The Vandals used to face off against the Utah Utes on a yearly basis.  1956 was no different.  Although the mighty Utes are now Pac-12 members and Idaho is now out of the league, the all-time series with Utah is nearly equal.  While North Idaho fans considered the WSC-UI game to be the biggest, the yearly game between the Vandals and Utes, which was typically played in Boise, was considered the biggest game of the season by Southern Idaho Vandal fans.  In 1956 the Vandals triumphed over the Utah Utes in a dramatic game in Salt Lake City.  Utah jumped out to an early 14-0 lead but Idaho stormed back to win the game 27-21.   Over 11,000 fans attended the game in Salt Lake to see Idaho upset the home team.

Idaho lost a close one 21-14

In a sign of the problems with current Vandal facilities the Vandals drew over 16,000 spectators for the big game against Washington State.  As is widely known the Kibbie Dome holds only 16,000 spectators now, more than half a century after the 1956 game.

California’s governor even through his opinion regarding the conference future in the ring.  In light of the penalty situation and Rose Bowl rules, he suggested the four California schools leave everyone else behind and form their own conference.

Another tradition that seems to be to be lost is the selection of the all-opponent team.  On a yearly basis the Vandals would name the best players that the team faced.  I don’t recall seeing such a respectful list being published in recent times.

Jim Shanley looks to tackle an Oregon player

Jim Shanley looks to tackle an Oregon player

The Vandals finished the season without winning a conference game, their 4-5 record included a big win over the Utah Utes and yet another win over the lowly Montana Grizzlies.

1956 schedule poster

1956 schedule poster

Here’s some video of Idaho taking on Oregon State

and against WSU

and against Washington

and Arizona State


About gomightyvandals

A sports fan interested in the history of Vandal Athletics
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