Vandals fall to Troy 24-21, move to 3-6 on season - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Vandals fall to Troy 24-21, move to 3-6 on season

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

TROY, Ala.- Another Sun Belt game, another nail biter. Idaho football dropped a 24-21 decision Thursday, at Troy. The Vandals (3-6, 2-3 Sun Belt) have lost their three conference games by a combined 11 points.

Idaho struck first, followed by 17 straight points from the Trojans (7-2, 4-1 Sun Belt). The Vandals were within three at 17-14 with five minutes to play when Troy lined up to kick a short field goal. The kick was good, but Idaho committed a running-into-the-kicker penalty and the Trojans elected to take the five yards and set up a fourth-and-one. Troy converted and on the next play Jordan Chunn scored from seven yards to put the home team up 24-14.

The Vandals put together an 81-yard drive and scored a touchdown with 23 seconds left to provide the final margin. The ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Trojans and they ran out the clock.

Matt Linehan completed 23-of-34 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns. Linehan moved up to second on Idaho’s all-time passing yards list. He now has 10,772 yards, just 52 shy of Doug Nussmeier’s all-time record. Linehan hit Alfonso Onunwor for both touchdown passes. It is the first multi-score game of Onunwor’s career.

Onunwor’s first touchdown grab came from seven yards out and put the Vandals ahead 7-0 with 3:02 left in the first quarter. Troy tied the game with 6:01 left in the second and capitalized on an Idaho penalty late in the half to set up a 40-yard field goal as time expired.

The Trojans scored on the opening drive of the second half to take a 17-7 lead, but it was the only score of the third quarter. A 23-yard touchdown from Linehan to Onunwor capped a 91-yard drive and brought the Vandals within three at 17-14 with 8:55 to play before the teams traded scores to close the game.

Mason Petrino connected with David Ungerer on a six-yard touchdown pass for Idaho’s final tally.

Idaho’s first touchdown came after the Vandals forced a turnover. Aikeem Coleman recorded a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery at midfield. It was the first fumble recovery of the season for Coleman.

Troy ran for 183 yards. Chunn accounted for 113 yards, including two touchdowns.

The Vandals enter a bye week and will return to action Nov. 18, against Coastal Carolina in the home finale.