Various sports scenes from the 1916 Gem of the Mountains

Various sports scenes from the 1918 Gem of the Mountains

The silver and gold (or rather red and white, in 1916) started the season off slowly.  The Vandals hosted OAC in the first game of the season and the future Beavers (then Aggies) trounced Idaho 26-0.  The Aggies outplayed Idaho in every facet of the game.  They ran on Idaho at will, blocked Idaho kicks and even completed several forward passes.

It was more of the same in the second game.  This time, however, the Vandals went down to defeat against the Gonzaga Bulldogs.  Idaho was again outplayed in every aspect of the game.  Surprising many, the Zags, defeated Idaho 21-6.  The Tribune reported that Idaho was learning a new formation and fumbled and fluked its way to the sound defeat.

After another loss at Walla Walla to Whitman College, the Vandals returned to the Palouse only to be trounced by the hated WSC Cougars.  On a slippery Pullman field, the cougs scored in every quarter, defeating Idaho 31-0.

The final conference game of the season would be in Moscow against Montana.  Because Idaho had not yet won a game, the Vandals would be guaranteed a last place finish regardless of the outcome. As can be expected when the Vandals and Griz meet, the game was hotly contested.  Montana came away victorious, though, after a costly interception thrown by Idaho and running it back for a touchdown.  The final score was Montana 20, Idaho 13.

After a brutal and disappointing conference schedule, Idaho rattled off a series of victories beginning with a 39-0 victory over the College of Southern Idaho (then Albion Normal School) and a 32-0 victory over Idaho State (then Pocatello Tech).

The season concluded with Idaho travelling to Logan, Utah to face the Aggies.  The game was played on a snowy, wet, field.  The Aggies kept it close in the first half, but the conditions favored the heavier Idaho team and they pulled away in the second half, winning by the score of 27-15.

It was surely a different sports landscape in the early part of the 20th century.  As the Pacific Coast and Northwest conferences held their annual meetings jointly in Seattle, Stanford was invited to join the PCC.  Further, California was expected to lobby for admittance of USC, Occidental, and Whittier into the league. Unrelated to sports, the Tribune covered the University of Idaho’s growth in a special column.  The author noted the various states, counties, and high schools from which students came to Idaho.  Especially impressive was the increasing number of women registering for classes at Moscow.


About gomightyvandals

A sports fan interested in the history of Vandal Athletics
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