Midway through the third quarter Saturday, the Idaho Vandals were well on their way to a second Sun Belt win of the season.
By the end of the game, they had that sinking feeling that comes with blowing a 20-0 lead.
Taylor Lamb threw three touchdown passes and Michael Rubino knocked home a 31-yard field goal as Appalachian State rallied to a 23-20 win in the Kibbie Dome.
“It’s a hard one to take,” said Idaho coach Paul Petrino, whose team has had trouble playing well in the second halves of games. “We worked hard on (Appalachian State) both in spring ball and in fall camp. I thought we had a good plan. I thought we were executing it well.
“We played well for the first half and probably the first five minutes of the second half. Then we just didn’t play good enough.”
The Mountaineers (4-2, 3-0 Sun Belt) did not score until Lamb hit Ike Lewis with a 38-yard pass with 7:59 left in the third quarter. In the final period, Lamb found Collin Reed from the 6-yard line to cap a grinding 14-play drive, and then hooked up with Lewis again for a 45-yard score.
The Vandals (2-4, 1-2) could not get anything going offensively to put the game away in the second half. They had a net of 17 yards on their last six drives, and two of those ended in fumbles.
QB Matt Linehan went 15-for-28 for 200 yards and two TDs for Idaho.
College of Idaho 59, Montana Western 27
The College of Idaho rolled up 636 yards of offense, including 409 rushing yards, and scored its most points since the 1961 season in a romp over Montana Western at Simplot Stadium.
Darius-James Peterson rushed for a career-high 233 yards and two scores, and also passed for 224 yards for the Yotes (3-4, 3-3 Frontier), who won their second game in a row.
Zach Garzoli finished with 175 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns on just 11 touches for C of I, which scored five touchdowns in the first half.