44-7. No, that’s not the score I’m predicting for tonight’s game. That’s how badly Idaho has been out-scored this season in the fourth quarter when entering the final period with a two score or more lead. Idaho is 2-2 in those games. The seven points, by the way, came against Sacramento State. As bad as the 44-7 statistic is, the 2-2 record is what highlights the real problem here. That’s half the fucking games on the schedule. Idaho has lead by more than 8 going into the fourth quarter in HALF OF THE GAMES THEY’VE PLAYED THIS YEAR. If this were any other team I would just assume they were sitting at a comfortable 4-4 at the very least. But no. This is Idaho. And for some reason they’ve fallen into the same trap that plagued them in 2015 when they lost back-to-back games after leading by 20+ points at half time. This kind of an issue comes down to coaching. Obviously they had it figured out last year though (Idaho successfully blew out four teams in 2016 without any of these issues) so I don't know what could have changed. Something got fucky this offseason I guess because it’s just the perfect storm every single time Idaho builds a big lead. Offense can’t run the clock down, defense falls apart, and some fluky play gives the opposing team a scoring opportunity on a short field. It’s ridiculous but I guess I should just be happy that they managed a win last week. ULM was a dropped TD in the final seconds away from tying the game up and likely handing Idaho another L. Still, there were some positives last week. Like the App St. game, Idaho played a fantastic first half on both sides of the ball. SBC leading rusher Aaron Duckworth continued to run his ass off and Onunwor made some huge plays down the field. The O-line actually looked better without Jordan Rose (he was out for “personal reasons” so I just assume he was a being a dickhead) and defense held tight for the W even if their second half performance was dogshit compared to their brilliant first half. And, come on. Kaden Fucking Elliss. Dude is a beast at LB and TE now. He looked like man among boys on that TD catch and run. Then he follows that up with a sack on the next series. The defense may be bi-polar in terms of fourth quarter performance vs. first-third quarter performance, but ma' ***** Kaden is always a blast to watch. Let’s get to this week’s game against Troy. Luckily I don’t think Idaho will have to worry about blowing a fourth quarter lead as they are unlikely to have one. Troy enters this game with the 11th best defense in terms of PPG in the nation. Idaho has struggled to move the ball against bad defenses so I expect this to be a low scoring affair for the Vandals. Some quick facts on Idaho vs. Troy since Idaho re-joined the Sun Belt in 2014 1) Idaho is 1-2 in the three matchups 2) Brandon Silvers and Matt Linehan have only faced off in two of those matchups 3) When Silvers plays, Idaho is 0-2 losing 34-17 in 2014 and 34-13 in 2016 4) Matt Linehan’s average stat line against Troy is 16/33, 208 yards, 0.7 TDs, 1.7 INTS 5) Brandon Silvers’ average stat line against Idaho is 25/34, 302 yards, 2.5 TDs, 1 INT I think that’s enough to make my point. Idaho’s one win against Troy in this series came in an ugly-ass game in which both teams were plagued with injuries. Idaho flew into Alabama at like 3 in the morning that Saturday and pulled out a real gutsy win that required the Troy kicker to miss a FG at the end. In short, I don’t expect a game like that tonight. Sure, Idaho beat USA who beat Troy. Anything is possible. Troy isn’t Alabama or Auburn. But like I said, they do boast one of the nation’s top statistical defenses along with a veteran QB and a monster RB in Jordan Chunn who will be well rested after sitting out against Georgia Southern last week. Prediction: I’ve been consistently wrong about every prediction I’ve made this season in one way or another. Whether it be game flow, final score, or just simply who would win. That said, I don’t see how I could miss by just predicting the typical Idaho game this season. I expect a solid first half with a good balance in the running game. O-line will struggle in pass protection and the defense will keep the score close at half. Troy’s depth will show up in the second half and a few missed opportunities by Idaho will swing the momentum in the late third quarter. Troy runs the clock out in the fourth behind Jordan Chunn. Idaho needs to play perfect ball here to win. No turnovers, play a full four quarters, and get TDs in the god damn red zone. LOL at that happening. Final Score: Troy 34 Idaho 16 Go Vandals, and thank god I can watch this one on my DVR. Suffering through only 1 hour of this shit might be tolerable.