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High-powered NAU offense figures to test Weber State

OGDEN — Now that Ron McBride has that little quarterback problem out of the way, he hopes his team can focus on continuing its hot play.

Weber State, fresh off a 23-0 win at Northern Colorado, is enjoying a modest two-game win streak but returns to the grind this week after a pair of less-difficult foes.

"They're darn good," McBride said of Northern Arizona. "We've played some really good offenses this year, and they're right there with the best of them."

The Lumberjacks, also riding a two-game win streak, average an impressive 32 points per game — more than double WSU's 15 — and pile up more than 420 yards of offense every time they play.

"(Lance) Kriesien is the most active quarterback I've seen on film this season," McBride said. "He's got a strong, accurate arm but can beat you with his speed and quickness if the protection breaks down."

Countering the high-powered Lumberjacks will be a stiff Wildcats defense that has surrendered only seven points over the last two weeks. Led by a pass-stopping secondary, WSU leads the Big Sky with only 184 passing yards allowed per game and just 346 overall (second in the BSC) while giving up less than 12 points per game in conference action.

"They seem to get a little better every week," McBride said of his defense. "The JC kids have matured into what we thought they would be. ... Anytime you can shut a team out on the road, that's pretty huge."

Quarterback Cameron Higgins was forced to come off the bench at UNC after missing a few days of practice while an alleged on-campus shoplifting incident was dealt with. He will start today though Brendon Doyle — the starter last week — may see playing time.

"Doyle did a nice job," McBride said. "We know we have two quarterbacks now that can play at this level and win a game for us."

Beating NAU will be a challenge.

After a pair losses to Arizona and Appalachian State, Northern Arizona has won three of four games and is making a charge up the Big Sky standings.


E-mail: jeborn@desnews.com