The year began like any other. Under Coach Dennis Erickson's direction the season was...
One for the books he end of summer came quickly for the Vandal football team. The end of its season came just as abruptly. But in between, the football team tallied a season that was one for the books - the record books. For the first time in the school's history, the Vandals recorded their fourth consecutive winning season. They won their first Big Sky Conference title since 1971 and had two team members named the league's defensive and offensive Most Valuable Players. But before an y title could be won or any award achieved, players had to sweat. And sweat they did. The returning players and walk-ons arrived on campus in mid-August to begin conditioning. Twice a day in the
andal tight end Scott Auker ( 121 V finds the goi ng a bit rough as he tries to turn up field against an Oregon State University defender. The completion went for 28 yards. as Auker led all receivers by collecting I 0 receptions against the Beavers.
ide receiver Eric Ya rber tIl not only could catch the ball. but he knew how to block as well. Against Oregon State University. Yarber blocks for tight e nd Scott Auker. Yarber and OSU back Brian McElroy were later ejected from the game for fighting.
burning s ummer s un, offensive and defensive hopefuls took to the field east of the Kibbie Dome to prepare for the 11-game regular season. Twice a day these players bled, sweated and lived football. But the two-a-day practices soon reverted to s ingle day events as classes started on Aug. 28. Ten days later, the Vandals faced their first opponent - the Oregon State University Beavers. Traveling to Corvallis, Ore., the Vandals looked to beat the Beavers for the second year in a row. But the Vandals' hopes of tripping up the Pac-10 Beavers all but died when wide receiver Eric Yarber was ejected from the game in the first quarter. "He started kicking m e, " Yarber said of OSU cornerback Brian McElroy. "Wh en I
got up, he took a swing at me, so I swung back and the ref kicked us out.'路 With the Vandals' m ost dominant deep threat removed from the game, OSU concentrated on the remaining receivers and held quarterback Scott Linehan to 370 yards and four interceptions. OSU spoiled th e Vandals' opener, 43-28. But despite the disheartening loss to the Beavers, the Vanda ls rebounded in their home opener the following week to defeat Mankato State University, 46-7. Sporting a crowd of 9.500, the Dome provided a welcome relief from the passing rain showers outside. Insid e. however. a different sort of pass ing was taking place as Linehan threw for 403 yards and four touchdowns. continued ~