Comparative scores may show Weber State is a 57-point underdog to Cal State Northridge today (7 p.m. MDT), but neither the Wildcats nor the Matadors believe it.
It's true that Northridge beat Boise State by 40 points and Boise beat Weber State by 17 points, but a lot has changed since those early-season games.For one thing, injuries have taken their toll on Northridge, which isn't the same team that defeated Boise State 63-23 in late August. The biggest blow was losing Aaron Flowers, the leading quarterback in I-AA football, two weeks ago to a stress fracture in his leg.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats are on the rise, coming off a big 36-23 victory over No. 5-ranked Northern Arizona last Saturday in Ogden.
"We're getting in synch right now and moving the ball well," said Weber State coach Dave Arslanian. "Our defense has played well all season, and our offense is beginning to catch up."
Leading the offensive surge is quarterback Steve Buck, who passed for 436 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions last week. He's got three fine wide receivers in Taurus McGhee (33 catches, 585 yards), Tyler Harlan (18 catches, 412 yards) and Richard Clarke (13, 195 yards) and a top-notch tight end in Cam Quayle (29 catches, 212 yards).
Besides the Boise State win, the Matadors whipped Azusa Pacific 63-21 and lost to Division I schools Hawaii and New Mexico State. Last week, playing without Flowers, they were upset by Portland State 26-13.
"We're obviously concerned," said CSN coach Jim Fenwick. "We're hurting in throwing the ball right now and are playing a different style than the first game of the season."
Sophomore John Fiske has taken over at quarterback and has completed 52 percent of his passes for 420 yards. Norman Clarke is the top rusher at 42 yards a game.
Next week, the Wildcats return home to play Portland State in a homecoming game.