The No. 8 Washington football team, coming off a convincing season-opening victory over Rutgers, is a five-touchdown favorite against Idaho ahead of Saturday’s 2 p.m. kickoff at Husky Stadium.
And if the odds weren’t stacked enough against the Vandals, there’s this: The Huskies haven’t lost to Idaho since 1905 — winning 34 in a row since then — and UW coach Chris Petersen has never lost to his former rival.
Petersen, as the offensive coordinator and then coach at Boise State, was part of 10 consecutive victories from 2001 to 2010. Boise State won those 10 by an average score of 49-18.
“When (I) was at Boise, that was a big one,” Petersen said.
That Boise State-Idaho rivalry game hasn’t been played since the Broncos joined the Mountain West Conference in 2010, when Petersen drew some ire from Idaho fans for saying the Broncos shouldn’t have to travel to Moscow to play.
The Idaho program has fallen on hard times since then, and the school announced earlier this year that its football program would drop from the FBS level to play in the Big Sky Conference starting in 2018.
The Vandals won their season opener last week, holding on for a 20-17 victory over Montana State in former UW and Boise State assistant coach Jeff Choate’s head-coaching debut for Montana State. Petersen said he has been in touch with Choate about Idaho.
“Certainly we’ve talked to him,” Petersen said. “But we have that tape and sometimes we might talk to him about what they were trying to do, more so than maybe Idaho was trying to do — just because sometimes you don’t know what they’re thinking. So you get a little bit of help, but you’ve just got to put the tape on and make your own decisions.”
UW is 35-2-2 all-time against the Vandals, its lone losses coming in 1900 and 1905.
The Huskies’ last matchup against Idaho was in 2009, a 42-23 UW victory at Husky Stadium — marking Steve Sarkisian’s first win as a head coach.