1988 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

1988 Idaho Vandals football
Idaho Vandals logo.svg
Big Sky champion
Conference Big Sky Conference
1988 record 11–2 (7–1 Big Sky)
Head coach Keith Gilbertson (3rd season)
Offensive coordinator Bill Diedrick (3rd season)
Defensive coordinator Barry Lamb (2nd season)
Home stadium Kibbie Dome
← 1987
1989 →
1988 Big Sky football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#1 Idaho $^ 7 1 0     11 2 0
#16 Montana ^ 6 2 0     8 4 0
#12 Boise State ^ 5 3 0     8 4 0
Nevada 4 4 0     7 4 0
Northern Arizona 4 4 0     6 5 0
Weber State 4 4 0     5 6 0
Montana State 4 4 0     4 7 0
Eastern Washington 2 6 0     2 8 0
Idaho State 0 8 0     0 11 0
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – Division I-AA playoff participant
  • Idaho earned automatic berth and Montana and
    Boise State earned at-large berths in I-AA playoffs.
Rankings from NCAA Division I-AA poll
(released before playoffs)

The 1988 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1988 NCAA Division I-AA football season. The Vandals, led by third-year head coach Keith Gilbertson, 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 third conference title in four seasons, and made the I-AA playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. Led by redshirt junior quarterback John Friesz, Idaho finished the regular season at 9–1 and 7–1 in the Big Sky.[1][2] The Vandals scheduled only ten regular season games for the first time since 1969.[3] Idaho would play only ten regular season games again in 1995, their final year the Big Sky. The shortened regular season was beneficial in 1988, as the Vandals played three post-season games, falling on the road in the national semifinals in Gilbertson's final game as the Vandals' head coach. He left for an assistant's position in the Pac-10 in Seattle, as offensive line coach under head coach Don James at Washington.

Notable games[edit]

Following a sole loss on the road to conference rival Montana, Idaho won its final seven games of the regular season. The Vandals defeated Nevada-Reno for a second consecutive year,[4] only the third time in the eleven meetings since the Wolf Pack joined the Big Sky in 1979. The Vandals defeated rival Boise State for the seventh consecutive year,[1][2] the seventh of twelve straight over the Broncos. Idaho entered the post-season with the top ranking in Division I-AA.[5][6]

Division I-AA playoffs[edit]

For the fourth consecutive season, Idaho returned to the I-AA playoffs. In the first round, the Vandals hosted conference foe Montana, who had handed the Vandals their only defeat. The Vandals won the rematch 38–19 at the Kibbie Dome two days after Thanksgiving.[7][8] Idaho also hosted in the quarterfinals, and defeated Northwestern State (La.) 38–30, but lost quarterback John Friesz with an ankle sprain in the third quarter.[9]

In the semifinals Idaho was eliminated 38–7 on the road at Furman in Greenville, South Carolina, ending the Vandals' season at 11–2. With their third-string quarterback and many other reserves playing against the top-ranked defense in Division I-AA, the Vandals were only down 10–0 at the half, but the score mounted to 38–0 before the Vandals scored. The Vandal defense gave up 320 rushing yards to the Paladins.[10] Furman went on to win the I-AA title the following week.

Notable players[edit]

The 1988 team included three future NFL players with lengthy pro careers: defensive end Marvin Washington, guard Mark Schlereth, and junior John Friesz, the future collegiate hall of fame quarterback was a three-year starter (1987–89).


Date Time Opponent Site Result Attendance
September 10 7:00 pm Portland State* Kibbie DomeMoscow, Idaho W 27–18   10,100
September 17 6:30 pm at Pacific (CA)* Pacific Memorial StadiumStockton, California W 36–26   13,868
September 24 12:00 pm at Montana Washington–Grizzly StadiumMissoula, Montana (Little Brown Stein) L 17–26    
October 1 1:30 pm Northern Arizonadagger Kibbie Dome • Moscow, Idaho W 31–20   16,100
October 8 7:00 pm Montana State Kibbie Dome • Moscow, Idaho W 41–24   9,200
October 15 2:00 pm at Eastern Washington Joe Albi StadiumSpokane, WA W 31–22   6,644
October 22 7:00 pm Weber State Kibbie Dome • Moscow, Idaho W 27–24   9,500
November 5 1:00 pm at Nevada Mackay StadiumReno, Nevada [4] W 32–31   16,410
November 12 7:00 pm Idaho State Kibbie Dome • Moscow, Idaho W 41–7   9,200
November 19 1:30 pm at Boise State Bronco StadiumBoise, Idaho [1][2] (Rivalry) W 26–20   23,687
November 26 1:00 pm Montana* Kibbie Dome • Moscow, Idaho [7][8] (NCAA DIvision I-AA First Round) W 38–19   5,500
December 3 1:00 pm Northwestern State* Kibbie Dome • Moscow, Idaho [9] (NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinal) W 38–30   6,800
December 10 10:30 am at Furman* Paladin StadiumGreenville, South Carolina [10] (NCAA Division I-AA Semifinal) L 7–38   11,645
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. All times are in Pacific Time.


NFL Draft[edit]

Two Vandal seniors were selected in the 1989 NFL Draft, which lasted twelve rounds (335 selections).

Player Position Round Overall Franchise
Marvin Washington DE 6th 151 New York Jets
Mark Schlereth G 10th 263 Washington Redskins

One Vandal junior was selected in the following year's draft in 1990, also twelve rounds (332 selections).

Player Position Round Overall Franchise
John Friesz            QB 6th 138 San Diego Chargers


  1. ^ a b c Tatko, Mike (November 20, 1988). "Idaho victory twice as nice". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. p. 1B. 
  2. ^ a b c Meehan, Jim (November 21, 1988). "No. 1-ranked Vandals Sky-high". Idahonian. Moscow. p. 1B. 
  3. ^ Jacobson (March 29, 1988). "Wind chill doesn't ground Vandals". Idahonian. Moscow. p. 10A. 
  4. ^ a b Tatko, Mike (November 6, 1988). "Idaho pulls off magic 32-31 victory over UNR". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. p. 1D. 
  5. ^ Meehan, Jim (November 22, 1988). "Gilbertson lashes out at BSC coaches". Idahonian. Moscow. p. 1B. 
  6. ^ "Vandals enter playoffs as No. 1". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. staff and wire reports. November 22, 1988. p. 2B. 
  7. ^ a b Barrows, Bob (November 27, 1988). "Shock the monkey". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. p. 1B. 
  8. ^ a b Meehan, Jim (November 28, 1988). "Round two: Vandals deck Grizzlies". Idahonian. Moscow. p. 6A. 
  9. ^ a b Meehan, Jim (December 5, 1988). "Vandals: Plenty of pain and gain". Idahonian. Moscow. p. 6A. 
  10. ^ a b Meehan, Jim (December 12, 1988). "UI dream year ends with nightmare". Idahonian]. Moscow. p. 1B. 
  11. ^ College Football Data Warehouse – Idaho 1985–89 – accessed 2010-08-22

External links[edit]