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Zamberlin believes Idaho State offense will bounce back
Idaho State football coach John Zamberlin knew it would be a tough task to evaluate his team’s 32-7 loss to Northern Arizona.
Even so, he came away from that evaluation determined to continue down the same path with the hope for better execution.
“I feel good about where we are going and how we are attacking people,” Zamberlin said. “We are not far away. We’ll be ready for Portland State and we’ll bounce back. There is no other option.”
Zamberlin said he has faith in offensive coordinator Phil Earley. “I am spending my time with the defense,” Zamberlin said. “I brought in coach Earley for a reason. I trust him.”
Earley said on Saturday that he wanted to stick with one choice at quarterback for longer stretches. Senior Russel Hill and freshman Kyle Morris alternated against Northern Arizona and neither had much success.
Hill said the Bengals all need to step up with execution. “It seems like every play, we have one or two guys who are not doing what they are taught,” Hill said. “We need to have all 11 guys execute. We are close.
“It all starts with the offensive line, but the quarterback can’t take (five) sacks, either.”
Hill knows that Saturday’s game at Portland State (1-2 overall, 0-0 Big Sky) has become critically important after the team’s Homecoming dud. “We’re not stupid,” Hill said. “We know we need to act now.”
Senior wide receiver Isaiah Burel said the players understand the urgency for a big performance in Portland. “We’ve got to get it going,” he said. “We have to keep fighting.
“I know I didn’t play too great (on Saturday). I know I left some plays out on the field. We didn’t get it done. We need to play every play like it is our last.”
ISU will get a couple of key players back on Saturday. Offensive guard David Tyler (collarbone) should return to his left guard position. Junior wide receiver Kelvin Krosch should be ready to fire after being ineligible until last week.
Zamberlin said his main concern is to make sure Krosch, who is 6-foot-5, is physically ready to play. Since he couldn’t practice until last week, he hasn’t been taking shots. “We will see how he practices,” Zamberlin said. “My concern is for his safety.
“But if he is ready, he gives us a big target.”
Hill said it would be a major boost for the offense to get Krosch on the field. “He’s a great player,” Hill said. “I’ve thrown with him a whole lot. But he is a different animal. You just throw it in his vicinity … high … and he will go get it.”
ISU’s running game has hit a wall even though tailback Corey White has averaged 5.2 yards per carry. Junior Jahmel Rover continues to have trouble with his ankle and he had only one carry against NAU. Freshman Phil Pleasant has been taking snaps at running back after being switched from defense. Zamberlin said Pleasant was a running back in high school.
The coaching staff considered moving junior Tavoy Moore from wide receiver to running back, but they decided he is too valuable to move.
NOTES: The home team in the ISU-Portland State series has won the last 10 games. … Krosch caught three touchdown passes against PSU last season. … The game will be played at Hillsboro Stadium because of renovations to PGE Park. … ISU is looking to break a 16-game conference road losing streak. … ISU has allowed a Big Sky high 14 sacks. … ISU ranks last in total offense at 251.2 yards per game.
By Jay Heater, Idaho State Journal