Vandals open up 2017 season on SWX - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandals open up 2017 season on SWX

Vandals begin season on Thursday Aug. 31 against Sacramento State Vandals begin season on Thursday Aug. 31 against Sacramento State

By Idaho Athletics

Idaho vs Sacramento State
Thursday, Aug. 31 | 6 p.m. PT
Moscow, Idaho | Kibbie Dome
TV:
SWX / Altitude / ESPN3
Radio: Vandal Radio Network / GoVandals.com

TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE

THE GAME: Idaho kicks off the 2017 season Thursday, hosting Sacramento State. The season gets underway at 6 p.m. PT, from the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho. The Vandals won their 2016 season opener, snapping a streak of five straight losses in season debuts.

WATCH LIVE: The game will be televised by SWX and carried on its sister stations throughout the Northwest, in addition to Altitude and ESPN3. Sam Adams will handle play-by-play with Mike Peterson providing analysis and Lindsay Joy on the sideline.

Channel Finder
SWX – Cable:
Time Warner 1245, Comcast 306, CableOne 466; Over The Air: Spokane 6-2; Tri-Cities 25-3; Boise 7-2; Twin Falls 20-2
Altitude – Satellite: DirecTV 681, DISH 413
ESPN3 – ESPN.com/Watch or the ESPN App

LISTEN: Dennis Patchin is in his third season as the radio voice of the Vandals. Patchin will call play-by-play alongside Vandal legend Ryan Phillips, who will provide color commentary. The game can be heard on the Vandal Radio Network and online at GoVandals.com. Find stations on the network HERE.

ABOUT SACRAMENTO STATE: The Hornets returns 21 starters from last season's 2-9 campaign, including 11 on defense. The game marks a return to the Palouse for Sacramento State head coach Jody Sears, a native of Pullman, Wash. Sears attended Pullman High School before playing at Washington State.
All-Time Series: Idaho leads 1-0

STREAKING INTO 2017: Idaho won its final five games of the 2016 season, including a thrilling 61-50 victory over Colorado State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. It is tied for the 10th-longest active winning streak in the county. The last time the Vandals won six consecutive games was 1994 (seven games; Sept. 3-Oct. 22).

WINNING THE TURNOVER BATTLE: Under Paul Petrino, Idaho has seen its success in the win column tied almost directly to winning the turnover battle. In 2013, Petrino's first season, the Vandals committed more turnovers than their opponent nine times. In the following years that number decreased to seven, five and eventually just four times last season.

TACKLE CANCER: Saturday is the Tackle Cancer Game, and Idaho will be honoring two members of the Vandal Family before and during the game. Late Director of Football Operations Mark Vaught passed away in 2014, after a battle with cancer. His widow Bailey Stokes, will present Idaho junior linebacker Ed Hall with the Mark Vaught Memorial Scholarship Award prior to the game.

Idaho will also pay respects to Jace Malek, who passed away in 2016. Malek was diagnosed with cancer on the eve of National Signing Day in 2015. Paul Petrino and the Vandals honored Malek's scholarship and made him a student assistant coach. Throughout the season, the student-athlete who shows the most grit and determination in each game is awarded a #99 helmet sticker in memory of Malek's courage and fighting spirit.

FAN FESTIVITIES: Pregame festivities begin at 3 p.m., with the Idaho Fan Zone at the grass field on the north side of the Kibbie Dome. The carnival-like atmosphere will include food vendors, children's activities, local musicians and a separate area for a student tailgate. The first 12,000 fans in attendance Aug. 31, will receive a free t-shirt to help "White Out" the Dome.

NINE WINS: Idaho's nine wins in 2016 match the most victories by the Vandals since joining the NCAA FBS ranks in 1996. Idaho also won nine games in 1998, including a victory in its first bowl appearance. It is tied for the third-most wins in school history. The Vandals won at least nine games nine times from 1982 to 1994, including two seasons with 11 wins.

SIX CONFERENCE WINS: Idaho won six conference games last season, tying for third in the Sun Belt with a 6-2 league record. It was the first time the Vandals won six games in conference play since winning the 1992 Big Sky championship with a 6-1 record.

HOMEGROWN: Idaho football's roster features 21 student-athletes from the state of Idaho. Of the 21 Idahoans, 11 are from Northern Idaho and another seven Washington residents are from within 75 miles of the campus. Nine of the 28 local products are featured on this week's two-deep.

ROAD WINS: Idaho picked up four road wins last season, the most since also winning four road games in 1999. It was the third time since joining the FBS Idaho won four road games and the second time in school history the Vandals won four road games against NCAA FBS opponents. The four road wins in 2016 came on the heels of winning just two road game in the previous five seasons.

PICKED SIXTH: Idaho was picked to finish sixth in the Sun Belt Conference, as voted on by the league's 12 head coaches. The Vandals tied for third in the Sun Belt last season, posting a 6-2 conference mark. Idaho was picked to finish eighth in the 2016 preseason poll before going on to nine wins and a bowl championship.

"We had a great season last year, finished it with a bowl victory, and we were picked to finish sixth in the league. That kind of puts a chip on everybody's shoulder and lets you know nobody thinks you've arrived. So it's time to go do it again."
       - Head Coach Paul Petrino

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