As BYU prepares to host the 1-8 Idaho Vandals this week, we asked a few questions of Sean Kramer of Vandal Nation, the sports blog for The Argonaut, Idaho's student newspaper. Here are our questions and his answers:
1. Robb Akey was fired before completing his sixth season, and while the Vandals have struggled, many were surprised by this. What is your opinion on Akey's firing, and what seems to be the general feel across the Idaho fanbase?
It all depends the perception you choose to take on it. Many of the people upset at Akey's firing are upset because of the impact had on the Moscow community. Akey was a great guy to have there, he was an image people liked, he was all about Idaho football. He was never going to leave if he wasn't fired. But the bottom line is he was 20-50, he had only one winning season, four seasons in which the team won two or less games.
It's a gamble to have to go through a coaching change in the midst of independence, but it's a gamble that has to happen if the program has any chance to improve through this all.
2. Jason Gesser is the interim coach, previously the QB coach and now offensive coordinator. Is Gesser liked, do fans want him to get the permanent job, and what are his chances of doing so?
I think fans generally like Gesser. He is a name that is obviously very well known in the Palouse, he says all the right things, he is very motivated to do well in this job and he cares deeply about the job he has now. Though it's fair to say fans are not sold, nor should they be. Outside of huge upset wins at BYU or Utah State, Gesser doesn't have much of a shot here. He is realistically coaching for a spot on this staff with the next head coach, or a spot on somebody else's' coaching staff. Talking to Gesser, you definitely get the head coach feel from him, but he needs the experience first.
3. Enlighten us on the story that is Dominique Blackman. The JC transfer played fairly well this season, but he was suspended for the season's first game, then two weeks ago he was dismissed from the team. What's behind this, what is the story?
The story behind Blackman's dismissal is that he violated team policy at least twice within the last calendar year, which is why he missed the first start against Eastern Washington and was dismissed from the team. There are rumors being floated around on exactly what, but the Athletic Department only said it was a violation of team policy, so it would be speculation for us to say anything else on it.
4. In Blackman's stead are Taylor Davis and Logan Bushnell. Davis has been around, but failed to win the starting job last year, too. Bushnell got the most snaps last week and is a senior. Will Bushnell start? What seems to be his strengths and weaknesses?
Logan Bushnell will get the start. Gesser seems to be most comfortable with the senior. His story is a pretty cool one. He walked on in 2008, redshirted and has bided his time throughout his entire career before getting an opportunity this year, and 2012 was his first season on scholarship. His strengths is that he has alright zip on the ball and thinks pretty cerebrally.
Though he has more weaknesses - His stature makes it easy to bat down balls at the line of scrimmage, he overthrows receivers when he feels the pressure and under throws receivers deep because he holds on to the ball too long. These are things Gesser believes can improve with more reps, which is reasonable.
Taylor Davis will get some series in the first couple of quarters. Davis features a much stronger arm but it will be his pocket presence and accuracy that determines whether or not he plays more than Bushnell.
5. Give us a final score prediction.
Brigham Young 42 Idaho 14
You can see our answers to Sean's questions in this post on Vandal Nation.