Printed on: September 25, 2013

Petrino 'frustrated' with Vandals' shutout loss to Washington St.

By DAVE SOUTHORN
Idaho Statesman

Paul Petrino probably didn't ask what sort of grass grows on neighbor Mike Leach's lawn, and Washington State's coach probably didn't say "fescue" when cameras caught their postgame exchange Saturday.

Though Petrino, 0-4 in his first season at Idaho, declined to elaborate on what was said, saying it was between the two coaches, there was no doubt a bit of frustration was being expressed after a 42-0 loss.

On Monday, Petrino admitted he envisioned a little more from his team, especially after showing improvement the first three weeks.

"There's always a chance to be a little bit frustrated, but you've got to have the strength and the courage to come to work and fight every day," said Petrino, whose team hosts 0-3 Temple on Saturday. "In the big picture, offensively, yes, I was frustrated."

In addition to his own team's struggles, Petrino also noted that Washington State's defense was "kicking our butt." The Vandals were shut out for the third time in their past eight games against teams from BCS automatic-qualifying conferences.

Idaho scored 35 points in its previous game, a 45-35 loss to Northern Illinois on Sept. 14. Other than that game, however, Idaho has scored a combined 16 points. The Vandals yielded another five sacks, pushing their FBS-high total to 26.

Add in the 12 penalties and 417 yards allowed, and on the face, it appears Idaho took a step back.

"I guess if you just went by the numbers, you possibly could say we did," Petrino said.

If there was a silver lining in the Washington State loss, it was that plenty of fresh faces stepped up. Redshirt freshman quarterback Chad Chalich was 17-of-23 passing for 167 yards, and he has begun his career with 107 attempts without an interception.

Petrino also praised freshman cornerback Desmond Banks and freshman guard Steven Matlockout of Capital High School, who has played well.

"I still think each week we see ourselves improving -- a lot of times we'll say you've got to have a lot of private victories before we have a public victory, and each week we're still getting better," Petrino said. Leach responds

At his news conference Monday, Leach was asked about the postgame handshake, and acknowledged Petrino lives next to him in Pullman, Wash. He also did not elaborate on their "discussion."

"I have no idea what he's upset about," Leach said. "I don't care. And if I did know, which I don't, I wouldn't share it with you. Next question."

About the Owls

Temple spent last week on a bye following a 30-29 loss to FCS Fordham on Sept. 14 in which the Rams won on a touchdown pass with 4 seconds to play. The Owls also have losses against Notre Dame and Houston.

Like the Vandals, the Owls have a first-year coach in Matt Rhule, who was a Temple assistant from 2006-11.

Temple is 119th nationally in total defense (529 yards per game) and 96th in total offense (349 ypg). By comparison, Idaho is 117th and 94th, respectively.

In the offseason, Rhule moved quarterback Chris Coyer, who had 13 starts in 2011 and 2012, to H-back.