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College football: Southern Utah tries to rebound vs. Portland State

Published October 11, 2013 7:04 pm

College football • T-birds coming off loss to UC Davis.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Cedar City • After one of the most disappointing losses in six seasons as Southern Utah's football coach, Ed Lamb knows the Thunderbirds must rebound quickly to stay in the Big Sky Conference race.

SUU plays Portland State on Saturday at Eccles Coliseum, one week after a 21-3 loss to UC Davis.

The Thunderbirds failed to score a touchdown at home for the first time in 12 years against the Aggies, who had lost four of their first five games.

It wasn't a fluke. UC Davis dominated.

"We were just outclassed by a better team," Lamb said. "They came in and performed better in every way. … They ran the ball well. They physically blocked us at the line of scrimmage.

"It's been difficult for our guys to take. But the video, I think, brought some clarity to the situation. … We need to get better. If we continue to play like we did and don't get better, we will continue to get beat."

Problem? Although Portland State has lost two straight, the Vikings are much better offensively than UC Davis. They are led by quarterback Kieran McDonagh.

"He's got all the tools," Lamb said. "He throws the ball well. He has a quick delivery and a strong arm. They have excellent play design and will attack you vertically. … They are really a nightmare to prepare for." —

Portland State at Southern Utah

O At Eccles Coliseum (Cedar City)

Kickoff • Saturday, 2:05 p.m.

TV • None. Radio • 91.1 FM

Records • Southern Utah, 4-2, 1-1; Portland State 3-3, 0-2

Series • Portland State, 8-2

Last meeting • Southern Utah, 49-42 (2012)

About the Thunderbirds • In their last four games, they are averaging only 16 points. … They rushed for only 45 yards last week against UC Davis. … Senior WR Fatu Moala needs 19 receptions to take over fourth place on the school's all-time list. … They are 30-31 under coach Ed Lamb.

About the Vikings • They have lost two straight. … They average 38.7 points per game, which ranks them 13th in the country. … They average 574 yards of total offense, which is third nationally.