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2003 PREVIEW: Idaho Vandals

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For yet another year the offense moved the ball and put up points on the board. For yet another year the Vandal defense played like it wasn't even there giving up points and yards in bunches. Head coach Tom Cable will be looking to do anything to slow down opposing offenses to give his own offense time to shine. With a quarterback like and a great offense, the team will be involved in some shootouts and will give defenses more than their share of the problems. The offense needs more consistency, but they'll be great against average teams. And then there's that defense. So can football be any better? There aren't many offensive powerhouses in the Sun Belt, yet teams had little trouble scoring as UL Monroe put up 34 points, UL Lafayette 31, 36 and 35. Heck, even DI-AA Montana hung up 38 in a win. The talent still isn't there on the defense, but it's more experienced. If there isn't more production and more wins, next year's lookahead will be about how the new coach is going to do in .

Vandals
Team Information
Head coach: Tom Cable
4th year: 8-26
Returning O Lettermen: 17
Returning D Lettermen: 19
Returning ST Lettermen: 2
Lettermen Lost: 17
Ten Best Players
1. QB , Sr.
2. P , Sr.
3. DT , Sr.
4. OT , Sr.
5. C , Sr.
6. LB , Sr.
7. DE Brandon Kania, Jr.
8. CB Rod Bryant, Sr.
9. OG , Sr.
10. WR , Sr.
2003 Schedule
8/30 at St
9/6 Eastern Wash
9/13
9/20 at
9/27 at Montana
10/4 at St
10/11
10/18 MTSU
10/25 at UL Lafayette
11/8 at St
11/15 at UL Monroe
11/22
The Schedule: The Vandals aren't going to touch or Washington early, but they must beat Eastern Washington and Montana. With the two best Sun Belt teams, and , right off the bat in conference play, has to find some positive success somewhere. This isn't going to be easy with seven road games, but and MTSU have to come to Moscow. Best Offensive Player: Senior QB . He improved his decision making and became one of the better unknown quarterbacks in America. With two years of experience and a knowledge of the system, he should have another huge season. Best Defensive Player: Senior DT . Howard is a tackling machine on the inside finishing third on the team with 54 tackles last season while making five sacks and ten tackles for loss. He's the team's best pass rusher. Key player to a successful season: The entire defense. Cornerback Rod Bryant has to lead the way as a clamp down corner. The defense has to be more physical and has to make more plays. It'll all start in the secondary with a group of defensive backs that has to cover someone. The season will be a success if: wins five games. The two DI-AA games certainly aren't gimmes, but a D-I team has to win games like that. If the Vandals can get on the right side of the close games they were involved in last year, a five-win season is possible. Key game: Sept. 13 vs. . The in-state rival had a relatively tough time with the Vandals last year (at least compared to most of the other teams blew up against.) While probably won't win this game, a good outing against a great offense will do wonders for the overall confidence of the team before getting torched by Washington. 2002 Fun Stats:
  • Penalties: Opponents 92 for 898 yards - 79 for 743
  • 3rd down conversions: 80 for 193 (41%) - Opponents 58 for 158 (37%)
  • Rushing TDs: Opponents 32 - 14
    2003 Recruiting Class
    Star of the Class
    WR 5-11 175 Mesa, Ariz./Scottsdale CC Dan Aizpitarte DL 6-3 240 Emmett, /Emmett HS
    Akeem Anthony TB 5-6 160 T acoma, Wash./Lakes HS
    Cody Ballard DT 6-4 240 Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield CC
    Bobby Bernal-Wood WR 6-2 190 Seattle, Wash./Butte CC
    Curtis Bibolet S 6-3 215 Santa Ana, Calif./Fullerton CC
    Josh Bousman LB 6-3 210 Tacoma, Wash./Tacoma Baptist HS
    DL 6-5 240 Los Angeles, Calif./Los Angeles Southwest CC
    Ernest Davis DL 6-6 230 Los Angeles, Calif./Los Angeles Southwers CC
    Lee Jones DB 6-1 180 Seattle, Wash./O¿Dea HS
    Chris Joseph QB 6-3 190 Fresno, Calif./San Joaquin Memorial HS
    Chris Kehne WR 6-4 190 Temecula, Calif./Chaparral HS
    Cliff Mason TE 5-10 205 Santa Ana, Calif./Santa Ana Valley HS
    Eric McMillan CB 5-10 180 Murieta, Calif./Murieta Valley HS
    Eric Nave C 6-3 245 Rathdrum, /Lakeland HS
    Brian Nooy QB 6-3 185 Pendleton, Ore./Pendleton HS
    Chad Pool LB 5-10 180 Las Vegas, Nev./Las Vegas HS
    *J.R. Ruffin CB 5-11 195 Detroit, Mich./Citrus CC
    Sam Tossie LB 6-1 240 Hutchinson, Kan./Hutchinson HS
    Justin Wall WR 5-11 195 Hendersonville, Tenn./Moorpark CC
    Colin Whitney TE 6-4 225 Coeur d¿Alene, /Lake City HS
    CB 5-9 170 Oakland, Calif./Skyline HS
    *Potential Instant Impact Players
  • Tagged: North Texas, Boise State, New Mexico State, Arkansas State, Idaho, Utah State, Arizona State, Washington State, Texas

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