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WEBER STATE IS WARY OF PLUCKY SUSC

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Southern Utah was inches away from beating Idaho State of the Big Sky a month ago, losing by three after leading. The T-Birds failed when an option play by quarterback Rick Carter got stopped at the goal line. Idaho State then drove 70-plus yards for the winning score.

Weber State is wary.Idaho State has, after all, won two games, Weber's won none, and the 'Cats have to battle Kelvin Minefee, Carter, Herkey Marxen and the T-Birds on television at 3:05 p.m. Saturday.

And while Weber isn't what it was last year with Jeff Carlson, Wade Orton, Fine Unga, et al, Wildcat Coach Dave Arslanian pegs SUSC as better than last year, when Weber sweated out a 49-36 win over the T-Birds. "I think they've continued to improve. They look to me like offensively they haven't missed a beat, and their defense is very much improved," Arslanian says.

T-Bird Coach Jack Bishop, seeking his 50th victory, is coming off his 49th win. "Any win is a good win for us," Bishop, 2-3, says. SUSC beat Santa Clara 28-21 last week and has a shot at the Western Football Conference title.

Minefee is the big-school running back who tired of recruiting pressure and dropped in on SUSC. He set school and conference records with four rushing TDs last week. He ran for 1,190 yards last year and has 507 this year, aided by backfield mate Michon Johnson and a diversified attack that came with the installation of Carter at QB.

Carter emerged from a three-way QB battle. "Rick seemed to be moving the offense better and getting a lot of mileage out of the passing game," Bishop says. That relieves Minefee's pressure, and SUSC now has balance.