Game #3 • Saturday, September 17 • 4 p.m. PT/6 p.m. CT • Kyle Field • College Station, Texas
UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO VANDALS
#9 TEXAS A&M AGGIES
The Vandals are 1-1 after regrouping for a 44-14 victory over the University of North Dakota last weekend.
Texas A&M played a Sunday night game on opening weekend and dispatched Southern Methodist 46-14.
Robb Akey is beginning his fi fth season as head coach at Idaho. After rebuilding in his fi rst two seasons, his
2009 team won the Humanitarian Bowl and his 2010 team was on the verge of repeating as a bowl team.
He is a graduate of Weber State University and coached for his alma mater (1988-94) as well as Northern
Arizona University (1995-98) and Washington State University (1999-2006) before taking over at Idaho in his
fi rst head coaching job. He is 18-34 and in his fi fth season with the Vandals.
Mike Sherman is a 1977 graduate of Central Connecticut State and is 20-19 as head coach at Texas A&M
– his fi rst post as a head coach but his third stint with A&M, where he coached from 1989-93 and 1995-96.
From 1997 until taking the A&M job in 2008, he coached with the NFL’s Green Bay, Seattle and Houston.
This is the fi rst game between Texas A&M and Idaho.
Saturday’s game is being televised by Fox Sports Southwest on a pay-per-view basis. The game will be carried
nationwide on DirecTV, Dish Network and AT&T U-verse. Cable television subscribers must have digital
cable to order the broadcast. The suggested cost is $39.95. Joel Meyers is calling the play-by-play with Dave
Lapham providing the analysis and Jim Knox providing sideline reports .
Tom Morris (play by play) and Evan Ellis (analysis) again are calling the gameday action with KZFN (FM
106.1) as the fl agship of the statewide, 13-station network. A complete list of stations is on page 3.
Idaho’s captains for the 2011 season are quarterback Brian Reader (Prunedale, Calif.) and tackle Tyrone
Novikoff (Curlew, Wash.) for the offense, tackle Mike Cosgrove (Las Vegas, Nev.) and linebacker Tre`Shawn
Robinson (Upland, Calif.) for the defense, and Tyler Brooks (Orofi no, Idaho) for specials teams.
Kyle Field, home to Texas A&M football since 1927, offi cially seats 82,600 but lists a record crowd of 90,079
for last year’s showdown with Nebraska. It also is home to the famous “12th Man.”
QUOTING COACH KEY
TALK ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND HALVES LAST WEEKEND:
That defense blitzed from all over the place. We were looking for some big hitters in the process of that. Then we got ourselves in a situation with a little quicker passing game and running game continued to click. Brian hit 11 consecutive throws. I know
there was a period of time where he had 15 consecutive completions.
That’s the way we expected things to be going earlier in the ballgame.
From there on, I really thought things picked up very well offensively. As you look at it offensively, there was a need to battle through adversity.
I saw a better result this time. Our defense gave up really one play on
the entire day. I’m disappointed we gave up that play but it was one play and the rest of the time I thought our defense really played well.
Then we got the interceptions at the end of the game. Special teams, we did a better job with the punt return team. We fi elded the balls better. Our coverage was not as good as it needed to be – certainly the punt return. We can’t let that happen again. I’m glad it didn’t make a difference in the ballgame. You want to make a difference on special teams – that’s one third of the game. You want to make sure that difference is to your advantage. That grand scheme of things – a slow start to a hot fi nish, that’s what took place within it.
WHAT ADJUSTMENTS DID YOU MAKE AT HALFTIME: Just executing
those things – what you saw at the end of the second quarter. We
really felt like there were some runs we left out on the field. That’s why
we wanted to come back to them. Now our guys understand how to
make that cleaner and how to make that happen.
TALK ABOUT GOING TO TEXAS: It’s important to go down there and
play well. Our Texas players are fired up about it. Our whole football
team is going be fired up about this game. We’re playing the No. 9 team in the country. Every guy loves to get the opportunity to play back at home in front of family and friends. We’ve changed the image of our
football team and people respect what we’re doing and it has helped
us in recruiting.
HOW DOES TEXAS A&M RANK WITH OTHER NON-CONFERENCE
TEAMS YOU’VE PLAYED IN THE PAST:
This would be the best nonconference team we’ve played since I’ve been here. They’re ranked ninth in the nation. They’re tall. They’re fast. They’re a very, very good team. You take a look a the way the closed the season last year, they were probably the hottest team in the Big 12 at the end of the season. They have a number of those guys back. This is a tremendous football team. I’m excited to take our guys down there. This is going to help our football team get better. That is one of the great environments in college football. Kids are going to be excited about that. We’ll get in there the day before so they can look up. I want to get the looky-loo stuff out of the way the day before so that when we come in there and play, we’re coming in there to play the game. We’re going to go down there and play as fast as we can, as hard as we can, as long as we can.
COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS: Senior linebacker Tre`Shawn Robinson was chosen the defensive player of the week for the Western Athletic Conference by www.CollegeSportsMadness.com. CSM choose the highest impact players nationally and in each conference.
WATCH FOR THEM: Two players on the Paul Hornung Watch List, which honors versatility, are squaring off at Kyle Field Saturday afternoon. Idaho’s Justin Veltung, receiver and kick returner, and Texas A&M’s Cyrus Gray, a running back with more than 5,000 career all-purpose yards, both are on the Hornung list.
THREE NEW FACES: Offensive line coach John McDonell is one of
three new coaches on the Idaho staff this fall. Along with him are running backs coach Jason Gesser and cornerbacks coach Torey Hunter. All were associated with Idaho head coach Robb Akey when he was an assistant at Washington State University.
HOME GAMES TO START: The Vandals open the 2011 season with
back-to-back games in Moscow for the fi rst time since 1991 and only the sixth time since 1930 when the Vandals take on Bowling Green State University on Sept. 1 and the University of North Dakota on Sept. 10.
THURSDAYS: This is the second year in a row the Vandals opened on a Thursday night.
TIME ZONES: Idaho plays in all four time zones on the continent. Games range from Virginia in the Eastern time zone to Texas A&M in the central time zone to New Mexico State and BYU in the Mountain time zone and San Jose State and Nevada in the Pacific time zone.
SPECIAL DAYS: Idaho marks three special occasions this fall with Sept. 10 vs. North Dakota Military Appreciation Day, Sept. 24 vs. Fresno State is Dads’ Weekend, and Oct. 8 vs. Louisiana Tech is Homecoming.
IT’S A RELATIVE THING: Idaho has three sets of brothers on its 2011
roster: junior running back Ryan Bass and his younger brother Dion
Bass, a cornerback; Dallas (offensive line) and Corey (linebacker) Sandburg both are freshmen but Corey joins the team after a stint in the military, and twins Jeremiah and Joshua Walters – both linebackers. And cousins Mike and Brad Marboe add to the family feel.
OVERSEAS CONNECTIONS: The Vandals have two international players – sophomore linebacker Jeffrey Bediako of The Netherlands, who attended Boise (Idaho) High School on exchange, and freshman long snapper Marius Burgsmueller is from Germany and found his way to Idaho via former Vandal Patrick Venzke, an offensive lineman on the 1998 Humanitarian Bowl Championship team.
ONE OF A FEW: Burgsmueller is one of just a handful of freshmen long snappers in the country. There are only eight others among the nation’s Football Bowl Subdivision teams. The others are Navy’s Joe Cardona, Louisville’s Grant Donovan, Vanderbilt’s Andrew East, Arizona’s Josh Elias, Wake Forest’s Logan Feimster, Syracuse’s Sam Rodgers and North Carolina State’s Scott Thompson. Burgsmueller joined the Vandals last spring after enrolling in the University of Idaho after moving here from his native Dortmund, Germany. German schools do not have sports teams so his access to football was through a club.
KEEP AN EYE OUT: Two Vandals – kicker Trey Farquhar and receiver
Justin Veltung, have made preseason watch lists. Farquhar is on the
Lou Groza list, which recognizes the nation’s best collegiate kicker, and Veltung, who has made his mark as a receiver and kick returner for the Vandals, is on the Paul Hornung Watch List, which honors the game’s most versatile player.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE AWARDS WEEK #1: Idaho
punter Bobby Cowan earned honorable notice after the fi rst week of the season by College Football Performance Awards for his punting average of 48.33 yards. That includes a booming 71-yarder.
STILL NOT A RECORD: Speaking of Cowan, his 71-yarder against Bowling Green State was most impressive but it still isn’t an Idaho record. That mark, which appears untouchable, is an 83-yarder by Vandal Athletics Hall of Famer Flip Kleffner in 1953. To his credit,
Cowan has a 67-yarder as a freshman and a 65-yarder as a sophomore.