Game on! Idaho, Montana will renew longtime football rivalry beginning in 2018

The University of Idaho football team returns to the Big Sky Conference in 2018, where the Vandals will renew their yearly rivalry with Montana.
The University of Idaho football team returns to the Big Sky Conference in 2018, where the Vandals will renew their yearly rivalry with Montana.

The Idaho and Montana football teams will renew their century-old rivalry when the Vandals return to the Big Sky Conference in 2018.

Idaho will host Montana at the Kibbie Dome on Nov. 10, 2018. It will be the first meeting between the schools since 2003, when the Griz beat the Vandals 41-28. Montana will then host Idaho in Missoula on Nov. 9, 2019.

“Being from Montana, I have an appreciation for the passion Montanans have for their respective schools. I know Idaho fans have the same devotion for the Vandals,” Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear said. “It will be refreshing to see full sections of silver and gold when we go on the road. It should be a motivator for our student-athletes when they have the support of hundreds, even thousands, of Vandals in an opposing team’s stadium.”

With its return, Idaho replaces Eastern Washington as one of the Grizzlies’ two protected rivals, ensuring that the schools will play each other every season.

Idaho’s other protected rival will be Eastern Washington, but the programs will not play until 2020.

The Idaho-Montana rivalry dates back to 1903 and was played nearly every year between 1914 and 1995. Idaho leads the series 55-27-2, but Montana has won the last four meetings and four of five since Idaho left the Big Sky in 1996 to join the FBS.

This is the Vandals’ final season in the Sun Belt Conference before moving down to FCS.

The Vandals (2-2, 1-0) have the week off after winning their Sun Belt opener in double overtime at South Alabama.

Mangum’s return doubtful vs. Utah State

Tanner Mangum and redshirt sophomore Beau Hoge were listed as co-starters on the depth chart released by the BYU football team on Monday, but don’t expect to see the Eagle High product on the field for the Cougars (1-3) on Friday at Utah State (6 p.m., CBS Sports Network).

Although Mangum is no longer using a scooter to keep weight off his injured left leg, he is not likely to play against the Aggies, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

“He is improving, but it is still too early to make a definitive decision on this weekend,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake told The Salt Lake Tribune.

Hoge started in Mangum’s place against Wisconsin on Sept. 16, completing 11 of 20 passes for 11 yards and two interceptions in a 40-6 loss. The Cougars had a bye last week.

“Tanner’s made some good progress. When he’s ready to go, he’ll get more work,” offensive coordinator Ty Detmer told the Desert News. “Right now, it’s having him ease back until we know he’s back and 100 percent. That’s not my call, that’s the trainer’s call.”

The reeling Cougars did get a bit of good news this week.

Sophomore offensive lineman Tristen Hoge, a graduate of Highland High in Pocatello, was granted an extra year of eligibility, according to

Hoge transferred from Notre Dame over the summer and will now have three seasons to play at BYU.

Bengals happy to be home

After three straight road games, Idaho State will host winless Cal Poly (0-4, 0-1) in a Big Sky matchup at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Holt Arena in Pocatello.

The Mustangs have won six of the past seven meetings against the Bengals (2-2, 0-1) and lead the series 13-7.

But Idaho State appears to have the edge against Cal Poly in 2017.

The Bengals are averaging 30.5 points and 434 yards per game compared to the Mustangs’ 18.8 points and 349.2 yards.

C of I has bye week

The one-win Yotes (1-4, 1-3) plan to have three practices during the bye week in preparation for their Oct. 7 Frontier Conference game at Carroll College (1 p.m., 99.1 FM).

Rachel Roberts: 208-377-6422, @byrachelroberts

Future Idaho football schedules


Sept. 22 at UC Davis

Sept. 29 vs. Portland State

Oct. 6 at Idaho State

Oct. 13 at Montana State

Oct. 20 vs. Southern Utah

Oct. 27 at Eastern Washington

Nov. 3 vs. North Dakota

Nov. 10 vs. Montana


Sept. 28 at Northern Colorado

Oct. 5 vs. Weber State

Oct. 12 at Portland State

Oct. 19 vs. Idaho State

Nov. 2 vs. Cal Poly

Nov. 9 at Montana

Nov. 16 vs. Sacramento State

Nov. 23 at Northern Arizona