Start Time: 5:00 P.M. ET, Saturday, Sept. 19
Location: Kibbie Dome, Moscow, Idaho
Records: Idaho 0-2, Wofford 1-1. First meeting between the two programs.
Live Stats: here.
Betting Line: No line.
Idaho Outlook: The Idaho Vandals have struggled in the opening two weeks of the season in losses to Ohio and USC.
The Vandals offense has been decent in the passing game, but one of the poorest in the nation rushing the football so far this season. Idaho is averaging 2.8 yards per carry and only 85.5 yards per game, despite averaging 30 carries per game. Running back Elijhaa Penny (32/103/2TD) has done everything in his power to turn around the rushing attack with only two lost yards on rushes for the season. The problem becomes finding any hole formed by the offensive line. Idaho is better passing the football, with Matt Linehan (56-80/491/2TD) leading the way. His 245.5 yards per game in the air has been spread to Dezmon Epps (15/160/0TD), Deon Watson (11/114/1TD), and Jacob Sannon (11/86/0TD). The trio have combined for 37 of the 64 completions on the season.
Where to start on defense? The Vandals ran into the buzzsaw that is USC in week two but were not much better in week one versus Ohio. The defense has given up... take a breath... 613 yards per game, 8.9 yards per play, 368.5 passsing yards per game with 11.9 yards per completion, 244.5 yards on the ground per game with 6.5 yards per carry, 58 first downs, and 52.0 points per game. Chris Edwards (16 tkl, 1 tfl) and Marc Millan (13 tkl, 1 tfl) lead a defense that has made five tackles for loss and two sacks on the season.
Wofford Outlook: The Terriers are a run first, run second, and maybe pass if needed type of team. Wofford has carried the ball 114 times on the season for 569 yards while only attempting 27 total passes for 206 yards. Will Gay (26/103/1TD) is the only 100+ yard rusher on the season for a running game that handed the ball off to 12 different players in two games. Overall, the rushing attack is averaging 284.5 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry on the season. The Terriers will throw the ball rarely with Evan Jacks (7-12/115/0TD), but are willing to try pass attempts with nearly anyone as three other players have tried pass attempts.
Wofford is solid on defnse with opponents averaging 5.8 yards per play and 403.5 yards per game allowed, exaggerated due to the Clemson game. Opponents have been able to run the ball at 5.0 yards per carry versus the Wofford defense, but have struggled passing with only 6.5 yards per pass attempt. Nick Ward (11 tkl, 1 INT), Drake Michaelson (11 tkl, 1 tfl, 1 sack), and Daryl Vining (11 tkl, 0.5 tfl) are the players to watch on a Terriers defense that has only seven tackles for loss and three sacks.
Prediction: The Terriers will not be an easy out for Idaho in this game. Idaho needs, more than anything, a confidence building game that can lead to a possible winning streak in the Sun Belt. I fully expect both teams to be able to score lots of points while unable to stop their opponent in a high-scoring game. Turnovers will determine who wins this game, but I feel that Idaho should be able to hold on for the tight win.