1981 Idaho Vandals football team

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Coordinates: 46°43′34″N 117°01′05″W / 46.726°N 117.018°W / 46.726; -117.018

1981 Idaho Vandals football
University of Idaho Vandals logo.svg
Conference Big Sky Conference
1981 record 3-8 (0-7 Big Sky)
Head coach Jerry Davitch
Offensive coordinator Bill Tripp
Offensive scheme Veer
Defensive coordinator Leland Kendall
Home stadium Kibbie Dome
Seasons
« 1980 1982 »
1981 Big Sky football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#2 Idaho State 6 1 0     12 1 0
#5 Boise State 6 1 0     10 3 0
Montana 5 2 0     7 3 0
Nevada 4 3 0     7 4 0
Weber State 4 3 0     7 4 0
Northern Arizona 2 5 0     4 7 0
Montana State 1 6 0     3 7 0
Idaho 0 7 0     3 8 0
† – Conference champion
  • Idaho State earned automatic berth in NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship. Boise State earned at-large berth in NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship.
    Rankings from NCAA Division I-AA poll (released before championship playoffs)

The 1981 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1981 NCAA Division I-AA football season. The Vandals, led by fourth-year head coach Jerry Davitch, were members of the Big Sky Conference and played their home games at the Kibbie Dome, an indoor facility on campus in Moscow, Idaho.

Led by sophomore quarterback Ken Hobart in the veer offense, the Vandals finished 3-8 in the regular season and 0-7 in the Big Sky to finish last. Idaho lost to rival Boise State for the fifth straight year, but it was the Broncos' last win over Idaho until 1994, as the Vandals won a dozen straight in the interim.

After a fifth straight loss and no wins in six conference games, Davitch was fired nine days before the final game against Boise State. Several weeks later Dennis Erickson was hired and immediately turned the Vandal program around in 1982, reaching the quarterfinals of the 12-team Division I-AA playoffs.

In 1981, Idaho State and Boise State were the top two teams in the Big Sky and both advanced to the 8-team Division I-AA playoffs and won their first round games. Boise State was stopped at home in the semifinals by Eastern Kentucky, whom Idaho State defeated the following week in Texas to win the national title.

Notable players[edit]

Sophomore quarterback Ken Hobart changed from an option quarterback in the veer to a prolific passer under Erickson. He led the Vandals to a 9-4 record in 1982 and an 8-3 record in 1983 as a senior, when he was a Division I-AA All-American. Hobart played a season in the USFL with Jacksonville in 1984 and several in the CFL.

Fallen teammate[edit]

At the close of the 1981 spring semester, Vandal wide receiver Joe Keogh, age 20, was killed in a mid-morning automobile accident. En route to Seattle on Saturday, May 16th, he was one of four occupants in a vehicle westbound on Interstate 90, west of Ellensburg. The driver, a family friend, lost control and veered off the road and the car ended on its side. Keogh, a 1979 graduate of Gonzaga Prep in Spokane,[1] was the only fatality.[2][3] Keogh's Vandal teammates wore his number 4 on the right side of their helmets during the 1981 season.[4][5] It was the second death for the football team in less than ten months: standout senior running back Glen White, age 22, had died in August 1980 after a brief battle with aplastic anemia.[6]

1981 season schedule[edit]

Date Opponent Site Result Attendance
Sep 05 Simon Fraser - (NAIA)* Kibbie DomeMoscow, ID W 52-7   10,500
Sep 12 at Weber State Stewart StadiumOgden, UT L 21-42   15,900
Sep 19 Northern Iowa* Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID W 59-14   12,000
Sep 26 at Hawaii - (Div. I-A)* Aloha StadiumHonolulu, HI L 6-21   43,719
Oct 03 at Portland State - (Div. II)* Civic StadiumPortland, OR W 56-9   3,000
Oct 10 Montana Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID - (Little Brown Stein) L 14-16   11,000
Oct 17 at Montana State Reno H. Sales StadiumBozeman, MT L 28-29   10,017
Oct 24 Nevada-Reno Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID L 14-23   14,000
Oct 31 Idaho State Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID L 14-24   10,500
Nov 07 at Northern Arizona Walkup SkydomeFlagstaff, AZ L 3-24   10,500
Nov 21 Boise State Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID - (BSU-UI rivalry) L 43-45   14,000
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Football signings". Lewiston Morning Tribune. February 22, 1979. p. 5B. 
  2. ^ "Car accident kills UI football player". Lewiston Morning Tribune. May 17, 1981. p. 3C. 
  3. ^ "13 are killed on highways". Spokane Daily Chronicle. May 18, 1981. p. 1. 
  4. ^ Emerson, Paul (October 27, 1981). "An instinct for the ball". Lewiston Morning Tribune. p. 1C. 
  5. ^ "'96 Vandals will sport new look". Lewiston Morning Tribune. April 28, 1996. p. 6B. 
  6. ^ "UI running back dies". Lewiston Morning Tribune. August 10, 1980. p. 2B. 

External links[edit]