Vandals picked fourth, fifth in WAC

July 26, 2012 1:04 p.m. - Updated: 1:04 p.m.

In preseason polls released today at the WAC football preview in Las Vegas, the Idaho football team was tabbed to finish fifth by the league's coaches and fourth by the media. Louisiana Tech was the overwhelming favorite in both polls to win the league in what is likely to be the final year of WAC football.

Interim WAC commissioner Jeff Hurd said today it's “much more likely” that Idaho and New Mexico will go the independent route than the league being able to reconstitute itself after mass defections.

For more on Idaho's perspective, click below.


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UI media relations released this story from Las Vegas. UI starts fall practice on Aug. 2.

The operative word for the Idaho Vandals throughout spring, summer and now into fall is Finish.

With that focus, Coach Robb Akey’s Vandals can turn the close calls of 2011 into victories in 2012 and achieve their goal of a Western Athletic Conference title, Akey and his players said Thursday at the annual Western Athletic Conference Football Media Day at Las Vegas.

“Finish has become a strong motto of this team,” said Akey, whose team was projected by the WAC coaches to finish fifth and by the WAC media members to finish fourth. “It all starts with fall camp next week.”

Cornerback Aaron Grymes and receiver Mike Scott joined Akey at the annual previews of teams, which this year includes Louisiana Tech (voted No. 1 in both polls), Utah State (second in both), San Jose State (third in both) as well as New Mexico State, Texas State and UT San Antonio.

As the Vandals head into fall camp, they’ll be sorting out who the starting quarterback will be along with the players in the trenches who will protect him. Proven receivers, tight ends and running backs return but starters and rotations need to be cemented. Defensively, a more experienced unit returns with starters and players with significant game time back at virtually every position.

“Pride and family are going to be among our strengths,” Akey said. “That has grown. It matters a lot with your football team.

“Our defense did some really good things over the course of spring ball. If we stay healthy, we have a chance to be pretty good there. Offensively, there are some pretty good weapons. We have the best punter and one of the best placekickers in the country.”

Players report Aug. 1 with their first practice Aug. 2 at 3:30 p.m. Idaho opens the 2012 campaign on Aug. 30 at home against Eastern Washington University. Kickoff is 6 p.m.

 


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