Oct. 20—While Montana was having trouble with Sacramento State's two-headed quarterback in a 28-21 loss Saturday, Eastern Washington was having no trouble with Idaho's.
One difference was that Eastern's powerful offense was piling up 837 yards, including 600 passing from Eric Barriere. Another difference was that Idaho was down to its fourth quarterback in what became a 71-21 loss.
Gevani McCoy ended up splitting time with Zach Borisch in the defeat, because first CJ Jordan and then Mike Beaudry, the passing half of the QB tandem, were both out with shoulder injuries.
Borisch tore off a 75-yard touchdown run that cut Eastern's lead to 15-7, but that was obviously the high point.
Paul Petrino — he was a standout quarterback at Carroll College for his dad, Bob, from 1985-88 — is in his ninth season as Idaho's head coach. He has former Montana defensive coordinator Mike Breske as his DC for a seventh season; one of UM's all-time great players, Vernon Smith, is in his fourth season coaching the cornerbacks.
None of that helped in Cheney, Washington. Breske loves to blitz and the Vandals got to Barriere four times, but the final results weren't pretty.
"They (the Eagles) kicked our butt," Petrino told the Coeur d'Alene Press. "They've got a great quarterback. They've got a really good team, and they outplayed us and outcoached us in every way possible.
"Now we'll find out what we're made of. You get your butt kicked like that, now we've got to come back and play Montana."
Montana visits the Kibbie Dome at 5:30 p.m Mountain on Saturday.
The Next One
At Monday's press conference Montana coach Bobby Hauck said he was very impressed with the Vandals' front seven on defense, and its coaches.
"They have some guys we have a very high regard for, with Mike (Breske) and Luther Ellis and Vernon Smith," Hauck said. "They play very hard on defense; they're very physical."
Offensively, he noted, "They're a little bit hard to get a bead on. ... it's a lot based on which quarterback is in the game."
While Sac State's tandem of Asher O'Hara and Jake Dunniway were kind of interchangeable, Borisch is an obvious run threat.
The Little Brown Stein is at stake, and suddenly the Grizzlies' promising season seems in peril.
"Anybody who has played, has lost a game," Hauck said. "You go and try to get the next one. That's what competition is, and we have a competitive group."
Sam Passing Sam
Receiver Samuel Akem, held to four catches for 33 yards by Sacramento State Saturday, surpassed former teammate Samori Toure with his four catches for 57 yards in UM's 31-14 win over Dixie State on Oct. 9.
"I didn't actually know I even did that," Akem said Monday. "That didn't even occur to me. I was focused on what our team could do to improve and get better."
Hauck said both he and Akem should text Toure after the press conference.
"I will have to give him some crap about that one, for sure," Akem said.
Toure left Montana (for the Nebraska Cornhuskers) with 155 catches for 2,488 yards. Akem has 161 catches for 2,297, which ranks him 10th and 12th in UM history.
Toure has 27 catches for 521 yards (19.3 average) and three touchdowns for the 3-5 Huskers this season. Akem has 19 catches for 273 yards (14.5 average) and three TDs for the Griz.
Montana wasn't alone in the lackluster offensive performance department: Montana State had one drive last longer than 26 yards in its 13-7 win at Weber State Friday.
Quarterback Matt McKay capped a 10-play, 78-yard march with a 1-yard touchdown run.
McKay was 12-for-19 passing for 76 yards against the Wildcats, and the junior fell from No. 1 to No. 6 in the Football Championship Subdivision in passing efficiency (169.99).
In first? Barriere, with his 28 TDs and five interceptions and 3,052 yards in seven games. His rating is 190.60.
Next up for MSU is a home game with Idaho State. The Bengals, high off their upset win over then-unbeaten UC Davis on Oct. 9, plummeted back to earth with a 31-10 loss at Portland State.
Idaho State turned it over on its first three possessions while falling behind 17-0 and had five giveaways overall.
"It's ridiculous. I've never been around anything like this," Bengals coach Rob Phenicie told the Idaho State Journal. "I've never been around a team plagued by turnovers like this. We address ball security more than anything. You can ask any of our kids and they're going to say ball security is a religion."
The Bengals and Cats kick off at 1 p.m. Saturday inside Bobcat Stadium.