It was a painful lesson, but in their return to the Big Sky Conference a year ago, the Idaho Vandals learned there is no such thing as extraneous turf. It all has to be defended. It can all be exploited on offense.
Will it be a trip to the playoffs or an early offseason for the Vandals this year?
From now on, Idaho will be into a regular-season routine of preparing for upcoming opponents, beginning with Penn State Aug. 31. But as the team leaves behind running endless reps of the same plays every day, punctuated with several scrimmages, head coach Paul Petrino came away from that grinding exercise feeling he has something to work with.
With two weeks to go before the season opener, Idaho’s practices will begin to focus heavily on its plan for Penn State, according to head coach Paul Petrino.
In the competitive manner of brothers, Kaden and Christian Elliss kept a running tally of their respective exploits as members of the Idaho Vandals’ defense last season.
Gawlik comes to Idaho after 25 years in athletics administration at the University of Wisconsin, including 14 years as Senior Woman Administrator.
But, in the early sessions of preseason camp, veteran receivers Jeff Cotton and Cutrell Haywood have played lights-out, and the secondary, of late, has begun to rise to the challenge. From whatever angle it is viewed, Idaho’s glass might really be half full.
Two seasons ago, Dylan Thigpen was a breakout star in Idaho spring football. Every practice he pressed the defense. In a notable run in a scrimmage, he cleared a gap in the middle of the line and outran pursuers for a 67-yard touchdown.
Terry Gawlik, senior associate athletic director for sports administration at the University of Wisconsin, has been hired to head the University of Idaho athletics department.
The first practice was complete, and Jeff Cotton and Cutrell Haywood came off the field Saturday in the early Palouse twilight with the purposeful, satisfied air of people who had done a job of work.
The business of constructing an identity for the Idaho Vandals begins Saturday when they practice as a team for the first time in the 2019 preseason.
Idaho suffered a rude awakening in its return to the Big Sky Conference last season.