Logan Bushnell and Taylor Davis are close friends who hang out often and room together for road games.
On Saturday, the pair will try to quarterback the Vandals past San Jose State in their first game since head coach Robb Akey was fired and starting quarterback Dominique Blackman was dismissed from the team.
Bushnell, a senior, will start, and Davis, a junior, will play, interim head coach Jason Gesser said.
Its kind of like were fighting for coach Akey under coach Gesser. Were doing it for him, Bushnell said.
The 6-foot-2, 207-pound senior started the season-opening loss to Eastern Washington when Blackman was suspended. It was the first start of his career, and the Vandals lost 20-3.
Its kind of like a redemption thing. These coaches are putting their faith in me, said Bushnell, who has completed 14-of-30 passes for 178 yards and two interceptions in five games.
Bushnell said it is an adjustment preparing to start, but his opportunity at the beginning of the season has prepped him for Saturdays work.
The experience was crucial that game. I learned a lot about myself as a quarterback, he said. The feeling is definitely different. Now you know that first play youre in, that first drive is yours. Youve got to be ready.
Davis played in seven games last year, including three starts. He led the Vandals to a 32-29 comeback victory against San Jose State. Idaho trailed 20-0 in the second quarter, but Davis completed 13-of-20 passes for 162 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Its kind of like a blur. It was a real exciting time for me, Davis said.
The 6-foot-3, 232-pound junior competed with Blackman for the starting job in fall camp but opened the year No. 3 on the depth chart. Davis played in the opener in mop-up duty but has not played since.
Im preparing as if Im starting the game. Its been a while since I played. Ive got to go into it like Im starting the game, Davis said. If I do everything right during practice and watch a lot of film, Ill be prepared for the game.
Gesser said Davis would play in the second quarter for at least one series. After that, he plans to play the quarterback who is most effective. The friendship between the two players should help, Bushnell said, as they often exchange ideas about what defenses are doing.
The main goal for us is to get a win, he said. Whoever is doing the best, I feel, is the guy that should be in there. Whoever puts us in that best situation.