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DEFENSE THROTTLES IDAHO AS WILDCATS GET TOUGH FOR 25-19 VICTORY AT HOME

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Weber State's defensive problems were discovered and have apparently been remedied.

The Wildcat defense came up big for the second straight week as Weber knocked off visiting Idaho, 25-19, Saturday afternoon in front of 8,128 fans.Surprisingly, it wasn't just a matter of execution that had put the Wildcats at the bottom of all the Big Sky stats through the first seven games of the season. The Wildcat defenders just needed to tighten their belts - literally.

After closely examining their defensive woes, the coaches didn't feel benching players or overhauling the game plan would be necessary. The reason opposing offenses had been feasting on the Wildcats was because the defense had a digestive problem - they ate too much before the game.

So, before the last two games, Weber's defensive coaches simply decided to cut back portion sizes in the pregame meal. The result has been two outstanding performances both leading to wins.

"We knew we had to try something and since we've done that we've played much better," said Weber coach Dave Arslanian. "This was the team I thought we'd have all year."

This was the first win for the Wildcats (5-4, 3-2) over the Vandals (3-4, 2-3) in four years. Weber had lost its last three to Idaho by a combined score of 187-54.

The Wildcats held Idaho's potent offense to 347 total yards and limited current Big Sky offensive player of the week Eric Hisaw to just 241 yards passing. The most impressive part for WSU's defense was its play in the second half as it didn't allow the Vandals to score in the final 17 minutes of play.

"We were tired of having our butts handed to us," said junior linebacker Naki Pilivi, who recorded 11 tackles and two quarterback sacks. "It was just time for a payback."

The WSU defense got a big boost on its first play when free safety Sheddric Mickles recovered a fumble. Then on Idaho's next series it forced the Vandals to settle for a field goal after they marched to the Weber 8.

The Wildcats got on the scoreboard early in the second quarter as junior quarterback Roger Cook, starting his second game in place of injured Bryan Martin, connected with wide receiver Taurus McGhee for a 68-yard touchdown pass.

Weber, which at one point trailed 16-7, cut the deficit to just two points at halftime on Clemente Sainten's 1-yard run in the second quarter.

Cook threw 34 yards to Pokey Eckford in the third quarter to give the Wildcats the lead. Cooks' 2-point conversion pass to Joel Pelagio-Williams made it 22-19.

With 2:42 left in the game, Weber accounted for the game's final points when Scott Shields booted a 30-yard field goal.

Cook completed 30 of 39 passes for 367 yards and two touchdowns.