Idaho opened the six-game 1920 season with the annual contest against the border rival cougars.  WSC was heavily favored but the “Idaho Fights!” tradition was proven true once more by the brave and bold.  Idaho held the more experienced cougars to 14 points.  Unfortunately the Vandals scored only 7, but it was a great showing by a team that was expected to be trounced by the cougs.  The second half of the game was played in a rainstorm with cold wind and hail to boot.  The game was described by the Tribune as one of the best ever played between the two schools.  In news that won’t surprise anyone from Idaho, the Vandals were deemed to have the better band…and better fans…and came away with the Harvard yell contest championship.  More about the Harvard Yell contest can be read in the Argonaut.

Idaho Rooters

Idaho Rooters prove to be the better fans – (WSU ??) – Image courtesy of VandalMar

As of 1920 Idaho had never defeated Oregon.  This year, though, Idaho was confident that it could break its jinx against the ducks.  The Vandals strong showing inspired the students to join the team at the train station to send Idaho off to Eugene.  The crowd and band sent the team off with songs and music.  Unfortunately this wouldn’t be Idaho’s year as the Vandals dropped its second close game of the season in a loss to Oregon.  On the bright side the Oregon loss would be Idaho’s final loss of the season.

The Vandals luck would turn around the next week in its game against Whitman in Walla Walla.  Once again, the students sent the team off with a pep rally at the train station.  This time, however, the Vandals would return victorious.

MacLean Field 1920

MacLean Field 1920

At this point your author probably seems like a broken record beating the “Boise game” drum.  However, one only needs to review the literature to see what an important event this was.  Idaho’s Armistice Day game in Boise in 1920 was played against regional rival Utah.  Utah’s newspaper described the situation with the headline “Boise Suspends Business Today as Utah-Idaho Game Holds Sway“.  Utah’s governor made the trip up to Boise for the game.  Idaho came in as the favorite despite losing the 1919 game to Utah.  In typical Idaho fashion, the Vandals used a strong passing attack to snatch the 10-0 victory from Utah.

Idaho defeats Utah

Idaho defeats Utah in Boise – Image courtesy of VandalMar

Idaho’s next game was against the hated Griz from Montana.  As usual, Idaho was a two-touchdown favorite in Missoula.  Idaho proved the dopesters right and beat Montana 20-7.

In the season finale Idaho would meet Gonzaga at the Spokane County fairgrounds.  The game was expected to be close and lived up to expectations.  The good guys came out victorious with Idaho prevailing 10-7.  Over 4000 people were on hand to see Idaho kick a field goal in the closing minutes of one of the finest games of the year.


About gomightyvandals

A sports fan interested in the history of Vandal Athletics
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