Vandals start quick, finish slow at North Texas

Idaho loses its third straight season opener, plays at Wyoming next.

STAFF AND WIRE REPORTSSeptember 1, 2013 

DENTON, Texas - The Idaho Vandals scored a touchdown on their first drive of the season.

They missed the PAT.

And didn't score again.

North Texas quarterback Derek Thompson threw for 349 yards and two TDs in a 40-6 victory Saturday. It was the opener for both teams.

Redshirt freshman Chad Chalich threw a 59-yard pass to tight end Mike LaGrone, and a quick 6-yard touchdown pass to fullback Jake Manley in the first possession of the game. Austin Rehkow's first collegiate PAT was blocked.

The Vandals recovered the ball on the ensuing onside kick but were unable to gain any momentum.

Chalich finished 19-of-27 for 230 yards in his college debut, and added 42 yards on the ground, but Idaho struggled with 11 penalties for 95 yards, three lost fumbles and ragged special teams play.

North Texas, out of Conference USA, outgained the Vandals 591-390.

"We hurt ourselves," said coach Paul Petrino, who made his Idaho debut. "More than anything, we got our butts kicked up front.

"It's about 11 guys doing their job together. We hit a couple big plays. There we some we could have hit. It's sad when you leave them out there."

Idaho transfer Dezmon Epps caught seven passes for 89 yards, and transfer running back Jerrel Brown turned six carries into 70 yards.

Thompson completed 23-of-27 passes for North Texas, while running back Brandin Byrd scored two TDs on 57 yards rushing.

"We kept shooting ourselves in the foot," Idaho linebacker Mark Millan said.

Idaho plays at Wyoming next Saturday; the Cowboys lost at Nebraska on Saturday 37-34.

The Vandals' home opener is against Northern Illinois on Sept. 7. Northern Illinois opened its season with a 30-27 victory at Iowa on Saturday.

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service