[Vision2020] This is One Series Worth Reruns

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Sun Sep 16 07:11:41 PDT 2007

>From today's (September 16, 2007) Spokesman Review -


This is One Series Worth Reruns

John Blanchette 
The Spokesman-Review

Idaho wide receiver Max Komar, left, hauls in a touchdown pass in the first
half against the defense of WSU's Alfonso Jackson. The Spokesman-Review
(Photo Courtesy: Christopher Anderson The Spokesman-Review )

PULLMAN - Yes, please, let's end this series now.

If Washington State and Idaho can't summon up a better amusement than the
one staged here Saturday night, then surely mothballs are preferable to

Imagine - not even 450 yards of offense and barely 50 points between the two
teams in the first half. Incompletions reversed upon review into touchdowns.
A dewy-behind-the-ears freshman quarterback matching a heralded senior TD
pass for TD pass.

Yes, such a drear fest must surely die.

And no one cares. Only 32,064 turned out at Martin Stadium with the game
available on any TV set in the Palouse, and the guess here is the main
attraction was a chance to flush the new toilets.

Why, the last time the Cougars drew such a paltry audience - OK, a more
paltry audience - they were playing the 10th-ranked team in the country.

On homecoming.

While we're at it, let's cancel that, too.

And Idaho has obviously thrown in the towel on the whole concept. Having
lost the previous six meetings with Wazzu by an average score of 42-11, they
were toast here after falling behind by 17 points. Deonte Jackson running
over people and Max Komar pulling passes down from Pluto after that point,
well, that must have just been muscle memory.
Please, put such an unsightly display out of our misery.

And the halftime show. Would you believe sousaphone players in skirts
assembling a human pyramid?

OK, maybe we can do without sousaphone players in skirts. Actually, no
maybes about it.

But as for the rest of it, sarcasm aside, let's do it again.

Real soon.

"I would love to play them for the rest of my career here," Jackson said
with conviction. "I would."

Seconded. Especially if the alternative on the Cougar schedule is Portland
State. Which it is, come 2008.

Perhaps the final accounting - WSU 45, Idaho 28 - doesn't properly reflect
how competitive this exercise was, but it was also about right, the Vegas
wiseguys be damned. The Vandals wouldn't have taken any consolation in
losing by a last-second field goal, either, but they deserved more than to
have this masquerade as a blowout.

Even new Idaho coach Robb Akey - Bill Doba's former defensive lieutenant at
Wazzu - suddenly seemed a little wistful about the series going on hiatus.

"We have to live with this for a while until we can get them back on (the
schedule)," he said. "Obviously I'd like to have another shot at it."

The Vandals held serve this night until WSU's Devin Giles made a splendid
interception and the Cougars got a field goal out of it late in the second
quarter, and even after twice seeing the deficit grow to 17 points this was
always a game.

There were lots of ways to measure that. One was heard in the press box,
with the fourth quarter maybe a minute old, the score 38-28 and the Vandals
looking at a long third down from midfield.

"This probably qualifies as a big play," somebody said.

And what do you know? Somebody made one. Two somebodies, in fact. Idaho
quarterback Nathan Enderle put the ball right in the hands of Rolly Lumbala,
but it slithered through and Wazzu's Chima Nwachukwu glommed on to it for
his first career interception.

That signaled an end to the drama, but not a surrender.

Perhaps that's a hint that Akey has already had a measurable impact in both
the approach and outlook at Idaho - and, along with the ex-WSU aides now in
his employ, goosed the temperature of this game a bit.

"Just knowing they were going to be on the sidelines added a little more to
the game," said WSU safety Husain Abdullah. "As much as we love those guys
and miss them, for four hours or however long the game is, they're going to
be after us. We've got to make sure we're on the top of our game."

Over the years, harvesting verities from the Cougars' "play-down" game and
applying them as predictors pretty much has been folly, and so it went with
this one. Despite improvements, it was again made clear that Wazzu needs a
more ferocious pass rush and steadiness in the secondary, though four
interceptions will make for a happier film review today.

Otherwise, it was a revelation that Jackson and Komar were every bit as
effective as WSU running back Dwight Tardy and any of the gifted Cougar
receivers. And it was all very Coug that we were treated to the stylings of
three different placekickers before Doba ever got around to subbing at

One driving motivation for interrupting the Battle of the Palouse is the
fear of the coaching staffs - or at least one of them - that the battle
might spill into some Palouse nightspots, player grudges from the field
being held over.

Never mind 7 p.m. kickoffs that inspire the student body into a full day of
pre-game functioning and the peacekeeping risks inherent in that.

And, yes, the Vandals need a bigger payday for their "play-up" game. So
there are all sorts of good reasons for these teams not to play.

They just weren't evident Saturday night.


Vandal Highlights,

First Vandal touchdown.

Second Vandal touchdown.

Franks' interception.

Third Vandal touchdown.

Fourth Vandal touchdown.

Seeya round town, Moscow.

Seeya at the games, Vandals.

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho
UI '96

Came a tribe from the north brave and bold . . .

"Here We Have Idaho"

"I-D-A-H-O Idaho Idaho Go Go Go"

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