1986 Idaho Vandals football team

Coordinates: 46°43′34″N 117°01′05″W / 46.726°N 117.018°W / 46.726; -117.018

1986 Idaho Vandals football
Conference Big Sky Conference
1986 record 8–4 (5–2 Big Sky)
Head coach Keith Gilbertson (1st year)
Offensive coordinator Bill Diedrick (1st year)
Defensive coordinator Kent Baer (1st year)
Home stadium Kibbie Dome
1986 Big Sky football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#1 Nevada $^ 7 0 0     13 1 0
#16 Idaho ^ 5 2 0     8 4 0
Northern Arizona 5 2 0     7 4 0
Montana 4 4 0     6 4 0
Boise State 3 4 0     5 6 0
Weber State 2 5 0     3 8 0
Montana State 2 5 0     3 8 0
Idaho State 1 7 0     2 9 0
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ Division I-AA playoff participant
  • Nevada earned automatic berth and
    Idaho earned at-large berth in I-AA playoffs.
    Montana and Idaho State played twice.

The 1986 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1986 NCAA Division I-AA football season. The Vandals, led by first-year head coach Keith Gilbertson, were members of the Big Sky Conference and played their home games at the Kibbie Dome, an indoor facility on campus in Moscow, Idaho.

Continuing upon the success of the previous four seasons under Dennis Erickson, the Vandals were defending conference champions and finished the regular season at 8–3 and 5–2 in the Big Sky, tied for second. Led by senior quarterback Scott Linehan, Idaho qualified for the I-AA playoffs for the second straight season.

Notable games

The Vandals defeated rival Boise State for the fifth consecutive year, the fifth of twelve straight over the Broncos, but lost twice to nemesis Nevada-Reno, who were top-ranked in I-AA and undefeated in the regular season.[1] Uncommon for a playoff team, the Vandals were shut out at home 24–0 by Northern Arizona in late October.[2]

Division I-AA playoffs

The I-AA playoffs were expanded from 12 to 16 teams in 1986, eliminating the first round bye for the top four seeds. Idaho and Big Sky champion Nevada-Reno were the only two teams selected from the West, and were paired up in the first round in Reno two days after Thanksgiving. In mid-October the teams played a close defensive game, and the Vandals came up short by four points.[3] The rematch in the post-season was not close as the Wolf Pack prevailed 27–7,[1] improving their record over Idaho to 8–1 since joining the Big Sky in 1979.

Notable players

The 1986 team included two future NFL head coaches: quarterback Scott Linehan[4] and offensive lineman Tom Cable. Future NFL players with lengthy pro careers included guard Mark Schlereth (redshirt sophomore) and redshirt freshman John Friesz, a future collegiate hall of fame quarterback was Linehan's back-up in 1986. Friesz was a three-year starter (198789) and defeated Nevada-Reno all three seasons, including the first-ever victory in Reno in 1988.


Date Time Opponent Site Result Attendance
September 6 6:30 pm Portland State - (Div. II)* Kibbie DomeMoscow, ID W 42–10    
September 13 10:00 am at Central Michigan - (Div. I-A)* Perry Shorts StadiumMount Pleasant, MI L 21–34    
September 20 1:00 pm Cal State Fullerton - (Div. I-A)*dagger Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID W 25–17   12,500
September 27 1:00 pm at Eastern Washington* Joe Albi StadiumSpokane, WA W 27–10   7,835
October 4 6:30 pm Idaho State Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID W 38–26   9,500
October 18 1:00 pm at Nevada-Reno Mackay StadiumReno, NV L 17–23   13,825
October 25 6:30 pm Northern Arizona Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID L   0–24    
November 1 12:00 pm at Montana Washington–Grizzly StadiumMissoula, MT (Little Brown Stein) W 38–31    
November 8 6:30 pm Montana State Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID W 44–17    
November 15 6:30 pm Weber State Kibbie Dome • Moscow, ID W 31–17    
November 22 12:30 pm at Boise State Bronco StadiumBoise, ID (BSU-UI rivalry) W 21–14   21,275
November 29 12:00 pm at No. 1 Nevada-Reno* Mackay Stadium • Reno, NV (Div. I-AA playoffs) L   7–27   13,715
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game. All times are in Pacific Time.



  1. 1 2 3 Stoffer, Jeff (December 1, 1986). "UI no obstruction for top-rated Reno". Idahonian. (Moscow). p. 9.
  2. 1 2 "Idaho 1985-89". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  3. Boling, Dave (October 19, 1986). "Idaho fumbles a chance to beat Reno, 17-13". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. D1.
  4. "Hennessey again on first team". Idahonian. (Moscow). Associated Press. December 3, 1986. p. 8.

External links

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