Georgia-Idaho State preview: Bengals bring 7-game losing streak to Athens
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Georgia-Idaho State at a glance:
12:30 p.m. Saturday in Sanford Stadium
- 1. Out of their leagues. This game pits an FBS (formerly Division I-A) team, Georgia, against an FCS (formerly Division I-AA) team, Idaho State. You know how such games tend to go. Idaho State is 1-14 against FBS opponents since the start of the 2000 season, with the lone victory coming at Utah State (27-24) 10 years ago. Since then, Idaho State has lost to FBS teams Arizona State, Oklahoma, Utah State (four times), Boise State (twice), Idaho (twice), Oregon State, UNLV, Kentucky and San Diego State.
- 2. The bowl push. Yes, a victory over Idaho State (1-7 overall, 0-6 in the Big Sky Conference) would count toward the six wins Georgia (4-5, 3-4 SEC) needs for bowl eligibility. Presuming a victory over the Bengals, Georgia then would need to win at BCS No. 2 Auburn on Nov. 13 or against rival Georgia Tech in Athens on Nov. 27 to become bowl eligible for the 14th consecutive season.
- 3. Remembering 1980. Georgia will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its 1980 national championship by recognizing coach Vince Dooley and members of that team at halftime Saturday. Among the 1980 Bulldogs expected to be on hand: team captain Frank Ros, offensive captain Nat Hudson, defensive captain Jeff Hipp, Scott Woerner, Rex Robinson, Tim Morrison, Buck Belue and Eddie Weaver. UGA said it doesn’t expect Herschel Walker to attend because of his upcoming MMA fight.
A Georgia win would …
- Make the Bulldogs .500 for the season.
An Idaho State win would …
- Break the Bengals’ seven-game losing streak, which includes defeats to Utah State, Northern Colorado, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Montana, Weber State and Montana State.
Keep an eye on …
- For Georgia: Junior Brandon Boykin could break the UGA career record for kickoff return yards Saturday. He enters the game with 1,616 yards on 60 returns, 22 yards short of breaking the record set by Gene Washington in 1973-76. Boykin has an SEC-record three 100-yard returns in his career. Against Florida last week, he had a 51-yard fourth-quarter return that set up Georgia’s final touchdown, which sent the game into overtime.
- For Idaho State: Tavoy Moore, a 5-foot-7, 195-pound junior who is used at running back, wide receiver, punt returner and kickoff returner, ranks second in the Big Sky Conference in all-purpose yards with 192 per game, including 323 in one game. He became the first Big Sky player to return a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in two different games.
The numbers game
- 0-1: Idaho State’s record vs. the SEC, with the only previous encounter being a 41-29 loss at Kentucky in 2005.
- 85: Football scholarships that FBS schools, such as Georgia, are allowed.
- 56.7: Football scholarships that Idaho State is allowed this season. (FCS schools generally are permitted 63, but Idaho State was penalized 10 percent of that total because of poor scores on the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate.)
“They’re going to be sort of angry Bulldogs after that Florida loss, so we’ve got to get our motors running and go out and compete hard.” — Idaho State coach John Zamberlin
The history book
- Series record: This is the first game between Georgia and Idaho State.
The bottom line
Idaho State is 3-28 since the start of the 2008 season. The Bengals played two opponents from BCS conferences last season and lost by a combined 114-3 — 50-3 to Arizona State and 64-0 to Oklahoma.
Why, of all the football teams between Athens and Pocatello, is Georgia playing Idaho State? Click here for story.
And click here for a reminder about TV for Saturday’s game.