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Idaho Vandals 2014 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2014-15 Season Previews – (Sun Belt) Vandals

The Idaho Vandals have landed in the Sun Belt Conference, and now hope to be able to find some wins in their new home. The biggest anchor holding the Vandals down is Boise State’s dominance on the recruiting trail.

Of the 12 games the team played last season, 10 yielded double-digit defeats. Now, as a member of the Sun Belt, they need to bring the program up to some level of respectability. The team has won only four games over the last three seasons, and has only one winning season since 1999, coming in an 8-5 2009 campaign.


2014 Preview: Idaho Vandals
Coach: Paul Petrino
2013 Record: 1-11

Head coach Paul Petrino came to town with a lot of promise, and still has the Vandals brass thinking big things are on the way, even if he only helped the team to one win in his first year of service. That year proved that even with the right guy at the helm, turning this program around is going to take some time.

On offense, the Vandals occasionally had some success through the air, but still managed only 18.2 points per game while playing against lax defenses. Staying on the field has to be a key point of emphasis for an offense that has hovered around a 30 percent conversion rate on third downs over the last three years.

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The team’s offensive line should be a strength this season with a number of returning starters. The unit allowed 52 sacks and 106 tackles for loss a year ago, and they can’t get much worse than that. Getting the running game going has to be something the coaching staff figures out in short order.

Senior wide receiver Dezmon Epps is the team’s top player on that side of the ball, and the team’s quarterbacks will need to find a way to get the ball into his hands. He’ll be surrounded by a group of experienced receivers that will take some of the load off his shoulders, but again, the quarterbacks will need to find a way to get the ball out there.

The team’s defense was among the worst units in the nation a year ago. The Vandals finished dead last in the country in scoring defense, and going up against Florida State certainly didn’t help their cause in that department.
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The Vandals will employ a deep rotation this season, with plenty of experienced players in the mix as they hope to improve on last year’s disappointing unit. The defensive line was far too permissive against opposing rushing attacks a year ago, and weren’t able to get to the quarterback with enough consistency either, though the pass-rush would have to be considered a strong point last season.

Senior defensive tackle Quayshawn Buckley was the best of the bunch, getting into the backfield for seven sacks and 16 tackles for loss a year ago. He has the kind of skillset that attracts pro scouts, and could be getting paid to play ball a year from now.

The secondary allowed opponents to do what they wanted through the air. The secondary allowed 40 touchdown passes, including seven performances in which opposing throwers lit them up for 300 or more yards, including 400-plus yard efforts by North Texas and Fresno State, and a 533-yard performance by Old Dominion. The team’s offense can’t keep up with that kind of production, so the defense needs to keep things respectable.

2014 Idaho football gambling prediction: 3-9

The team has a fairly soft schedule. The Vandals will play only three teams that went bowling a year ago. Opening the season against Florida isn’t favorable, but at least they’ll get that one out of the way. Getting South Alabama at home means a long trip for the Jaguars, so that’s one the Vandals definitely need to win.

2014 Idaho schedule:

  • 8/30 at Florida
  • 9/6 at Louisiana-Monroe
  • 9/13 Western Michigan
  • 9/20 at Ohio
  • 9/27 South Alabama
  • 10/4 at Texas State
  • 10/11 at Georgia Southern
  • 10/18 New Mexico State
  • 11/1 Arkansas State
  • 11/8 at San Diego State
  • 11/15 Troy
  • 11/29 at Appalachian State

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