Welcome to “And Goal To Go. A new series where I will give my 4 things to watch, know or expect for the Vandals upcoming game and a score prediction.
The mighty Vandals return home for their home opener. They will be facing D-II Central Washington under first year head coach Chris Fisk.
First Down & Goal
Central Washington is a question mark at the quarterback position. The Wildcats have a new head coach, a new quarterback coach in Kelly Bills and only one player back with any significant time. The quarterback position in Ellensburg consist of three returning player and three true freshman. Nothing we’ve found says Central has named a starter, but they do have some guys who can play. My three projected quarterbacks we should expect to see are:
Most likely to Start: Branden Miles
He is a 6-foot-3 Transfer following Coach Bills from Weber State. He saw some time on Weber State’s back-to-back Big Sky Championship teams
Second-most snaps: Tai-John Mizutani
Mizutani hails from Honolulu. He is fourth all-time on the islands for passing yards in a career and a game. Yes, that same state which has produced QBs like Marcus Mariota, Tua & Taulia Tagovailoa and Milton McKenzie.
The other guy: Christian Moore
The returning 6-foot-5 redshirt sophomore had 10 appearance last year for the Wildcats as the backup.
Second Down & Goal
Is our revamped secondary as bad as it looked vs Penn State, or were we just playing a top 15 FBS team that is just that good? We have one of the Big Sky’s leading pass defenders in senior Llyod Hightower, a Cotton Bowl contributing transfer Davontae Ginwright from Western Michigan, and Tyrese Dedmond has another year of experience. One of our last Potato bowl contributors in senior Sedrick Thomas. Plus, added depth in junior college signee Satchel Escalante. As I mentioned in first down, they are facing a rather inexperienced group of QBs from a D-II school. We should see improvement from the Vandals here.
Third Down & Goal
We hope our secondary is revamped and that our defensive line is reloaded. We have had so many great defensive linemen in past few seasons such as Maxx Forde, Benson Mayowa, Aikeem Coleman, Quinton Bradley, DJ Henderson and so on. Kayode Rufai and gang looked good against Penn State early. Then, well, they never got off the field. This game should help build some momentum as Kayode, Kim, Akanno and both of the Elliss’ should live in the backfield against this inferior offensive line.
Fourth down & Goal
A quarterback competition. We’ve kept hearing about a competition at the spot going all the way back to last season. But, the snap tallies tell a very different story. Mason Petrino had 275 more pass attempts than Colton Richardson last season. Richardson battled injuries, to be fair, but even before the injury it was obvious who was going to be taking more snaps. We also learned Mason had a separated shoulder all season which makes you wonder why he was even playing. Mason threw the ball 17 times last week, more than Richardson’s nine attempts. Let’s just please make this an actual competition and give both QBs a fair shake and see who comes out on top.
Chris: Idaho 54 Central Washington 6
TJ: Idaho 27 Central Washington 17
Brian: Idaho 42 Central Washington 28
Sean: Idaho 41 Central Washington 17
Marten: Idaho 49 Central Washington 13