and show put a hurtin’ on a young UNLV squard that has struggle so far this season.

Louisiana Tech (1-3) 17 at Hawai’i (2-2) 31 – 8:30 PM

  • Louisiana Tech is a team that is build.  Hawai’i is doing the same, but has proven they’re a little further ahead.  Junior quarterback Bryant Moniz has show he’s ready to be ‘next’ on the list of talented Warrior signal-callers.




That’s WAC: Week Four

27 09 2010

SCORES AND SCHEDULE
WAC Non-Conference Record
This Week: 3-6 record, 2-6 vs FBS, 1-1 vs top 25
This Season: 14-17 record, 9-17 vs FBS, 2-6 vs top 25

WAC STANDINGS    
  CONF OVERALL
Fresno State  1-0  2-1
Nevada  0-0  4-0
Boise State  0-0  3-0
Idaho  0-0  2-2
Hawai’i  0-0  2-2
Louisiana Tech  0-0  1-3
San Jose State  0-0  1-3
New Mexico State  0-0  0-3
Utah State  0-1  1-3

Saturday, September 25
Idaho 34 at Colorado State 36 – Final
Nevada 27 at BYU 13 – Final
New Mexico State 16 at Kansas 42 – Final
Southern Mississippi 13 at Louisiana Tech 12 – Final
Fresno State 38 at Mississippi 55 – Final
Utah State 7 at San Diego State 41 – Final
#24 Oregon State 24 at #3 Boise State 37 – Final
San Jose State 3 at #13 Utah 56 – Final
Charleston Southern 7 at Hawai’i 66 – Final

TOP PERFORMERS
Passing:
1. Bryant Moniz, JR (UH): 19-27, 395 yds, 6 td, 2 int vs Charleston Southern
2. Ryan Colburn, SR (FSU): 32-42, 390 yds, 4 td vs Mississippi
3. Nathan Enderle, SR (UI): 25-30, 347 yds, 3 td vs Colorado State
4. Kellen Moore, JR (BSU): 19-27, 288 yds, 3 td vs Oregon State
5. Tarik Hakmi, SO (LT): 22-35, 262 yds, td, 2 int vs Southern Mississippi

Rushing:
1. Doug Martin, JR (BSU): 19 car, 138 yds vs Oregon State
2. Vai Taua, SR (NEV): 29 car, 133, td vs BYU
3. Colin Kaepernick, SR (NEV): 17 car, 82 yds, td vs BYU
4. Deonte Jackson, SR (UI): 11 car, 77 yds vs Colorado State
5. Seth Smith, SR (NMSU): 16 car, 52 yds, td vs Kansas

Receiving:
1. Titus Young, SR (BSU): 5 rec, 136 yds, td vs Oregon State
2. Greg Salas, SR (UH): 7 rec, 131 yds, 2 td vs Charleston Southern
3. Jamel Hamler, JR (FSU): 8 rec, 130 yds, td vs Mississippi
4. Matt Lindsey, SO (FSU): 6 rec, 102 yds vs Mississippi
5. Marcus Allen, SR (NMSU): 4 rec, 89 yds, td vs Kansas

CONFERENCE OUTLOOK
What a disappointing weekend for the conference.  With the exception of #3 Boise State (because lets face it, they are always the exception), every team that had a chance to prove a point came up empty. 
The biggest letdown was Idaho’s performance against Colorado State.  Taking on a team that entered with the worst scoring offense in the nation (6.3 ppg – 120th in NCAA), the Vandals defense looked much like the maligned unit from a year ago, surrendering 36 points in a loss.  Junior runningback Raymond Carter (25 car, 39 yards in 3 games prior) rushed for 104 yards on 16 carries, as freshman quarterback Pete Thomas (112.5 QB efficiency rating, 1 td, 6 int in 3 games prior) threw for a career-high 386 yards and completed over 78-percent of his passes.
While Hawai’i blew out an FCS school – as FBS teams are suppose to – and Boise State topped #24 Oregon State at home, Nevada – although they won – missed out on an opportunity to really make a statement.  I know this may be a little picky, and that the Wolfpack did jump into the top 25 as a result of the win, but BYU is down this season.  Way down.  Led by freshman Jake Heaps at quarterback, the Cougars rank 116th in the NCAA in offense (15.0 ppg) and haven’t been much better on defense (28.3 ppg/allowed ranks 86th).
Had senior quarterback Colin Kaepernick and company put 50-plus points on the board for the third straight game, pollsters would have been put on alert of another potential BCS-buster.  Considering some people are saying the Broncos win over the Beavers wasn’t as dominant as it could’ve been, the point is non-BCS conference teams have to take advantage of every opportunity they’re given, no matter how small.  It’s very realistic the Wolfpack can run the table in the WAC (and even more realistic they’ll suffer at least one loss – see Boise State on November 26) and those given the power of the vote will scrutinize the margin of victory against an unranked that will struggle mightly to qualify for a bowl game.
Other than that, little was expected of both San Jose State and New Mexico State playing on the road at #13 Utah and Kansas.  But Utah State laid a big egg against San Diego State.  The Aztecs are very balanced on offense with plenty of playmakers, but the Aggies were picked by the media to finish in the upper-half of the Western Athletic Conference this Fall.  A 41-7 loss to a team that was slated to finished sixth in the Mountain West this preseason doesn’t do them much justice.
Finally, sure Louisiana Tech showed some grit with a late comeback attempt against Southern Mississippi.  But just like ‘a win is a win’, ‘a loss is a loss’ and the Bulldogs are 1-3 heading into conference play with their only victory having come against an FCS school (Grambling State, 20-6).

STAT(S) OF THE WEEK – IDAHO VANDAL STYLE
The Idaho Vandals entered Saturday contest against Colorado State as one of the best pass defenses in the nation (120.3 yds/game allowed – 7th in NCAA), but sure didn’t show it.  Here’s proof…

  • Games 1-3:
    39-68, 57.4 comp %, 361 yds, td, 4 int – 95.1 qb efficiency rating
  • vs Colorado State:
    29-37, 78.4 comp %, 386 yds, 3 td, int – 187.4 qb efficiency rating

…and in general, big plays were a big problem.

  • Plays of 10+ yards: 19
  • Plays of 15+ yards: 11
  • Playfs of 30+ yards: 3

Defensive end Aaron Lavarias sure did his best to get after the quarterback, registering a career-high three sacks.  The WAC’s reigning defensive player of the week is on the best two game stretch of his career.

  • First 37 career games: 4.0 sacks, 12.0 TFL
  • Last two games combine: 5.0 sacks, 6.0 TFL

Offensively, it seems like the receiving trio of senior Maurice Shaw, junior Preston Davis and sophomore Justin Veltung are starting to get heathy…

  • Games 1-3 (combined stats):
    13 rec, 176 yds, td
  • vs Colorado State:
    14 rec, 192 yds, 2 td

…and quarterback Nathan Enderle sure seemed to be enjoy having them back, throwing for a season-high 347 yards without tossing an interception for the first time this season.

  •  Games 1-3:
    Tossed interception once every 13.9 attempts.
  • vs Colorado State:
    Zero interceptions in 30 pass attempts.

…but in the end, Idaho failed to close out the Rams, much like they’ve done every other team his season.

  • Games 1-3: Outscored opponents 24-7 in fourth quarter
  • vs Colorado: Rams outscored the Vandals 12-7

The two-point defeat was the smallest margin they’ve lost by since falling to Louisiana-Monroe 16-14 back in October 2004.





WAC Pigskin Picks

25 09 2010

With an early kickoff this week, I’m keeping it simple.  I’ll look to build off last week’s success when I went 5-2.  Check it out folks…

Idaho (-7) at Colorado State
Fort Collins, Colorado – 1:00 PM

  • The over/under on this game is 51 points.  I’m taking the under!  Remember, Colorado State possess the worst scoring offense in the nation (6.3 point per game ranks 120th in FBS).  They can’t run the ball (42.7 yds rushing/game ranks 119th), they can’t throw the ball (Pete Thomas’ QB efficiency rating is just 112.5) and they turn the ball over (8-to-1 turnover ratio).
    All this is music to the ears of Vandals head coach Robb Akey.  They make this one look easy in his return to his native-Colorado, however, the Rams won’t score enough to help Idaho get to the over.

Idaho 34 at Colorado State 10

“The Others”
* Record entering play today
Nevada (3-0) 42 at BYU (1-2) 28 – 3:00 PM

  • The Cougars have a viable backup, but will be without their starting quarterback.  The Wolfpack on the other hand, have one of the best college signal-callers in the nation.

New Mexico State (0-2) 10 at Kansas (1-2) 38 – 4:00 PM

  • The Aggies just don’t look very good right now.  And that’s being generous.

Southern Miss (2-1) 27 at Louisiana Tech 13 – 4:00 PM

  • This is still a work in progress for the Bulldogs.

Fresno State (2-0) 31 at Mississippi (1-2) 38 – 4:30 PM

  • The Rebels are talented, but haven’t show their full potential this season.  Expect former-Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli to start hitting his stride this weekend.

Utah State (1-2) 24 at San Diego State (2-1) 34 – 5:00 PM

  • The Aztecs are just too balanced on offense.

#24 Oregon State (1-1) 27 at #3 Boise State (2-0) 31 – 5:00 PM

  • The Broncos ALWAYS show up on national television, but they also ALWAYS like to make it interesting.  They pass the Quizz (Jaquizz Rodgers 103.5 rush yds/game) due to Oregon State lack of an aerial attack.

San Jose State (1-2) 7 at #13 Utah (3-0) 45 – 8:00 PM

  • The Spartans looked aweful last weekend against an FCS opponent.  No way do they even come close against the 13th-ranked Utes.

Charleston Southern (2-1) 17 at Hawai’i (1-2) 48 – 8:30 PM

  • The Warriors have had a pretty challenging preseason schedule.  Finally, they get a game they can relax with.




jtv: UNLV at Idaho

22 09 2010

Miss last Saturday’s big win for Idaho?  No worries, jtv has your back.  Watch all the big plays from the Vandals 30-7 win over the Rebels in just six minutes.

Besides, who doesn’t need a distraction right when they get back from lunch?





jtv: Jackson Doubles (Touch)Down Against Las Vegas

22 09 2010

Idaho senior runningback Deonte Jackson spurned his hometown UNLV Rebels out of high school to head to the Gem State and suit up for the Idaho Vandals.  Last Saturday, the talented speedster showed he made the right choice.

3 – Deonte Jackson              
YEAR ATT YDS AVG LNG TD REC YDS AVG LNG TD
2007 240 1175 4.9 50 7 17 153 9 47 0
2008 161 696 4.3 28 3 16 111 6.9 33 0
2009 87 387 4.4 59 2 10 101 10.1 21 1
2010 23 99 4.3 20 2 3 42 14 19 0
ON PACE 100 429 4.3 19 9 13 182 14 19 0
Team-high