(Credit Larry Johnson)
As selection Sunday (no pun intended) inches closer, I thought that I’d get a jump start on the opponent, who looks most fit for the Bruins, and the Humanitarian Bowl’s leaders are dying to get the Bruins, saying:
“They are the team we want,” said McDonald said of the Bruins.
The likely opponent for UCLA should Hawaii lose to Wisconsin today, would be the Kibbies (Vandals) of Idaho.
Idaho has had nothing short of a surprising season. Idaho has commonly been referred to as the disgrace of the WAC, going winless time and time again, but this year, a combination of luck and execution, the Vandals have wrangled a decade high 7-4 record; overcoming all odds, and beating quality teams such as… well Hawaii? And close losses against… Utah State?
While the quality of opponents is questionable, the fact that the Kibbies won 7 games is still really great for the program.
Analysis after the jump.
Leading the Kibbies, is the offense, no doubt, giving up 30+ points 7 times, and giving up 50+ 3 times is never a good thing.
The passing attack has been the best portion of the team, led by Nathan Enderle (2666 yards 18 TD’s 9 INT’s). Enderle has battled injuries lately, giving way to the Brian Reader, who has thrown 6 TD’s, along with 6 INT’s. Enderle will most likely get the start there (* big star… injury still pending on my sources), and he is basically the deciding factor in the Kibbie’s effectiveness. Enderle is also getting NFL attention (WOW!!), a huge step for the program.
When the passing game has been clicking, the Vandals have spread the ball around. 7 major receivers have gotten 10 catches. The leader of the receivers is Max Komar (62 receptions, 1036 yards, 10 TD’s). Komar has been commonly known as the “game-breaker”, with pretty good speed and great hands.
On the ground, Idaho has done everything that they can: Power, Speed, Hybrid… whatever, they’ve got it. DeMaundray Woolridge has been the power guy, averaging 5.8 (854 yards total) and a whopping 16 TD’s. Deonte’ Jackson is the speed guy, but has also battled nagging injuries, so Princeton McCarty filled in nicely. He has 605 yards total, 5.7 YPC, but only 3 TD’s.
Looking at the stats, Woolridge has been the finisher for the most part, and McCarty has set the table laterally.
Defensively, the Kibbies have been pathetic, giving up an average of 424.5 YPG , ranking 105th in the nation. They are 112th in the nation in Sacks, 116th in the nation in tackles for loss, and 105th in turnover margin.
DB Shiloh Keo has 109 total tackles, and is basically been the only bright spot for the Kibbies’ defense, ranking 2nd in the WAC, and tied for 32nd nationally. Keo also has 3 INT’s on the year, making up for 1/2 of the team’s total (6). Aaron Lavarias leads the team with 4 Solo Sacks, not including his additional 2 TFL’s
In conclusion, the Kibbies are basically 100% beatable. The defense is nothing short of Wazzu’esque, but the passing attack is not entirely bad. If UCLA goes into a cover 3, no pressure package, it could mean trouble, but since the Kibbie’s offensive line has given up a couple of sacks, it makes sense to get after a fragile Enderle.
Brehaut should really get some meaningful snaps with Prince being out, and it should look more like Wazzu, except they won’t ease off the pedal, the more he develops, the more interesting the offseason will be.