The Vandals made the playoffs -- again. John L. Smith didn't know this would be the case when the Vandals lost at University of Nevada on a Scott Dahlquist 40 yard touchdown pass play that was called back on a clipping penalty. That extremely controversial call allowed Nevada to go on and win the game in forced overtime. So the Vandals would have to face Boise State in their last game of the season as a must win situation to have a shot at a playoff berth.But it all really started in the Vandals' second possession of the season. In the first quarter against Montana State on September 1, Idaho fumbled the ball on its oneyard line. MSU scored three plays later, and Idaho found themselves in the league cellar after just one game, but ended the season 9-4 and 6-2 in the Big Sky. "I'm just really proud of this team and this coaching staff," said Smith. "We've come a long way
NOTSO FAST: Jimmy Jacobs (39) stops the Bengals ball carrier cold during the Vandals 41-20 victory over Idaho Siale. (Curtis Griffin)
194 Gem of the MOll1zfaills
this year, and we've overcome some adversity. These kids just want to win." Then they lostquarterback Doug Nussmeier for the season with a fractured ankle in the game against Chico State. Enter Steve Nolan. He waited four years for his big chance and when he got the opportunity he established a new school record for regular season passing efficiency with a 164.2 rating, plus a new school record in interception efficiency with a 75.5 rating. He threw only two interceptions in 192 pass attempts for the season. Kasey Dunn, a junior wide receiver, led all IAA receivers in yards receiving per game at 105.8 during the regular season. Dunn's 88 receptions is the second best single best season performance for a Vandal receiver since Jerry Hendren's 95 in 1969. Dunn was also a first team all Big Sky pick along with running back Devon Pearce who was co-MVP on offense. Pearce finished second in the
nation in rushing with a 126.6 regular season average. His 1,393 yards this season is a new school record, plus he set records in scoring, scoring per game, rushing attempts, and all purpose rushing attempts. Tight end Scott Dahlquist, and guard Chris Hoffwere second team all-league picks, and quarterback Steve Nolan, return specialist Roman Carter, and center Mike Rice were honorable mentions. On defense, cornerback Charlie Oliver, â€˘ who led Idaho with six pass interceptions and has seta school record with 20 pass deflections, defensive end Jeff Robinson were first team picks, with each receiving MVP votes. Linebacker Jimmy Lee Jacobs and punter Joe Carrasco were second team selections and linebacker Mark Matthews was an honorable mention. Vandal defensive end Billy Sims, a zoology major with a 3.84 GPA, was named GTE-Academic All-American for NCAA District VIII.
1991 Gem of the Mountains, Volume 89 - University of Idaho Yearbook