BOISE, Idaho – There is one thing a team must do when playing the country’s sixth-ranked team. It must play error free.
Idaho did anything but in the early going against Boise State and again found itself in a deep hole with the game barely underway. The Vandals continued to stumble and by day’s end lost 63-25 to the Broncos on a chilly Saturday afternoon at Bronco Stadium.
Seven Idaho turnovers, five interceptions and two fumbles, turned into 28 BSU points. Idaho gained some momentum late in the first half with a DeMaundray Woolridge one-yard touchdown run that cut the Broncos’ lead to 35-17, but that momentum disappeared after BSU’s Titus Young returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.
“They got that storm going early, and that storm is what’s hard for everyone to survive,” Idaho head coach Robb Akey said. “When they get their storm going, that’s what’s gotten them games. That’s why they’re still undefeated.
“We didn’t get it handled well enough. Even still, when we made something happen, we had a chance to get that momentum back, and the kickoff return really hurt.”
Offensively, Idaho out-gained Boise State to the tune of 514 yards, 209 on the ground and 305 through the air, but the Vandal defense wasn’t able to slow down the Broncos, which gained 458 yards and benefitted from short fields on multiple occasions.
Woolridge finished the game with a career-high-tying 143 yards and two touchdowns, while sophomore quarterback Brian Reader was 17-of-27 for a career-high 305 yards with one touchdown, but had five passes intercepted and was sacked twice.
“This team won’t quit,” Akey said. “They’ll keep fighting, they’ll keep playing, but we’ve got to play more effectively and we didn’t play effectively at any point in time today.”
Idaho’s early bobbles led to the Broncos taking a quick 14-0 lead. Reader’s fumble on the Vandals’ first possession led to a four-play, 15-yard scoring drive that was capped by Moore’s four-yard pass to Austin Pettis. The two-point conversion – a pass from Pettis to Kyle Efaw, put the Broncos up 8-0 with 12:11 left in the first.
The Vandals’ next possession didn’t go any better with Daniel Hardy bobbling a pass that wound up being intercepted by Derrell Acrey and again leaving the Broncos in favorable field position. This time Moore needed just two plays to cover the 31 yards to the end zone with Young’s TD catch a 25-yarder with 10:46 left in the opening period. This time, the two-point conversion pass failed and BSU led 14-0.
Once they held onto the ball, the Vandals mounted a 79-yard drive that consumed 4:18 and wound up with Woolridge breaking free for a 29-yard scoring run with 6:28 left in the first. Trey Farquhar’s PAT kick was good to close the gap to 14-7.
The Broncos responded with 66-yard drive that needed just seven plays with the seventh an eight-yard pass from Moore to Pettis with 4:35 left in the first. Kyle Brotzman’s kick made it 21-7.
Idaho came back on its next possession but this time wound up with a 30-yard Farquhar field goal with 12:46 to go in the first half to trim BSU’s lead to 21-10.
The Broncos scored on their next two possessions - a one-yard run by Jeremy Avery and a 20-yard reception by Pettis to go up 35-10.
Woolridge, a bright spot in the Vandals’ day, churned through from the one to cap a nine-play, 83-yard drive to cut the Bronco lead to 35-17 but after that it was all BSU.
Reader was intercepted three times in the second half, including one by BSU’s Kyle Wilson that was returned 71 yards for a touchdown. Idaho managed another score late in the fourth, as Reader hit Princeton McCarty on a swing pass that went 52 yards, while Deonte` Jackson ran in a two-point conversion.
Idaho will have a bye week before returning home to face Utah State on Senior Day at the Kibbie Dome at 2 p.m. on Nov. 28.
Asst. Media Relations Director (WBB, Soccer, T&F)
University of Idaho Athletics