Kris Olugbode smashed his way into the end zone for the offense’s 10th touchdown and coach Paul Petrino blew his whistle, signaling the conclusion of Idaho’s third spring scrimmage.
The 10-touchdown mark has been Petrino’s standard for the offense throughout spring ball, as well as the number of scores it would need to finalize each scrimmage. Olugbode, fellow tailback Jerrel Brown and quarterback Chad Chalich did so in timely fashion Saturday in the Kibbie Dome, outscoring the defense 60-6 during the last scrimmage before Friday’s Silver and Gold game.
In comparison to the team’s second scrimmage, when the defense had a leg up and managed 18 points of its own, the offense produced a much-improved effort, allowing four less turnovers while thriving on the big play.
“Generally, we’re going to go until we get 10 touchdowns, so how many plays it takes to get to those is usually who won,” Petrino said. “Last week it took 175, I think this week it took 120 so that means the offense played a little better.”
The offensive onslaught commenced with a 17-yard pass from Chalich to Maurice Trotter and continued when Brown ran in from nine yards out. Taylor Davis connected with Roman Runner for 55 and 17-yard touchdown heaves before the offensive coordinator pulled from his bag of tricks, sending receiver Marquan Major into the backfield. Chalich snapped the ball, handed off to Major who snaked around to the sideline and sprinted 60 yards into the end zone.
Idaho’s redshirt freshman quarterback from Coeur d’Alene upped the ante during scrimmage number three after having thrown three interceptions and fumbling three more times during the second scrimmage.
Chalich completed 27 of his 40 attempts for 319 yards and two touchdowns, while not allowing a single turnover.
“Each week I’m going to get more confidence, this offense is going to get more confidence and keep getting better each week,” Chalich said. “I felt like I did alright, there’s always room for improvement but I did my best.”
Though the offense had a field day, the Vandal defense had reason to celebrate on a few occasions — first when defensive end D’Mario Carter came a few yards away from being the third defensive player to return an interception, picking off Davis and returning it for 84 yards before being dragged down short of the goal line.
Defensive end Maxx Forde would ensure the defense didn’t leave without a pick six when Forde snagged another of Davis’ pass out of the air and outran the offense 61 yards for the only defensive touchdown of the afternoon.
Carter also recovered an Addison Palomino-forced fumble on the 2-yard line midway through the scrimmage. Trey Williams and James Randall also accounted for one interception apiece, picking off Davis each time.
“Definitely felt in the first series we came out as a defense hard and aggressive, played pretty fast and flowed to the ball,” Carter said.
Jesse Davis continued to play on the offensive side of the ball, filling in on the shorthanded offensive line. Quarterback Austin DeCoud, who hasn’t taken a snap at his natural position since the team’s first scrimmage, played safety and wore the No. 21 jersey for the second consecutive scrimmage. Petrino said Davis will play on both sides of the ball come the fall season, and that DeCoud would continue to see time in the defensive secondary for the moment.
Idaho hosts the annual Silver and Gold scrimmage at 6 p.m Friday in the Kibbie Dome. The Vandals open up the fall season August 31 at North Texas.
Theo Lawson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org