University News

Thunderbirds Set for Beehive Bowl Showdown Against No. 3/4 Weber State Wildcats

Published: November 08, 2018 | Author: Bryson Lester | Category: Athletics

SUU Football playerThe Thunderbird football team will play their annual Senior Day game against the No. 3/4 Weber State Wildcats this weekend, as they square off for the Beehive Bowl.

Last Time Out

In their last matchup at home the Thunderbirds fell to the Montana Grizzlies at home 57-14.

Southern Utah’s tight ends scored their two touchdowns. Logan Parker scored on a 30-yard pass from receiver Ty Rutledge, which perfectly capped off a trick play for the T-Birds. The second score came from McCoy Hill, who scored off a shovel pass from Tyler Skidmore to bring the second quarter to a close.

In his first career start Tyler Skidmore completed 22 passes for 138 yards and one touchdown. Jay Green Jr. carried the ball 16 times for 49 yards and Judd Cockett had six catches for 53 yards.

Defensively Chinedu Ahanonu had 10 tackles and one tackle for loss to lead the team.

Offensive Leaders

With roughly 100 more carries than anyone else on the team, Green Jr. leads the squad with 147 carries for 747 yards and five touchdowns. Karris Davis has also scored five times on the ground for SUU. In total the Thunderbirds have scored 20 times on the ground this season.

In two appearances for the T-Birds now, Tyler Skidmore has completed 49 passes for 468 yards and two touchdowns.  

Defensive Leaders

With nine games played Ahanonu leads the team in tackles by 20, sitting with 75. He also has 9.5 tackles for loss and two sacks on the season. Taylor Nelson sits with 55 total tackles and nine tackles for loss as well.  

AJ Stanley has 54 tackles this year, to go along with three tackles for loss, one sack and one interception. He’s also forced two fumbles.

Senior Day

This Saturday 14 Thunderbirds will be honored for their service to the program during SUU’s Senior Day recognition.

Players to be recognized: Chinedu Ahanonu, Daniel Bell, Alex Croyle, Chandler Dowell, McCoy Hill, Elijah Holt, Austin Mikkelson, Rashaan Miller, Taylor Nelson, Logan Parker, Ty Rutledge,  Lloyd Stephens, Marquez Tucker and Taelin Webb

Opponent Preview: No. 3/4 Weber State Wildcats (7-2, 5-1 Big Sky)

Regarded as one of the best teams in all of the FCS, the Weber State Wildcats will travel to Cedar City with a 7-2 overall record, and a 5-1 mark in the Big Sky Conference. WSU has won their last four contests over No. 3 Eastern Washington, Montana State, No. 22 North Dakota and Sacramento State.

In their last victory against the Hornets, the Wildcats outscored their Big Sky opponent 26-14. Quarterback Jake Constantine had a big day through the air, completing 23 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Josh Davis had a big day on the ground, carrying the ball 18 times for 129 yards and one touchdown.

On the season Constantine has completed 130 passes for 1,331 yards and 11 touchdowns. Darryl Denby has been the top target for WSU, catching 24 passes for 310 yards and six touchdowns. On the ground Davis has been the go-to running back, carrying the ball 161 times for 935 yards and six touchdowns.

Defensively LeGrand Toia is the Wildcat’s top tackler, totaling 56 total, 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks so far this season. Both Landon Stice and Adam Rodriguez have nine tackles for loss for the Wildcats. Stice also leads the team in interceptions with four.     

The Wildcats are ranked No. 3 in the STATS FCS Poll, and No. 4 in the FCS Coaches Poll.

Last Year vs. Weber State

The Thunderbirds and Wildcats faced off twice in 2017, once in the regular season and once in the FCS Playoffs.

Round 1 (October 14)

The Thunderbirds claimed the regular season matchup over the Wildcats in Ogden, beating the then-ranked No. 16/18 Wildcats 32-16 on the road.

Patrick Tyler had a huge game through the air, completing 20 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns. Six of those passes went to Logan Parker, who had 118 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

The defense had plenty of success in Ogden as well. Chance Bearnson had a pick-six against the Wildcats, and Jalen Russell had an interception as well. Ahanonu had 13 total tackles, and the Thunderbirds as a team had eight tackles for loss.

Manny Berz also knocked in a pair of field goals for the Thunderbirds.

Round 2 (December 2)

When the Wildcats traveled to Cedar City for the Second Round of the FCS Playoffs, they were able to flip the script and knock off the T-Birds 30-13.

Despite the Thunderbirds taking an early 10-0 lead, the Wildcats outscored SUU 30-3 the remainder of the contest to advance on in the bracket.

Stefan Cantwell had a huge day for the Wildcats, throwing for 299 yards and rushing for 105. He also threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another.

Recent Series History

The Thunderbirds and Wildcats are pretty even in terms of victories since facing off as members of the Big Sky Conference.

Weber State claimed the first victory in 2012, but the Thunderbirds won for the next three seasons capped off by a 44-0 victory in Ogden during their 2015 Big Sky Championship run.

Weber State got revenge in 2016 with a come from behind victory in Cedar City, and the two teams split matchups during the 2017 season.

As Big Sky Conference foes the T-Birds hold a 4-3 advantage over the Wildcats.

Big Sky At A Glance

With just two weekends left in the Big Sky football season the Aggies of UC Davis control their own destiny, as they sit with a perfect 6-0 record. This weekend they will play a critical matchup with the Eastern Washington Eagles, who are 5-1 in Big Sky play.

Also sitting at 5-1 are the Weber State Wildcats and the Idaho State Bengals. Those two teams will match up in the final week of the regular season.

UC Davis, Weber State, Eastern Washington and Idaho State were all ranked this week in the various polls.

Words From The T-Birds

Demario Warren on the rivalry matchup…

“Weber is Weber, we’ve got to bring the juice,” SUU head coach Demario Warren said. “The guys who haven’t been here and experienced a Weber rivalry game need to come out and give it everything they’ve got. It’s the last chance to fight for something tangible. We’ve got a trophy on the line and it means a lot for our players when they play Weber so it really needs to pick up and we need to bring it next week.”

Taylor Nelson on playing the Wildcats…

“I think it’s an in-state thing,” he said. “We want to be able to be the best football team in the state, so that’s a big part of it, and the history. There’s been a lot of big games between us, so it’s always good to beat Weber. It can make your day, week or your year.”

Judd Cockett on the various quarterback changes…

“It’s different in the aspect that they all bring different things to the table,” he said. “But everybody on offense has 100 percent confidence in everybody so ‘next guy up’ is something that’s been happening a lot for us this year.”

Where To Watch / Listen / Follow Along

This week’s contest will air live on Eleven Sports, on the PlutoTV App and on WatchBigSky.com.

The game can be heard on local airwaves on KSUB 590 AM.

A link to live stats will be available on www.suutbirds.com prior to kickoff.

Follow Us

Keep tabs on the Thunderbirds by following @SUUFB on Twitter and Instagram and by liking the Southern Utah Football page on Facebook.

Tickets

Single game tickets for the 2018 season can be purchased online at www.tbirdtickets.com or at the America First Event Center Ticket Office.


Tags: Athletics

Contact Information:

Bryson Lester, director of athletics strategic communication
801-860-8653
brysonlester@suu.edu