Four times in the last five years Weber State's football team has followed a disappointing loss with a home victory over Southern Utah. Tonight the Wildcat are, as Yogi Berra would say, hoping for deja vu all over again.
Weber, coming off a 37-21 setback last week at New Mexico State, will try to get back on track against the Thunderbirds beginning at 6 p.m. in Wildcat Stadium.Over the years Southern Utah has been Wildcat food, losing all seven games against Weber by the average score of 41-18. This may be the T-Birds' year, however, as they were impressive in a 20-17 win at Northern Arizona. Weber State is 0-9 during the past 18 seasons at NAU. Southern Utah also has an eight game winning streak dating back to last year, with five of those wins coming on the road.
"On film, this is the best Southern Utah football team we've seen," Weber coach Dave Arslanian said. "Their defense will put our offense to the test."
Southern Utah is led offensively by running back Zed Robinson, who broke a string of 10 straight 100-plus yard games with a 92-yard performance against NAU. Last season Robinson ran for 1,681 yards and scored 18 touchdowns.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats are anxious to get back into action in attempt to prove worthy of high preseason expectations. "Game time won't come soon enough," Weber defensive end Tim Otton said. "We want to get back out there and show that we are a good team."
All-American quarterback Jamie Martin had some adjustments learning to work with new receivers against New Mexico State, but still managed to pass for 245 yards and two touchdowns. Nate Burchette, a junior wide receiver, caught three passes for 97 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown.
"Our spirits were down after losing our opener, but we're looking for payback and revenge against Southern Utah," Burchette said.
The Wildcat defense showed improvement over last season's team against the Aggies. Weber held NMSU scoreless in the first quarter and did not allow a point in the first seven possessions.