After an entire offseason and nonconference buildup to Idaho naming its starting quarterback, the winner didn’t get to throw a pass before going down with an injury.
It was an unfortunate official debut for freshman quarterback CJ Jordan in Idaho’s 27-20 loss Saturday to UC Davis.
Jordan injured his throwing shoulder on the second play of the game, Idaho coach Paul Petrino said, and came out for good a couple of plays later after UI’s Zach Borisch scored on a 60-yard run. Jordan later appeared on the sideline without his pads.
The good news is Jordan isn’t expected to be out for the season. But he likely will miss at least a couple weeks, Petrino said.
Senior Mike Beaudry and Borisch, mainly a running specialist, manned the position the rest of the way.
Beaudry and Jordan had been battling for the starting gig since UI’s spring season ended in April.
Another quarterback, freshman Gevani McCoy got some reps with the starting offense in addition to his scout team duties in Tuesday’s practice. He also got some extra reps after practice Sunday.
In the Big Sky, you never can have too many quarterbacks at the ready. UC Davis also was missing its starter, Hunter Rodrigues, and went with two others — Miles Hastings and third-stringer Trent Tompkins on Saturday.
Petrino was asked about the Big Sky’s propensity to have quarterbacks go down.
“I don’t know if that’s something that they let them hit them a little more than some conferences or if it’s the defensive linemen are extremely good,” Petrino said. “That’s a good question. There are definitely QBs getting injured in the Big Sky Conference, that’s for sure.”
Idaho (1-3) has had rough luck at the quarterback position through the years.
Several of Idaho’s other starting quarterbacks in recent history have missed time with injuries, including Nikhil Nayar, Mason Petrino, Colton Richardson and Matt Linehan.
Special teams woes continue
For the second time this season, Idaho was hurt in a big way by blocks on special teams.
After having a blocked punt and another punt returned for touchdowns in a loss to Indiana, the Vandals had a field goal and point-after attempt blocked against UC Davis.
Add in another missed field goal, and that’s seven lost points in a seven-point loss.
Whatever the case, four paws on the football in four games is something UI’s special teams units hope to fix sooner rather than later.
“That was just kinda a couple guys just not doing their jobs as good as they could,” Petrino said. “That wasn’t necessarily the whole kicking game, but between the Indiana game and that game, that’s two times where it really hurt us.”
Ball-hawking McCormick Bros.
There could be a personal rivalry brewing among UI’s defensive backs.
Brothers Sean and Tommy McCormick — a pair of surprise starters in the Idaho secondary this season — each own one interception on the season, and two of the team’s three total.
Nickel Sean McCormick, a sophomore who started his career as a wide receiver, nabbed the first one Week 1 against Simon Fraser. Freshman free safety Tommy McCormick intercepted Hastings right before halftime Saturday.
“Hopefully they up one another this week or they tie each other and they both get one,” Petrino said.
This day in history
Exactly 20 years ago, Idaho and Middle Tennessee State broke the NCAA Division I record for total points in a game.
On Oct. 6, 2001, the undefeated Blue Raiders toppled the winless Vandals 70-58 in a shootout in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
The teams combined for 1,445 yards of offense in the 128-point game.
Wiebe may be contacted at (208) 848-2260, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @StephanSports.