Flagstaff, Ariz. • Southern Utah's roller-coaster ride through its first season in the Big Sky Conference ends Saturday, when the Thunderbirds visit No. 11 Northern Arizona.
SUU is 4-6 overall and 3-4 in the conference, including wins over previously top-ranked Eastern Washington and traditional Football Championship Subdivision power Montana.
Narrow losses, however, have ruined the Thunderbirds' chance of challenging for the Big Sky title.
Weber State (24-22), North Dakota (33-29), Sacramento State (27-22) and Montana State (24-17) defeated Southern Utah by 18 points in games decided in the final moments.
"We've found we're capable of beating anyone," SUU coach Ed Lamb said. "We also found anyone in the league is capable of beating us."
Northern Arizona is 8-1, 6-0 in the Big Sky and headed to the FCS playoffs.
"Anytime a team carries a No. 1-in-the-conference tag, it provides motivation," Lamb said. "I believe our team has plenty of confidence. If we do the right things, we can win. I expect a great effort."
The game will be the last in SUU quarterback Brad Sorensen's collegiate career.
He threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns in last week's loss at North Dakota, becoming the Thunderbirds' all-time leader in total offense (8,975).
Sorensen also holds school records for passing yard (9,068), touchdown passes (59), completions (754) and pass attempts (1,131).
SUU at Northern Arizona
P At the Walkup Skydome
Kickoff • 2:05 p.m.
TV • FOX Sports Arizona
Radio • 91.1 FM
Records • SUU, 4-6, 3-4; Northern Arizona 8-1, 6-0
Series history • Northern Arizona, 11-5
Last meeting • SUU 27, NAU 24 (2011)
About the Thunderbirds • They are 2-3 on the road. â¦ They have lost four conference games by 18 points. â¦ They have converted 33 of 35 trips to the red zone into points, including 21 TDs.
About the Lumberjacks • They have won eight straight since a season-opening 63-6 loss at Arizona State. â¦ The winning streak is their longest since 1958.