Idaho’s path to a second consecutive season of bowl eligibility just got a lot tougher.
Coach Paul Petrino announced Thursday that senior quarterback Matt Linehan won’t play in the Vandals’ home finale Saturday against Coastal Carolina (3 p.m. MT, ESPN3).
Linehan sustained an injury to his throwing arm in the closing minutes of a 24-21 loss to Troy on Nov. 2.
“(Linehan’s) really upbeat. He’s been working hard and it’s good that he’s had the rest, but he’s not going to play this week,” Petrino said at his weekly press conference. “So he won’t play this week and it’ll just be something we continue to monitor. Unfortunately for him and everyone else he won’t be able to go this week. ... There is a chance he comes back this year.”
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Petrino said sophomore Mason Petrino will start in Linehan’s place, and freshman Colton Richardson will serve as backup.
Idaho has three wins this season and three Sun Belt games remaining against Coastal Carolina (1-9, 0-6 Sun Belt), New Mexico State (4-5, 2-3) and Georgia State (6-3, 5-1).
The Vandals (3-6, 2-3) would need to win out to become bowl eligible.
Against Troy, Linehan moved to No. 2 in program history with 10,772 passing yards, eclipsing John Friesz (10,697, 1986-89). He is 52 yards shy of tying Doug Nussmeier’s school record of 10,824 (1990-93).