UI having best road season in decades

Nov. 8—The No. 4 Idaho football team has played nine games in 2023 so far, and it'll need to endure another nine weeks of competition in order to reach the top of the Football Championship Subdivision.

Last Saturday, the Vandals (7-2, 5-1) managed to escape Greeley, Colo., with a 27-13 win over winless Northern Colorado.

In that one, the Vandals were able to rely on defense to seal the victory, with junior defensive back Marcus Harris returning an interception 70 yards for the game's final margin.

This Saturday, Idaho will face another struggling Big Sky opponent in Weber State (4-5, 2-4) at noon at Stewart Stadium in Ogden, Utah (ESPN+).

The Wildcats snapped a three-game losing streak with a 33-21 victory over Idaho State last Saturday.

In that one, Weber State freshman quarterback Richie Munoz finished 26-of-41 passing for 222 yards and three touchdowns.

Here are a couple of notes for Saturday's contest:

The Vs go as Woods goes

Idaho sophomore running back Anthony Woods added yet another rushing touchdown against Northern Colorado, giving him a baker's dozen on the season.

His 13 rushing TDs rank No. 1 in the Big Sky and No. 3 in the FCS. His 872 rushing yards are the best in the conference and 13th in the FCS.

The Palmdale, Calif., native has been vital to the Vandals' success throughout his career. Idaho hasn't lost a game where Woods has tallied more than 63 yards during his short career (13-0).

Woods' 13 rushing touchdowns are the most by a Vandal runner since DeMaundray Woolridge notched 16 in the 2009 season.

Road Warriors

The Vandals have been living out of a suitcase for the better part of the season.

On the road, Idaho has a 5-1 record and won three consecutive games away from its friendly confines.

The Vandals' trip to Ogden will be their final road test of the regular season and, win or lose, UI will cap off one of its best road slates in decades.

A loss will make Idaho 5-2 in road games this season, its best record since 1998.

In '98, the Vandals finished 9-3 overall and notched a 42-35 decision over Southern Mississippi in the Humanitarian Bowl.

If Idaho comes out victorious on Saturday, it'll post its best record on the road since '93 when it finished 6-1 away from the Kibbie Dome.

A brief history

The Vandals and Wildcats have faced each other 33 times, dating back to 1965. But the pair of Big Sky opponents haven't played much in recent years, having only met once since Idaho rejoined the conference in 2018.

The most recent matchup was a 41-35 Wildcats win on Oct 5, 2019, at the Dome.

In the rivalry's history, the home team has had a distinct advantage. The Wildcats are 10-5-1 in Ogden, and the Vandals are 13-4 at the P1FCU Kibbie Dome.

Idaho has the "recent" edge in games dating back more than three decades, having won six of the last 10.

Pixley may be contacted at (208) 848-2290, or on Twitter @TreebTalks