UI to honor upperclassmen against Idaho State


The No. 6 Idaho football team wraps up its regular season with the "Battle of Domes" rivalry game against Idaho State at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the P1FCU Kibbie Dome (SWX/ESPN+).

Last week, the Vandals (7-3, 5-2 Big Sky) fell 31-29 to Weber State after winning five of their last six games.

In that one, Wildcats redshirt freshman running back Adrian Cormier scored from 13 yards out to put them in front for good 28-21 with 46 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

The Bengals (3-7, 3-4) dropped their third consecutive game 21-14 to UC Davis.

UC Davis' junior running back Lan Larison scored from 23 yards out with 2:05 remaining in regulation for the final margin.

The Vandals' loss to Weber State knocked them out of contention for a top-4 seed in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, as well as a Big Sky championship. But Idaho could still get one of the eight coveted seeds and a first-round bye if it takes care of business against ISU.

Here are some notes about this year's edition of the Battle of the Domes:

Stats updates

Vandals sophomore running back Anthony Woods missed last week with an injury, and after missing a game, he lost his place as the Big Sky's leading rusher.

The Palmdale, Calif., native is now No. 2 in the conference with 872 rushing yards, trailing only Larison (980).

Woods' 13 touchdowns, which also topped the conference prior to his injury, fell to No. 2 following last week.

Sophomore quarterback Gevani McCoy is the Big Sky's most efficient passer (147.4) and ranks No. 2 in passing yards (2,471).

Idaho's fifth-year receiver Hayden Hatten took over as the conference's leading receiver (911) after registering 14 receptions for 175 yards against Weber State.

As a team, Idaho has the fourth-rated passing offense, averaging 253.7 yards per game.

On defense, the Vandals remain the top pass defense in the Big Sky, allowing 157.7 yards per game through the air.

Significance of the contest

There will be plenty going on at the Kibbie Dome on Saturday.

For starters, the game will be played for the "Battle of the Domes" trophy (despite the fans clamoring for a return of the "King Spud" trophy).

The game will also be senior day for the Vandals' 11 upperclassmen.

The likes of Hatten, kicker Ricardo Chavez, running back Nick Romano, defensive tackle Ben Bertram and long snapper Hogan Hatten will be honored.

Saturday's game will also feature a moment of silence for the four University of Idaho students Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle who were murdered in their own home on Nov. 13, 2022.

This will also serve as the Vandals' "get in the game — be the match" awareness game in association with the Andy Talley Foundation which encourages individuals to join the national registry to help cure blood cancer.

"It's a big community service project that we do every spring," Eck said during Monday's news conference. "We're just trying to bring attention to their cause. We're going to have some of their reps at the game as well."

A bit of history

The two in-state rivals have played 44 times with Idaho winning seven of the last 10.

This matchup will be the first held at the Kibbie Dome in four years.

The Vandals lead the all-time series 31-13.

The Vandals hold the two largest margins of victory (70-21, 1994, and 52-3, 1998).

Idaho also has the longest win streak (eight, 1916-1968).

The pair didn't start playing annually until 1965. The rivalry was put on pause twice due to the Vandals leaving for the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Idaho coach John L. Smith has the best overall record in the rivalry at 6-0.

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