2021 FCS Season Preview: Idaho State Bengals

Tyler Vander-Waal is the first quarterback worthwhile watching since Tanner Gueller was at the helm with his brother Mitch. The Bengals new dynamic duo of Vander-Waal and Tanner Conner is one of the more electric combos in the Big Sky Conference. Vander-Waal averages 323.5 yards through the air per game and Conner accounts for 114.2 yards receiving per game. If the turnovers can be cleaned up, will the Bengals be able to spoil the fate of the heavyweights?


Idaho State

HomeAwayVenueMatch Day TV/Streaming Highlights
Holt Arena
Pocatello, ID - -
Mackay Stadium
Reno, NV - -
Holt Arena
Pocatello, ID - -
Walkup Skydome
Flagstaff, AZ - -
Holt Arena
Pocatello, ID - -
Hillsboro Stadium
Hillsboro, OR - -
Bobcat Stadium
Pocatello, ID - -
Holt Arena
Pocatello, ID - -
LaVell Edwards Stadium
Provo, UT - -
Alex G. Spanos Stadium
San Luis Obispo, CA - -
Holt Arena
Pocatello, ID - -
Holt Arena. Capacity 12,000. Photo via Idaho State Journal.

Key Players

Tanner Conner – Reciever – 6’3″ 235 lbs. – Senior

Conner continues to rake in the preseason awards and recognition going into this season. As a top target for Tyler Vander-Waal, Conner looks to have another massive season as the dynamic duo gets another year to wreak havoc on the defenses across the conference. Conner averaged over 100 yards per game receiving and was nearly 400 yards ahead of the next receiver at ISU.

Connor Wills – Linebacker – 6’1″ 227 lbs. – Sophomore

Wills originally planned to play for BYU but plans changed and he found himself in Pocatello, Idaho. Last season, Wills tallied 60 tackles, 1 PBU, and 1 forced fumble. Keep in mind there were only six games played in spring so Wills averaged 10 tackles a game. As such a young talent Wills has a chance to cement himself a very nice Big Sky legacy.

See the source image
Coach Robert Phenicie. Record 15-25 Overall (All ISU). Photo via Idaho State Journal.

Predicted Finish

Sixth. The Bengals are looking to make a brand turnaround with their fancy FBS quarterback transfer. Last year, Vander-Waal was second in passing yards (1,847) and third in touchdowns (12), but he was also first in interceptions (10). The turnover situation will need an immediate remedy for success in 2021 and a tough schedule. Idaho State faces a top ten North Dakota and FBS Nevada early on in the season with a week nine game against FBS Brigham Young University. The Bengals avoid the Grizzlies and the Eagles, but they face the Wildcats, Bobcats, and Aggies within four weeks smack dab in the middle of the season. A favorable schedule lines up for a winning season with plenty of prove-it moments to bolster the resume.

Best: 7-4
Worst: 3-8
Predicted: 6-5 (6-2)