Saturday August 30, 2014; 7:00 PM E.T.
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field
Odds: Gators are a 36 point favorite
Five things to look for when the Idaho Vandals take the field Saturday…
Split quarterback play… The Vandals are approaching the game Saturday without naming a starter at quarterback. Up for the position right now are red-shirt freshman Matt Linehan and sophomore Chad Chalich. Having gone through three quarterbacks a year ago due to injuries, head coach Paul Petrino is not against using multiple guys to play in game one. In fact, that is likely what will happen on Saturday. Linehan may have had a little bit better fall completing 39-of-72 passes for 539 yards with seven TDs and four interceptions in a couple of scrimmages. Chalich (6-foot, 208-pound ) was 23-of-38 for 288 yards with two TDs and three interceptions.
Nation’s best punter /kicker… Austin Rehkow led the nation in punting a year ago as a true freshman. With a 47.8 yards per punt average on 75 punts, the average was third best in the last 10 years. He also is the Vandals place kicker, and went 10-17 on the season a year ago. The Gators are hoping Rehkow will have to test that punting average on Saturday a lot.
Defensive Line… It’s the best unit on the team and led by senior Quayshawne Buckley (6-foot-3, 305 pound). Buckley had a very nice 46 tackles , 16 tackles for loss and 7 sacks from his inside position. Junior Quinton Bradley (6-foot-3, 252) and senior Maxx Forde (6-foot-5, 272) are the defensive ends. Bradley had 20 tackles, three sacks and three forced fumbles in 2013. Forde had 63 tackles nine tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks a year ago
The Intimidator… Junior college transfer Chris Edwards has supplied the Vandals with a hard hitting-machine in the secondary. The junior strong safety checks in at 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds, stepped right into a starting role, and has performed well in scrimmages giving them some hope for a previously desperate secondary.
The man in the middle… Senior linebacker Marc Millan (6-foot-1, 217) led the team a year ago with 91 tackles. He will be the true team leader on defense.