Vandal Cheers Turn to Tears
A season of anticipation awaited Vandal
fans as the 1981 football season neared. Coming off of a 6-5 record and the first winning season since 1976, it was supposed to be the year of "the Gold Rush." the team had 49 lettermen returning, including fifteen starters, generating a feeling of optimism. Sports Illustrated selected the Vandals to win the Big Sky Conference crown in their annual pre-season scouting reports. "The Gold Rush," however, didn't materialize for the Vandals, much to the disappointment of the fans, the players and the coaches, who were released from their jobs at the end of the 3-8 season. "We feel bad we weren't able to win the necessary games to stay on," said head
coach Jerry Davitch, after hearing that his four-year stint as coach was over. The failure , however, could not be blamed on the team's offense. The Vandals led the Big Sky in total offense with an average of 438.8 yards per game, nearly six yards per snap . Idaho scored 42 touchdowns and led the league in rushing with a 266.3 yard average in eleven games. The Vandals outscored their opponents during the year by an average of 28.2 to 23.1 points per game. The offense, led by senior tailback Russell Davis, won the Big Sky rushing title with an average of 111.7 yards per game. Davis averaged eight yards per carry and scored a total of eleven touchdowns on the year,
TAKING A BREAK, Calvin Loveall watchu h~ offenalve teammatea at work. After being nam路 ed the defenaive player of the game In the homecoming Jon, Loveall became the only atar路 tlng freahman on the team.
CONFUSION aeema to be the mood on the aldellnea aa offenalve line coach BIJJ Tripp, head coach Jerry Davltch, and a ..iatant coach Lelane Kendall try to figure out the problema on the field.
earning an All Big Sky honorable mention for his effort~. Idaho started the season living up to its pre-season billing as contenders for the championship. The team rolled over Simon Fraser University of Canada, 52-7, in the Kibbie Dome, by gaining 703 total yards, 526 rushing - both school records. The win in front of a Labor Day crowd was Idaho's first season-opening win since 1976. The Vandals then went on the road to Ogden, Utah for their first Big Sky Conference confrontation, facing the Weber State Wildcats. After battling their way to a 21-14 advantage at the half, the Vandals fell victim continued