(MOSCOW, Idaho) – There were smiles all over the Kibbie Dome Saturday evening and none bigger than that of football coach Paul Petrino, whose Idaho Vandals had just put together their most complete game since he took over in December 2012.
That all-around effort resulted in Idaho’s 29-17 victory over New Mexico State in a Sun Belt Conference game that left the Homecoming crowd celebrating.
“It feels awesome,” said Petrino, who, with his seven-year-old daughter Ava by his side, noted the trickle down impact of the victory on not only the coaches and players but their families as well. “They’re the ones that really know how hard we work and the hours we put in and how we live and die for each game.”
The Vandals did it without starting quarterback Matt Linehan, who left the game on the first series after leading a drive deep into Aggie territory. In stepped Chad Chalich, who started seven games for Idaho last year before being sidelined with an injury. Chalich completed 18 of 32 passes for 192 yards. He was intercepted once but he engineered the scoring drives and threw on TD pass in helping the Vandals stop a season-long skid.