Idaho camp report: Petrino has a bad day, good day

Coeur d’Alene product Chalich produces big in Saturday scrimmage.



    POCATELLO — Players report to Pocatello on Monday, and the first practice is scheduled for Tuesday. Scrimmages are scheduled for Aug. 20, Aug. 24 and Aug. 28. The Bengals open their season Sept. 7 against Dixie State.

The Idaho football team put on full pads for the first time Friday, and coach Paul Petrino found the effort lacking.

“I thought it was terrible — wasn’t happy with it at all,’’ he said. “It was not a good day. There were about three individuals who practiced really hard, the rest of them wasted today. It’s unacceptable.’’

On Saturday, after the Vandals’ first scrimmage of fall camp, Petrino had much better things to say.

“There was execution on both sides of the ball,” he said. “Guys competed. There was hard hitting going on.”

The offense produced 10 touchdowns and two field goals.

On defense, sophomore end Quinton Bradley was a one-man wrecking crew with four tackles for loss (seven total), and two sacks. Junior college transfer Marc Millan tallied a team-best nine tackles, while freshmen Jordan Grabski and Jack Tate each had an interception. Sophomore Solomon Dixon had three of the team’s eight pass breakups.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Chad Chalich completed 14-of-27 passes for 171 yards. He threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more in a showing of physicality that Petrino likes to see in all of his players.

All told, the four quarterbacks — senior Taylor Davis, transfer Joshua McCain and freshman Matt Linehan completed 34-of-63 attempts for 460 yards.

Leading the receivers was Dezmon Epps, who pulled in 10 passes for 151 yards and three touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Deon Watson — a high school teammate of Chalich’s — caught five passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns.

The quarterbacks used 13 receivers.

Petrino said he would like to see more from the running game, but was quick to note the potential is there — particularly in the form of speedy freshman Richard Montgomery. He had 10 carries for 93 yards.

The workhorse of the backfield was transfer Jerrel Brown, who turned in 82 yards on 25 carries. Collectively, the Vandals covered 275 yards on the ground.

“Our young class is exciting,” Petrino said. “There is a bunch of speed — fast playmakers. What’s the most exciting is they’re just a bunch of guys that like football who enjoy coming to practice. They have a great attitude.”

While he said review of the tape will tell the full story, Petrino’s initial reaction was: “The defense kind of dominated up front and the offense probably dominated in the skill. We need to get to more 50-50.”

Double days are on tap for the Vandals when the second week of camp opens. The second scrimmage is set for next Saturday morning.

Idaho opens the season at North Texas on Aug. 31 with a road trip to Wyoming on Sept. 7.

The Vandals’ home opener is Sept. 14 versus Northern Illinois.


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