2021 FCS Season Preview: Idaho Vandals

Paul Petrino and company were eight points away from being 0-6 in the spring season. The Vandals out-schemed EWU in the first game of the season, but their only other win would be a one-point escape from the clutches of Southern Utah. To their credit, there was a slew of injured Vandals and backups filling in unexpectedly. If the Vandals can stay healthy will it make a difference against a tough schedule?

Schedule

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Kibbie Dome. Capacity 16,000. Photo via Walsh Construction.

Key Players

Hayden Hatten – Receiver – 6’2″ 210 lbs. – Sophomore

Hatten became a quick favorite in the passing game even as an underclassman. While Idaho’s quarterback situation continues to unravel Hatten and Cutrell Haywood continue to impress with their natural ability to find the ball and fancy footwork to earn extra yards.

Tre Walker – Linebacker – 6’1″ 240 lbs. – Junior

Walker finds himself on almost every preseason watch list that there can be. Buck Buchanan, Preseason Big Sky Defensive MVP, and several All-America lists. It is not hard to find praise for Walker and very little criticism even from the most bitter of rivals. Walker is a naturally talented linebacker who should have no problem topping the conference’s statistical charts.

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Coach Paul Petrino. Record 30-59 (All Idaho, 1-0 in Bowls). Photo via USA Today.

Predicted Finish

10th. I hope for Tre Walker’s sake I am wrong, but there could be only as few as three times that the Vandals are going to be favored this season. Idaho has a very talented roster, but the schedule simply does not bode well unless they find a starting quarterback to carry the team. Until they find a quarterback to sew the seams together with it will be another rough patch for the Vandals.

Records
Best: 5-6
Worst: 2-9
Predicted: 3-8 (2-6)

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