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'Cats' Smith back in form

OGDEN — Through four games, Trevyn Smith hardly looked like the reigning rushing champion in the Big Sky Conference.

The talented sophomore from Springville had been bounced from his starting position and had yet to approach 100 yards in a game.

Things have changed.

He has since rattled off a trio of efforts topping the century mark, highlighted by 170 yards in Saturday's loss to Northern Arizona.

"I really have to give all the credit to my offensive line," Smith said. "They've been great all year."

Smith now has an even 700 yards rushing and is again atop the Big Sky rushing charts.

He is, however, bothered by an injured shoulder.

Before the season, he tore muscles around his left shoulder blade and has had to pull himself out of games at times after a hard hit. Rather than fix the problem now, though, Smith said he will wait until the season is over for surgery.

"I just have to suck it up and play with it," he said.

O-LINE HIGHS: Though the quarterbacks have had a difficult time moving the ball and leading scoring drives, the blame can't be placed on the offensive line.

The unit has opened holes for the league's leading rusher and provided the best pass protection in the conference. WSU quarterbacks have been sacked only seven times this year and have not been sacked in the past two weeks.

Conversely, the Wildcat defense leads the league in sacks with 20.

RED-ZONE LOWS: When the ball is inside the 20-yard line, coaches and fans expect points. Points, though, have been hard to come by for Weber State when the Wildcats reach the red zone.

On 19 trips this year, the Wildcats have scored just nine times (five touchdowns, four field goals) for 47.4 percent. The other 10 trips to the red zone have resulted in two missed field goals, two lost fumbles and six failed fourth-down plays.

Only Northern Colorado has a worse performance rate inside the 20.

Montana, on the other hand, has scored 28 of the 32 times it has pushed the ball inside the 20.

Weber State has tried a fourth-down play 14 times this year, converting only two of them.

ATTENDANCE WOES: Mother Nature hasn't been much of a help at all, and Weber State is last in the Big Sky in attendance.

Having played only three home games so far this year, the Wildcats have had just 13,616 tickets sold for an average of only 4,539 per game. Even Northern Colorado, which has lost 16 straight games, is doing better at the ticket office with 5,980 per game.

Of course, WSU has also had to battle more than just an underperforming football team in drawing fans to Stewart Stadium. Against Sacramento State, a steady rain, chilly temperatures and a KJZZ broadcast kept many fans home. Last week it was rain, snow and the opening weekend of the deer hunt.

The Wildcats will try to boost their attendance number with a pair of games on Nov. 3 and 10 against Idaho State and Fort Lewis.


E-mail: jeborn@desnews.com