Vandals foe not long for WAC - Coeur d'Alene Press: Sports

Vandals foe not long for WAC

Texas State leaving for Sun Belt after just 1 year in WAC

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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 12:00 am

Texas State, the Idaho Vandals hardly knew 'ye.

Texas State, which just joined the Western Athletic Conference this season, is jumping to the Sun Belt Conference in 2013. Texas State played in the Football Championship Subdivision (the old NCAA Division I-AA) from 1987-2010, then moved up to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2011 and played one season as an FBS independent.

Idaho (1-5, 1-0 WAC) and Texas State (2-3) meet for the first - and only - time in WAC play tonight at 30,000-seat Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, Texas.

"Idaho is a team on film that is much better than their record," Texas State coach Dennis Franchione said, noting some tough early season losses. "Finally they got a win against New Mexico State to start conference play, which I think gives them a positive vibe."

Franchione, who previously coached at New Mexico, TCU, Alabama and Texas A&M, among other stops, is in his first season at Texas State. He previously coached at the school in 1990 and '91 when it was called Southwest Texas State.

Texas State senior quarterback Shaun Rutherford, who started 10 games for the Bobcats last year, has thrown for 837 yards and eight touchdowns, with two interceptions this season. He is also the Bobcats' second-leading rusher with 133 yards and a touchdown.

"They're a physical team; their quarterback has the ability to run and throw," Idaho coach Robb Akey said.

Andy Erickson is the Bobcats' top receiver with 21 catches, two for touchdowns. He also averages 16.0 yards per punt return. Tight end Chase Harper, who is on the watch list for the John Mackey Award, has 12 catches, three for touchdowns.

Texas State opened its season with a convincing 30-13 victory at Case Keenum-less Houston, as Marcus Curry rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bobcats' losses have come to Texas Tech (58-10, Nevada (34-21) and, last week, at New Mexico (35-14), which gave Boise State a closer-than-expected game earlier this year.

Idaho is coming off a 26-18 victory over New Mexico State last week at home in the Vandals' WAC opener.

"We're certainly looking forward to seeing if we can extend a winning streak," Akey said.

Idaho leads the series with Texas State 3-1. The teams last met in 1996 - Idaho's first year in Division I-A, when Texas State (then Southwest Texas State) was still in 1-AA. The Bobcats won 27-21 in San Marcos, Texas.

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