51 weeks later, Idaho gets first victory

The Vandals beat Temple for their first win since last October.

STAFF AND WIRE REPORTSSeptember 29, 2013 

APTOPIX Temple Idaho Football

Idaho quarterback Chad Chalich has his helmet twisted by Temple linebacker Sharif Finch during the second quarter. No flag was thrown on the play. The nation’s worst pass-blocking offensive line gave the redshirt freshman from Coeur d’Alene a huge boost Saturday, surrendering only two sacks and allowing Chalich to gain more than 400 yards of total offense.

DEAN HARE — Moscow-Pullman Daily News / AP

MOSCOW - Idaho's milestones were many Saturday afternoon on the Palouse: A 300-yard passer, a 100-yard rusher, a 100-yard receiver and no turnovers.

And, more importantly, the first victory of the coach Paul Petrino era.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Chad Chalich threw for 310 yards and a score and rushed for 114 yards, and true freshman Austin Rehkow made four field goals to help the Vandals hold off a late-game surge and beat Temple 26-24 before 15,323 fans on homecoming day in the Kibbie Dome.

It was Idaho's first win - after 10 straight losses - since a 26-18 victory over New Mexico State on Oct. 6, 2012, in Moscow.

True freshman Richard Montgomery added 102 yards and one touchdown on five receptions.

Rehkow's four field goals covered 39, 30, 38 and 25 yards.

"Our team played well today, especially the young guys,'' said Petrino, whose team is 1-4. "Chad grew today as a quarterback. That kid is so tough. I love the way he plays.''

Chalich, who was sacked a nation's-worst 26 times in the first four games, was dropped only twice against Temple despite a patchwork offensive line that included true freshman Steven Matlock (Capital High) starting at guard.

"They stepped forward. They held on. They were tough. They grinded,'' Petrino said. "I'm just proud of all of them.''

Chalich's production on the ground included a 52-yard run. He is the first Idaho quarterback to rush for more than 100 yards since Doug Nussmeier cranked out 107 in a 1993 win over Boise State. Chalich also completed 26-of-43 passes, with a long of 64 to Montgomery.

"It is a great feeling, and a great team effort considering we are such a young team, but they all stepped up tonight,'' Chalich said.

Idaho had command in the first half with a 17-3 lead, but the Owls (0-4) of the American Athletic Conference (formerly the Big East) made it interesting by outscoring Idaho 21-9 in the second half.

"We played a good defensive game in first half, but we missed some big tackles in the second half,'' Petrino said. "We came out and looked soft defensively to start the half. ... We need to keep pushing and get better.''

The Owls' rally included a Kenny Harper 5-yard run for a score in the third quarter and Connor Reilly's 51-yard pass to Ryan Alderman with 12:59 left in the fourth quarter to make it a 23-17 game.

With 3:23 left, Temple put together a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard Harper TD run to bring the Owls within 26-24.

"We played much better in second half, with more continuity, but Idaho is a much better team than their record shows,'' first-year Temple coach Matt Rhule said. "I am proud of the way they kept fighting and never gave up.''

After Temple's final score, Idaho ran out most of the clock, leaving the Owls offense only 10 seconds. A couple of Hail Mary passes were incomplete.

Defensively, it was a pair of upperclassmen who provided the Vandals' punch. Junior defensive end Maxx Forde tallied two tackles for loss and four quarterback hurries, and senior defensive tackle QuayShawne Buckley accounted for three tackles for loss.

Junior college transfer Marc Millan led the effort with nine total tackles and Christian Whitehead, who moved into the starting lineup this week, had eight.

"This is just the start. It’s still a process and we’re still going to get knocked on our butt some other time this year. That’s just the facts of life. But we’re going to fight everyone that wants to. We’re not going to back down to anybody. We’re going to fight everybody. We’re going to get better, and we might get knocked down,'' Petrino said. "… But come next year and the future from now on out, everybody in the Sun Belt better look out. We’ll be the ones that are the big bullies, whoopin' them.''

Idaho - an independent program that moves into the Sun Belt next season - hosts Fresno State next Saturday.

UC DAVIS 30, IDAHO STATE 13

DAVIS, Calif. - Randy Wright threw for 201 yards, and Gabe Manzanares rushed for a career-high 208 yards to lead UC Davis to its first win of the season.

The Aggies (1-4, 1-0 Big Sky) had to hold on for the win as Justin Arias, who threw for 214 yards, led Idaho State (2-2, 0-1) back in the fourth quarter.

The Bengals, trailing 16-0 as the final quarter began, scored 13 unanswered points.

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