Idaho to join Big Sky in all sports but football in '14

Idaho announces independent football schedule for 2013

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MOSCOW - The University of Idaho accepted a membership invitation from the Big Sky Conference for all sports - with the exception of football, which announced 11 games of its 2013 independent schedule.

"We are pleased to announce the renewal of our partnership with the Big Sky Conference," said University of Idaho M. Duane Nellis, who signed the agreement - at the league's Oct. 16 meeting at Park City, Utah, to move the Vandals to the Big Sky beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

"As one of the six charter members, our relationship with the Big Sky is a long and storied one. We look forward to the same on-field and in-the-classroom achievement as we rejoin the Big Sky."

Today's game: While the Idaho Vandals are struggling to develop any kind of consistency this season, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs have their sights set on a big-time bowl game.

That explains why the Vandals (1-6, 1-1 Western Athletic Conference) are four-touchdown underdogs heading into today's matchup with the Bulldogs (5-1, 1-0) in Ruston, La.

"Louisiana Tech's had a helluva run; they're a helluva football team," Idaho coach Robb Akey said. "They battled back into a game I don't think a lot of folks would have (vs. Texas A&M last week)."

Louisiana Tech's 59-57 loss to Texas A&M was the Bulldogs' first loss of the season. Before that, there were whispers of a possible BCS game if La. Tech could run the table. Now, who knows?

What's for certain is the Bulldogs can score - they average 53.8 points per game, running a fast-paced offense. Colby Cameron has thrown 18 touchdown passes with no interceptions in 238 attempts. Quinton Patton has 55 catches for 765 yards and nine TDs.

"They're able to spread it out ... and their quarterback does a good job getting the ball out where it belongs," Akey said. "They try to gas the defense in the way they go about the number of plays they try to run. The bottom line is, when you've got a bunch of athletic guys that you can spread out like that, that has helped them make some of those things happen."

Apparently to avoid a letdown, third-year Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes made it sound this week like his team was lucky to escape Moscow with a 24-11 victory last year.

"They are a team that physically they just whipped us last year," Dykes said. "I mean we won the game. We were very fortunate to win it. Their defense just manhandled our offense really. They are big up front, big on the back end. They are always physical. That is kind of their deal. They are going to hit you.

"Our players will be able to turn the tape on and watch them beat us up last year. The reason we won the game last year was we did not turn the ball over and they did."

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