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Idaho Vandals 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart

Idaho Vandals 2017 Preview

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The Idaho Vandals are hoping to make their last season in the FBS one to remember.

Overview: The Idaho Vandals won nine games including the Potato Bowl a year ago and should have enough offense to cause problems for opponents although head coach Paul Petrino has some holes on the defensive side of the football.

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Idaho Vandals 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart

USA TODAY Sports

Offense: Quarterback Matt Linehan is the undeniable leader of the Idaho offense as he spread the ball around and was highly efficient with a 62% completion rate. A few of the Vandals top receivers are gone so Linehan and the receiving corps will depend on Rueben Mwehla, Jacob Sannon and a few youngsters to keep the chains moving. Idaho wasn’t much of rushing threat but the expectations are higher with Aaron Duckworth and Isaiah Saunders competing for carries. The Vandals return a trio of offensive linemen with starting experience and they have size but depth is definitely a worry especially if the injury bug bites.

Defense:  The Vandals were solid against the run and poor versus the pass a season ago but things could be reversed in 2017. This is because the defensive line lost four of their top five in this unit which wasn’t deep to begin with so the Vandals have questions aplenty up front. The Idaho pass defense in 2016 was non-existent at times and poor overall and some injuries were partly to blame but the pass ‘D’ could get a boost if CB Dorian Clark and safety Jordan Grabski make a return from injury. Fortunately, the Vandals linebacking crew of Ed Hall, Kaden Elliss and Tony Lashley were more then capable versus the run and pass but they did receive help from the D-Line a year ago and that might not be the case in 2017.

Special Teams: Idaho was a top 20 special teams unit in 2016 but the unit needs an overhaul and will likely fall in the national rankings especially with the big foot of Austin Rehkow impossible to replace.

Outlook: I would love to see Idaho end their FBS run with another Bowl win but the receiving corps, running game and defensive line need to prove themselves on the field and we also can’t assume the pass defense will be solid either so I’m not confident of a postseason bid and I hope I’m wrong.

Schedule:

8-31 vs. Sacramento State

9-9 vs. UNLV

9-16 @ Western Michigan

9-23 @ South Alabama

10-7 vs. UL Lafayette

10-14 vs. Appalachian State

10-21 @ Missouri

10-28 vs. UL Monroe

11-2 @ Troy

11-18 vs. Coastal Carolina

11-25 @ New Mexico State

12-2 @ Georgia State

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