Vandals snap losing streak beating ULM 31-23 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandals snap losing streak beating ULM 31-23

Linehan throws for season-high 360 passing yards in Vandals win Linehan throws for season-high 360 passing yards in Vandals win

By Idaho Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho- Matt Linehan connected with eight different receivers on his way to a season-high 360 passing yards and three touchdowns as Idaho defeated ULM 31-23 Saturday, at the Kibbie Dome to snap a three-game losing streak. The Vandals (3-5, 2-2 Sun Belt) ran out to a 31-7 lead midway through the third quarter, before using a goal-line stand in the final minute to knock off the Warhawks (3-5, 3-3 Sun Belt).
 
Idaho scored the first 21 points before ULM struck with a 54-yard passing touchdown to draw back within two scores. The Vandals executed a two-minute drive at the end of the first half, punctuated by an 11-yard passing score from Linehan to Alfonso Onunwor to take a 28-7 advantage headed into the break. It was Idaho's largest halftime lead since Sept. 18, 2010, when the Vandals hit halftime with a 24-0 lead against UNLV.
 
Senior running back Aaron Duckworth had 77 rushing yards and a touchdown by halftime and helped keep the clock in Idaho's favor in the second half. Duckworth finished the day with 113 yards on 23 carries. It is the third 100-yard game of the season for Duckworth, who entered the week as the leading rusher in the Sun Belt.
 
Cade Coffey connected on a 38-yard field goal to start the scoring in the second half and give Idaho a 31-7 lead. ULM, which entered the game as the second-highest scoring team in the Sun Belt at 36.9 points per game, roared back on the strength of big plays. After scoring 16 unanswered points to make it a one-score game, the Warhawks put together one final drive but Idaho's defense was up to the challenge in the closing seconds.
 
ULM marched 69 yards down to the three yard line. The Vandals kept them out of the end zone on four consecutive plays and took possession on downs with five seconds remaining for Linehan and the offense to kneel out the clock.
 
Kaden Elliss led the defensive effort. Elliss paced the Vandals with 10 tackles, including three for loss and one sack. His third and final tackle for loss came on first and goal during Idaho's game-clinching stand.
 
Elliss was also among Linehan's glut of receiving targets. The junior linebacker who moonlights as a tight end and full back, hauled in a leaping catch in the second quarter, fighting off two would-be tacklers and rumbling for a 45-yard touchdown to give Idaho a 21-0 lead. It is the second week in a row Elliss has notched a receiving touchdown and a sack in the same game. He is the only FBS player in the country to do so this season.

 
David Ungerer also carried over a strong performance from last week. After catching two touchdowns at Missouri, Ungerer caught five balls for 71 yards, including a 29-yard score. The reception and yardage totals are single-game career highs.
 
Idaho is now set to prepare for a road game at Troy on a short week. The Vandals and Trojans will meet Thursday, for an 8:15 p.m. CT/6:15 p.m. PT kick on ESPNU.

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