W. Michigan over the Vandals at the Kibbie Dome - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

W. Michigan over the Vandals at the Kibbie Dome

MOSCOW, Idaho - There were just a couple words Robb Akey needed to describe Idaho's 51-28 non-conference loss to Western Michigan Saturday afternoon.

"Very disappointing," he said after the Vandals dropped to 1-2 with their conference opener at Utah State one week away. "I thought the first half we had a whale of a football game going. I liked the way that we started out the second half (by scoring after an onside kick to open the third quarter)."

Then the game that had been a toe-to-toe tussle turned one-sided in favor of Western Michigan. After Idaho tied the game at 14 with 12:39 left in the third, the Broncos scored on five of their next six possessions - which includes racking up 23 third-quarter points, to take control of the game. The Vandals tacked on a couple fourth-quarter scores but it was too little, too late.

The final stats didn't reflect an outcome as lopsided as the scoreboard did. Idaho had more first downs, more yards passing, more yards total offense. But, the Vandals also lost a fumble, had an interception and gave up a safety. Once the struggles began in the third quarter, it was difficult to quell the momentum that had shifted to favor WMU and left the Broncos with sterling field position.

"When something bad happens," Akey said, "we have to counter that with something good - and unfortunately that was the tale of the second half."

After the Vandals daring - and successful - onside kick to open the second half, they marched 53 yards to score on Deonte` Jackson's two-yard run. WMU scored on its next possession on an 80-yard drive was aided by a pass interference call that gave the Broncos a first down at the Idaho 27. Two plays later, they scored to go back up by a touchdown, 21-14.

Idaho turned the ball over when Dewey Hale fumbled on the kickoff return to give WMU the ball at the Vandal 17. The Broncos scored in six plays to stretch their lead to 28-14.

The youth and injuries in Idaho's offensive line showed on the next series when quarterback Nathan Enderle was sacked twice - the second resulteing in a WMU safety and a 30-14 lead with 6:34 left in the third. T.J. Conley boomed a 62-yarder on the free kick but Schneider Julian responded with a 43-yard return and Idaho was whistled for a personal foul - one of nine penalties - to aid WMU's field position. The result was the Broncos started the next drive at the Idaho 39.

WMU wrapped with the 23-point period four plays later on 16-yard a Tim Hiller to Branden Ledbetter pass.

"We hurt ourselves today," cornerback Isaac Butts said. "We've got to know our assignments. We've got to know what we're doing. ... You eliminate those plays and I'd probably be up here with a smile instead of the look I've got right now."

The loss overshadowed some noteworthy individual efforts. Jackson tallied another 100-plus game with 110 yards on 21 carries. Enderle, who found a favorite target in Eddie Williams, was 25-of-39 for 334 yards. Williams had the best outing of his career with nine grabs for 161 yards and Shiloh Keo pounded his way to 10 solo stops and an assist for an 11-tackle afternoon. Linebacker Andrew Blevins, who started in place of injured JoJo Dickson, had eight stops.

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