Report card: Robb Akey fails mid-term
There’s really not much to say about this one, even for those of us unfortunate enough to have sat through the entire game. The Vandals went down to San Marcos, Texas, with an opportunity to bury the demons of the first half of the season. 0-5 could have given way to 2-0 in the conference. Instead, it gave way to the realization that the Vandals are significantly behind their peers in the WAC — and that the rest of the season will only get more difficult.
It’s hard to blame Idaho quarterback Dominique Blackman for not finding a comfort zone Saturday. The offense is built on rhythm and the Vandals were never able to get their offense into a groove when the Bobcats ate up the clock for 35 minutes.
Still, Blackman has seemed to regress from the quarterback Idaho saw through the first four weeks. Perhaps it’s because of how defenses are starting to play him. With the deep ball still not a consistent facet of the Idaho passing game, the Texas State defensive backs were quick to get to Idaho receivers in the short passing game.
The thing about Idaho offensively is that it feeds off of big plays, either of their own doing or the defense getting a turnover that sets up Idaho in good position to score. If those plays are absent, not enough facets of the offense are working at the same time for long drives to be sustained. That also goes both ways. Idaho turned the ball over three times, giving the ball back to a Texas State offense that kept eating clock. Those things wear on the offense.
Frustratingly enough, this is the game where Idaho ran the ball somewhat well. Idaho’s top three running backs, Ryan Bass, James Baker and Todd Handley, totaled 111 yards on 6.9 yards-per-carry. But of course, playing the entire game from behind took the luxury of being able to consistently run the ball away from Idaho.
Idaho’s inability to put everything together offensively had a lot to do with what Texas State did offensively — abuse the Idaho defense. The Vandals didn’t seem adequately prepared for Texas State’s spread-option attack, giving up 337 rushing yards to the home team.
Bobcat quarterback Shaun Rutherford ran the offense with efficiency, missing on only five throws en route to 182 passing yards and 85 rushing yards. Idaho’s defensive line couldn’t get the interior push to bother Rutherford and rush his decision making, while the speed in the back seven wasn’t good enough Saturday to prevent Texas State from getting the edge on runs.
The dominating time of possession wore down the Idaho defense, which gave up 24 of the 38 Texas State points in the second half.
Return Game: The return game hasn’t showed up all season, so we’re dropping them from the class roster.
Trey Farquhar missed his one and only field goal attempt from 53 yards out in the first quarter that could have made the game 7-3. It was Farquhar’s first miss of the season from over 50-yards. That was pretty much an omen for how the rest of the game went.
Bobby Cowan punted really well. We wouldn’t expect anything less.
As for the return game, we’ll have to go see who’s on the wait list.
Sean Kramer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org