Led on the field by quarterback Wayne Anderson, Idaho compiled a 4–4–1 overall record and were 1–3 in the PCC.
In the home opener against Oregon on October 4, Idaho outplayed the visitors for 56 minutes, but gave up two late touchdowns and lost by six.
The Vandals suffered a second straight loss in the Battle of the Palouse with neighbor Washington State, falling 36–6 at Rogers Field in Pullman on November 1. The previous two editions had been competitive, with a 7–7 tie in 1950 and 9–6 battle in Moscow in 1951. The loss prevented the first winning season for Idaho football since 1938. It ran the winless streak against the Cougars to 26 games, a record of 0–24–2 since taking three straight in 1923–25; the Vandals broke the streak two years later in Pullman.