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1987 [[Script error]]
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Big Sky champion
ConferenceBig Sky Conference
DivisionScript error
1987 record9–3 (7–1 Big Sky)
Head coachKeith Gilbertson
(2nd season)
Offensive coordinatorBill Diedrick (2nd season)
Defensive coordinatorBarry Lamb (1st season)
Base defense4–3
Home stadiumKibbie Dome
← 1986
1988 →
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Template:1987 Big Sky football standings The 1987 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1987 NCAA Division I-AA football season. The Vandals, led by second-year head coach Keith Gilbertson, were members of the Big Sky Conference and played their home games at the Kibbie Dome, an indoor facility on campus in Moscow, Idaho.

The Vandals won their second conference title in three seasons, and made the I-AA playoffs for the third consecutive season. Led by redshirt sophomore quarterback John Friesz, Idaho finished the regular season at 9–2 and 7–1 in the Big Sky.

Notable gamesEdit

Following a non-conference loss at home to Central Michigan and a road loss to intrastate rival Idaho State,[1] Idaho won its final six games of the regular season. The Vandals defeated Nevada-Reno for only the second time in the ten meetings since the Wolf Pack joined the Big Sky in 1979. The Vandals defeated rival Boise State for the sixth consecutive year, the sixth of twelve straight over the Broncos.

Division I-AA playoffsEdit

For the third consecutive season, Idaho returned to the 16-team I-AA playoffs. The Vandals hosted conference foe Weber State, whom they had defeated in Utah four weeks earlier by three points. The Wildcats won the rematch 59–30, before a sparse crowd at the Kibbie Dome two days after Thanksgiving, ending the Vandals' season at 9–3.[2]

Notable playersEdit

The 1987 team included two future NFL players with lengthy pro careers: guard Mark Schlereth and redshirt sophomore John Friesz, a future collegiate hall of fame quarterback as a three-year starter (1987–89).


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1987 Idaho Vandals football team roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Class
FL 6 Jorgensen, EricEric Jorgensen Jr
SE Jake, JohnJohn Jake
QB Nolan, SteveSteve Nolan Fr
QB 17 Friesz, JohnJohn Friesz So
RB Hoiness, ToddTodd Hoiness Jr
RB Leverett, LarryLarry Leverett So
TE Robinson, CraigCraig Robinson Sr
TE Slater, ChrisChris Slater Jr
T 70 Hale, GregGreg Hale Jr
G Neu, ToddTodd Neu So
C Unger, SteveSteve Unger So
G 60 Schlereth, MarkMark Schlereth Jr
T 63 Wright, TroyTroy Wright So
Pos. # Name Class
CB 1 Carey, RichardRichard Carey Jr
FS 8 Sanders, ErnestErnest Sanders Sr
CB 29 Paulsen, VirgilVirgil Paulsen Sr
SS McCanna, DanDan McCanna Sr
LB Medved, JerryJerry Medved Jr
LB Medved, JimJim Medved Jr
LB Matthews, MarkMark Matthews Fr
LB 31 Johnson, KevinKevin Johnson Sr
DE Wilkins, PetePete Wilkins Sr
DT Dowdy, CraigCraig Dowdy Sr
DT Bailey, MichaelMichael Bailey Jr
DE Smith, KordKord Smith Sr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K Decicio, BrianBrian Decicio Jr
P Pleas, JohnJohn Pleas Jr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches
  • Bill Diedrick (OC)
  • Barry Lamb (DC)

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


Six Vandals were named to the all-conference team: quarterback John Friesz, tackle Greg Hale, guard Todd Neu, defensive end Pete Wilkins, safety Ernest Sanders, and cornerback Virgil Paulsen. Second team selections were wide receiver Eric Jorgensen, tight end Craig Robinson, and punter John Pleas. Honorable mention were running back Todd Hoiness, center Steve Unger, defensive linemen Kord Smith and Jim Routos, and placekicker Brian Decicio.[5][6][7][8]

Friesz, from Coeur d'Alene, was also named the Big Sky's outstanding offensive player.[9][10]


  1. "UI: Medved twins have big shoes to fill in the middle". Idahonian ((Moscow)): p. 1C. September 1, 1987.
  2. "UI: Vandals should be strong at defensive end". Idahonian ((Moscow)): p. 6A. September 2, 1987.
  3. "UI: Secondary is a strength". Idahonian ((Moscow)): p. 1C. September 3, 1987.
  4. "Starting line-ups". Lewiston Morning Tribune ((Idaho)): p. 4B. October 3, 1987.
  5. "All-Big Sky teams". Spokane Chronicle. Associated Press ((Washington)): p. D3. December 2, 1987.
  6. "EWU's Stein makes All-Big Sky". Spokane Chronicle. staff and wire reports ((Washington)): p. D1. December 2, 1987.
  7. "Six Vandals on Big Sky first team". Idahonian. Associated Press ((Moscow)): p. 10A. December 2, 1987.
  8. "Friesz, Buenzli top All=Big Sky teams". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. D2. December 2, 1987.
  9. "Idaho's Friesz best in Big Sky". Idahonian. Associated Press ((Moscow)): p. 1B. December 4, 1987.
  10. "Friesz captures Big Sky MVP award". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 33. December 4, 1987.

External linksEdit

Template:Big Sky Conference football champions

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