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Idaho Vandals Football Predictions and Preview with 2011 Schedule
Robb Akey took over the Idaho Vandals coaching duties in 2007 and turned in a 1-11 report card. That was followed up by a 2-10 season before 2009's 8-5 performance and a win in the Humanitarian Bowl. Last season the Vandals went 6-7 and did not go to a bowl game but after a decade filled with losing seasons you'd have to say that Akey has done a good job in Idaho.
But it's doubtful Idaho can do much better than 2009's 8 win season. They are a classic example of a team caught in the middle. There is a big gap between Idaho and the cream of the crop. 3 losses last season drive home that point. 45-10 to Hawaii, 63-17 to Nevada and 52-14 to Boise State. Those kinds of scores against those kinds of teams remain constant as you look back over the last several Idaho seasons. Until those gaps are closed and we see more competitive games against top teams, we'll look at the Vandals as a mediocre at best football team.
It's difficult to make a case for the Vandals closing those gaps this season. They must replace QB Nathan Enderle as well as several skill positions including Running Back and Wide Receiver. The offense will have 6 returning starters in all and has their work cut out for them based on last year's showing.
The defense has problems of it's own. They return 7 starters but must replace key starters such as Safety Shiloh Keo who goes to the NFL as well as their leading tackler from a year ago Robert Siavil. They also must replace a couple of starters on the line. This was a defense that gave up 28 points per game last season ranking just 95th in the nation in total defense. We don't expect much improvement on this side of the ball if any.
The good news for Idaho is that Boise State is gone. Take that guaranteed loss of their dance card. They still get Hawaii and Nevada as well as a couple of tough non conference games but they will also get cracks at some teams that they were able to hang with such as Fresno State and Louisiana Tech not to mention teams they have been able to beat. You can make a case for a 7 win season if they were to win each and every game that looks to be within their reach. We'll call it another 6 win season for the Vandals.
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Idaho Vandals 2011 Football Schedule
9-1-11 BOWLING GREEN (Thur.)
9-10-11 NORTH DAKOTA
9-17-11 at Texas A&M
9-24-11 FRESNO STATE
10-1-11 at Virginia
10-8-11 LOUISIANA TECH
10-15-11 at New Mexico State
11-5-11 at San Jose State
11-12-11 at Brigham Young
11-19-11 UTAH STATE
12-3-11 at Nevada
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