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Vandals have no margin for error

by MARK NELKE
Sports Editor | November 20, 2010 8:00 PM

Sure, the prospects of having to beat Utah State, Fresno State and San Jose State in the next three weeks to become bowl eligible is a little bit more doable for the Idaho Vandals than, say, going through the meatgrinder of Hawaii, Nevada and Boise State, which they just did.

But the reality is, Utah State is 3-0 vs. the Vandals in Robb Akey's tenure as Idaho coach.

"They've battled their tails off the last two weeks and come away with wins," Akey said of the Aggies. "They're feeling good about themselves and they're playing at home, and they beat us here last year."

Idaho (4-6, 1-4 Western Athletic Conference) travels to Logan, Utah, today to play Utah State (4-6, 2-4). The Vandals need to win their three remaining games to reach seven wins, which would make them bowl eligible.

Utah State has been up and down this year, but has been up of late, beating New Mexico State and San Jose State — albeit the worst two teams in the WAC — the past two weeks. The Aggies have also beaten BYU, and lost by just seven points in their opener at Oklahoma.

Utah State senior quarterback Diondre Borel, who has given Idaho fits in the past, has gained more than 500 yards rushing and scored six touchdowns. He’s passed for 1,964 yards and eight touchdowns with nine interceptions.

“I know they’re not happy about everything that has happened to them,” Akey said, “but I do know they’ve won their last two ballgames, and there’s excitement coming out of their camp right now.”

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