Winless Weber State faces confident Southern Utah
Southern Utah coach Ed Lamb, a grounded guy, still may have been feeling the afterglow of his Thunderbirds' upset victory at Montana.
But Lamb, like most football coaches, doesn't want his players to overlook Weber State on Saturday when the two in-state schools meet for the first time as Big Sky Conference opponents. Kickoff is 1:05 p.m. in Eccles Coliseum.
It is a tale of teams heading in different directions.
The Wildcats, coming off a 19-14 loss at Sacramento State, are on the verge of losing their first eight games for the first time since 2004. But Lamb says he doesn't see an 0-8 football team on film.
"No question, Weber State is a good football team," he said. "If they had played a different schedule, they could easily be 7-0."
Weber State has struggled through a formidable schedule that has included BYU, Fresno State and three top-20 FCS teams. The Wildcats lost to No. 1 Eastern Washington by six points.
Yet WSU also has been its own worst enemy and has yet to put together a four-quarter effort.
"It's been one or two plays on each side of the ball," Weber State coach Jody Sears said. "We're leaving a couple plays out there and, yes, we've got to play more consistent."
Sears continues to say the right things about a unified locker room and the players' growing trust in each other.
"They haven't folded the tents," Sears said.
Southern Utah, which fields one of the youngest defenses in the conference, has one home victory in three tries this season. Coming off the victory at Montana, however, has bolstered the Thunderbirds' confidence.
The top five SUU tacklers are first-year starters, including three freshmen. True freshman linebacker Zak Browning leads the T-birds with 71 tackles, while redshirt freshman linebacker Miles Killebrew is third with 46 tackles.
"The confidence that came from [winning in] that environment is big for our guys," Lamb said.
Weber State at Southern Utah
P At Eccles Coliseum (Cedar City)
Kickoff • 1:05 p.m.
TV • None
Radio • 106.9 FM, 91.1 FM
Records • WSU 0-7, 0-4 Big Sky; SUU 3-4, 2-2
Series history • WSU leads l4-4
Last meeting • SUU 35, Weber 28 (Oct. 22, 2011)
About the Wildcats • WSU's defense forced three fumbles and had seven tackles for loss, including two sacks, in last week's loss to Sacramento State.
About the Thunderbirds • SUU is 11th in the league in total offense and 12th in total defense.