1985 Idaho Vandals football team
|1985 Idaho Vandals football|
|Conference||Big Sky Conference|
|1985 record||9–3 (6–1 Big Sky)|
|Head coach||Dennis Erickson|
|Offensive coordinator||Keith Gilbertson|
|Defensive coordinator||John L. Smith|
|Home stadium||Kibbie Dome|
|1985 Big Sky football standings|
|#5 Idaho $||6||–||1||–||0||9||–||3||–||0|
The 1985 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1985 NCAA Division I-AA football season. The Vandals, led by fourth-year head coach Dennis Erickson, were members of the Big Sky Conference and played their home games at the Kibbie Dome, an indoor facility on campus in Moscow, Idaho.
The Vandals won their first outright conference title since 1971 (the 1982 team tied for the title, but lost the head-to-head tiebreaker to Montana). Led by redshirt junior quarterback Scott Linehan, Idaho finished the regular season at 9-2 and 6-1 in the Big Sky. Keith Gilbertson returned as offensive coordinator in 1985, following three spring seasons in the USFL.
The 1985 season marked the first time in school history that the Vandals had four consecutive winning seasons in football.
The Vandals opened the season with a 15-point loss at Oregon State in Corvallis, whom they had defeated the year before in Moscow. After six straight losses to Nevada-Reno, Idaho recorded its first conference victory over the Wolf Pack, who joined the Big Sky in 1979. The Vandals defeated rival Boise State for the fourth consecutive year, the fourth of twelve straight over the Broncos. A key one-point road loss to Idaho State in late October prevented the Vandals from attaining an important first round bye in the I-AA playoffs.
Division I-AA playoffs
After a two season absence, Idaho returned to the 12-team I-AA playoffs, hosting independent Eastern Washington, whom they had defeated four weeks earlier by three touchdowns. The Eagles won the rematch, a back-and-forth contest before a sparse crowd at the Kibbie Dome, two days after Thanksgiving. (EWU joined the Big Sky in 1987, raising league membership to nine institutions.) For the following season in 1986, the I-AA playoffs expanded from 12 to 16 teams, which eliminated the bye week for the top four seeds.
The 1985 team included two future NFL head coaches: quarterback Scott Linehan and offensive lineman Tom Cable. Future NFL players with lengthy pro careers included guard Mark Schlereth (redshirt freshman) and true freshman John Friesz, a future collegiate hall of fame quarterback as a three-year starter (1987–89), but inactive in 1985 as a redshirt.
This was the fourth and final season at Idaho for head coach Dennis Erickson. Following his departure for Wyoming, offensive coordinator Keith Gilbertson was promoted to head coach for 1986. Defensive coordinator John L. Smith followed Erickson to Laramie in 1986 and Washington State in 1987. Smith returned to the Vandals in January 1989 to succeed Gilbertson, who left for an assistant's position in Seattle, as offensive line coach under head coach Don James at Washington.
1985 season schedule
|Sep 07||at Oregon State*||Parker Stadium • Corvallis, OR||L 28–43||26,154|
|Sep 14||Mankato State*||Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID||W 46–7|
|Sep 21||at Northern Arizona||Walkup Skydome • Flagstaff, AZ||W 27–3||11,885|
|Sep 28||Nevada-Reno||Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID||W 25–21||15,600|
|Oct 05||at Portland State*||Civic Stadium • Portland, OR||W 51–17||6,286|
|Oct 12||at Weber State||Stewart Stadium • Ogden, UT||W 31–28|
|Oct 19||Montana||Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID - (Little Brown Stein)||W 38–0||11,300|
|Oct 26||at Idaho State||ISU MiniDome • Pocatello, ID||L 37–38||11,422|
|Nov 02||Eastern Washington*||Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID||W 42–21||15,500|
|Nov 09||at Montana State||Reno H. Sales Stadium • Bozeman, MT||W 34–0|
|Nov 23||Boise State||Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID (BSU-UI rivalry)||W 44–27||15,800|
|Nov 30||Eastern Washington*||Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID (Div. I-AA playoffs - 1st round)||L 38–42||6,500|
|*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game.|
- Gem of the Mountains: 1986 University of Idaho yearbook - 1985 football season