MOSCOW, Idaho — After a monumental win over an FBS school on Saturday, the reward for the Idaho Vandals is a matchup with a power five FBS school in Cal.
The Bears have given up just 21 points in two weeks and just narrowly lost to the Auburn Tigers on Saturday.
Head coach Jason Eck knows the tall task in front of his Vandals to get to 3-0 ahead of the beginning of conference play next week, but he believes his team will be confident heading into the Bay Area.
"There is no pressure on us in this one, we are going to go play loose and give Cal our best shot. We are going to have to make another jump. We will have to play better and play our best football and we will probably need a little bit of help from them to beat them," Eck said.
Following the win over Nevada, the Vandals moved up in both the FCS StatsPerform poll and the Coaches poll this week, but Coach Eck does not want that hype getting to his players' heads ahead of this matchup.
"We need to make sure we are down to earth because I think everyone is going to be telling us how wonderful we are all week and we need to get better. We cannot rest on where we are at right now. If we do not improve a lot in practice this week, we are not going to be in a position to win this game," Eck said.
The key focus for the Vandals on Saturday will be slowing down Cal running back Jaydn Ott.
"Jaydn Ott may be the best player we have played against so far. He is a really dynamic runner, great with the ball in his hands and he is an NFL player, he is a pro. It will certainly be a key to our success to limit big plays," Eck said.
The Vandals do not have to look far for the last time they played a PAC-12 school. In last season's opener, the Vandals narrowly lost 24-17 to Washington State on Daiyan Henley's game winning interception.
"We need to be ready. This is going to be a difficult battle on Saturday. I hope we can get it like Washington State last year where at the end of the game, we had a chance to win and hopefully we execute better than we did in that situation last year," Eck said.
"It's going to be a challenge, but it is a great opportunity. We will go play loose and play hard and see what happens," Eck said.
The Vandals are waiting to hear back from doctors as to the extent of defensive back Murvin Kenion's ankle injury suffered against Nevada, which will likely sideline him for Saturday's game.
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