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1971 [[Script error]]
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Big Sky champion
ConferenceBig Sky Conference
DivisionScript error
1971 record8–3 (4–1 Big Sky)
Head coachDon Robbins (2nd season)
Offensive coordinatorBobby Thompson (3rd season)
Defensive coordinatorRay Fulton (2nd season)
CaptainJack Goddard (WR)
CaptainRon Linehan (LB)
Home stadiumIdaho Stadium
Bronco Stadium (Sep 11)
Joe Albi Stadium (Sep 25)
← 1970
1972 →
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Template:1971 Big Sky football standings The 1971 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1971 NCAA University Division football season. The Vandals, led by second-year head coach Don Robbins, were members of the Big Sky Conference and played the final three of their five home games at the new Idaho Stadium, an outdoor facility on campus in Moscow, Idaho.

The Vandals won their first outright conference title in 1971, which included an eight-game winning streak after opening with two losses. Idaho finished 8–3 in the regular season and 4–1 in the Big Sky. At the time, it was the best record in school history.

Notable gamesEdit

A third consecutive season opened without a home field, as the new Idaho Stadium was not quite finished and there was no suitable venue available on the Palouse.[1][2] After the wooden Neale Stadium (1937) was condemned in August 1969, the Vandals played their limited schedule of Palouse home games at the wooden Rogers Field at WSU in nearby Pullman in 1969 and 1970.[3] The primary (south) grandstand of Rogers burned in April 1970,[4] and was razed in 1971; in its footprint Martin Stadium was constructed and opened in September 1972.[5][6]

The Vandals' season opener was a stunning 14–42 upset loss at Boise State in the first meeting between the two teams, creating an instant rivalry game.[7][8] This was actually an Idaho "home game" moved south to Boise,[9] because the new stadium in Moscow was behind schedule and not completed.[10] Boise State had been a junior college program through 1967, moved up to NAIA in 1968 as an independent, and joined the NCAA "college division" (Division II) and Big Sky in 1970.[11] Idaho had played a home game every season in Boise in the old wooden Bronco Stadium through 1968; this ended when Boise State joined the Big Sky.

The Colorado State game on September 25 was played at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane,[12] The Vandals shut out the CSU Rams 10–0 to begin their eight-game winning streak;[13] the Rams' star running back was Lawrence McCutcheon,[12][14] who was selected for multiple Pro Bowls while with the Los Angeles Rams.

The new Idaho Stadium opened with a 40–3 Vandal victory over Idaho State on October 9.[15] The unlit outdoor concrete stadium in Moscow replaced Neale Stadium in the same footprint and continued with a natural grass surface. It was the first game played on campus in nearly three years, the last was a win on November 2, 1968. Artificial turf, 3M Tartan Turf, was installed in 1972,[16] and the facility was enclosed in 1975 to become the multi-purpose Kibbie Dome.

After four consecutive road victories,[17] the Vandals finished the 1971 season at home with a 40–2 victory over Montana State to wrap up the Big Sky title, and a disappointing 13–42 non-conference loss to Utah State in the finale.[18] Boise State finished at 10–2 with a postseason win, but its two losses were in league play and finished second in the Big Sky at 4–2.[19]

Division IEdit

Although a charter member of a conference whose other members were "college division" (Division II) for football, Idaho maintained its status as a "university division" (Division I) program with the NCAA by playing only "university division" opponents in its non-conference schedule.[20][21] That is why runner-up Boise State went to the Camellia Bowl in 1971,[22] and when the Division II playoffs arrived in 1973, the Vandals were again ineligible, as they were in Division I. (Idaho was a member of the conference primarily for basketball.)

The Big Sky moved up to the new Division I-AA in 1978, and Idaho was forced to move down. In 18 seasons in I-AA, the Vandals reached the post-season playoffs 11 times, missing only once in the final 11 seasons of 198595.

Idaho returned to Division I-A in 1996 with a move to the Big West, and then to the WAC in 2005. (The Big West dropped football after 2000; Idaho was a "football only" member of the Sun Belt for four seasons, 200004.) The WAC dropped football after the 2012 season and Idaho athletics rejoined the Big Sky in 2013 for all sports except football, which was independent in 2013, rejoined the Sun Belt in 2014, and the Big Sky (FCS) in 2018.


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1971 Idaho Vandals football team roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Class
QB 10 Ponciano, TomTom Ponciano Sr
QB 12 Cole, BruceBruce Cole So
QB 18 Seefried, RickRick Seefried So
RB 20 Riley, FredFred Riley Sr
RB 22 Williams, RobertRobert Williams Sr
FL 24 Hall, JerryJerry Hall Jr
WR 30 Hall, AlanAlan Hall
RB 35 Rembert, BernieBernie Rembert Jr
RB 36 Clements, MikeMike Clements
RB 38 Giordano, KimKim Giordano
RB 40 Peterson, RandyRandy Peterson
RB 43 Smith, MalcolmMalcolm Smith Sr
RB 44 Doctor, FrankFrank Doctor
TE 45 Wilund, JimJim Wilund Sr
C 50 Muhlbeier, KenKen Muhlbeier Jr
C 51 Feeney, DennisDennis Feeney
C 59 Hanauer, DarylDaryl Hanauer Jr
T 70 Beaver, RichardRichard Beaver Sr
OL 72 Bosma, LarryLarry Bosma Jr
G,T 73 Riley, FaustinFaustin Riley Sr
OL 74 Crnich, DaveDave Crnich Jr
G 75 Kushlan, RichRich Kushlan Sr
OL 76 Van Duyne, BobBob Van Duyne So
OL 77 Warren, LarryLarry Warren Jr
G,T 78 Kupp, AndyAndy Kupp Sr
OL 79 Secrest, JerryJerry Secrest
WR 80 Curcio, JayJay Curcio So
TE 82 Burchfield, DarrellDarrell Burchfield Jr
TE 84 Welch, JimJim Welch So
WR 83 Ault, KevinKevin Ault Jr
WR 89 Goddard, JackJack Goddard (C) Sr
Pos. # Name Class
S 11 Bruns, BuckyBucky Bruns So
S, P 16 Hunter, SteveSteve Hunter Jr
S 23 Nelson, RossRoss Nelson Fr
S 25 Hall, RandyRandy Hall So
DB 26 Dantzler, LorenLoren Dantzler
S 27 Sprute, PatPat Sprute Sr
CB 33 Maynard, RodRod Maynard Jr
S 34 Miller, BobBob Miller Sr
CB 37 Cook, KirbyKirby Cook
CB 42 Courage, KellyKelly Courage Jr
LB 52 Bligh, JohnJohn Bligh
LB 53 Marquess, RandRand Marquess Jr
LB 54 Morschek, FredFred Morschek So
LB 55 Burgess, LindseyLindsey Burgess
DL 56 Busch, MarkMark Busch Jr
LB 58 Sletager, RalphRalph Sletager Jr
LB 61 Linehan, RonRon Linehan (C) Sr
DL 62 Mabry, SteveSteve Mabry
DT 65 Cady, BillBill Cady Sr
DL 66 Clute, RickRick Clute
NG 67 Barker, SteveSteve Barker Sr
DL 68 Gramsrud, LloydLloyd Gramsrud So
DL 69 Aldershof, TomTom Aldershof
DT 71 Newell, MikeMike Newell Jr
DE 81 Jarman, TomTom Jarman Sr
DE 85 Simmons, RickRick Simmons
DE 86 Doud, TomTom Doud So
DL 87 Vance, AlanAlan Vance So
DL 88 Nelson, OscarOscar Nelson
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
PK 7 Castillo, RicardoRicardo Castillo Sr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Cruz Roja.svg Injured
  • Redshirt.svg Redshirt


Six Vandals were named to the all-Big Sky team, two on offense and four on defense: halfback Fred Riley, guard Andy Kupp, defensive end Rick Simmons, noseguard Steve Barker, and linebackers Ron Linehan and Rand Marquess. The second team also had six Idaho players, with four on offense and two on defense: fullback Frank Doctor, wide receiver Jack Goddard, tackle Larry Bosma, center Ken Muhlbeier, defensive tackle Bill Cady, and defensive back Kelly Courage.[4][5]

Linehan's selection was his third consecutive.

NFL DraftEdit

Three Vandal seniors were selected in the 1972 NFL Draft, which lasted seventeen rounds (442 selections).

Player Position Round Overall Franchise
Fred Riley WR 6th 146 Atlanta Falcons
Andy Kupp G 10th 241 New Orleans Saints
Ron Linehan LB 17th 428 Pittsburgh Steelers

One junior was selected in the following year's draft in 1973, also seventeen rounds (442 selections).

Player Position Round Overall Franchise
Ken Muhlbeier C 16th 400 Denver Broncos

Two sophomores were selected in the 1974 NFL Draft, which lasted seventeen rounds (442 selections).

Player Position Round Overall Franchise
Bob Van Duyne G 10th 240 Baltimore Colts
Randy Hall DB 13th 317 Baltimore Colts


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named isvlupfb
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named vshhboi
  3. "Bengals vs. Vandals: probable lineups". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 12. October 9, 1971.
  4. "Idaho lands six gridders on Big Sky all-star team". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 31. November 25, 1971.
  5. "Six Vandals are honored". Spokane Daily Chronicle ((Washington)): p. 69. November 25, 1971.

External linksEdit

Template:Big Sky Conference football champions

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