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Another opponent ranks right up there

Winless S. Utah facing ranked foe for 5th straight time

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Southern Utah's football team gets back in action after last week's bye — still trying to earn its first victory of the season.

And it certainly won't be easy for the 0-4 Thunderbirds. SUU plays No. 13 Montana State on the road, with kickoff set for 1:35 p.m. It will be the T-birds' fifth straight game against a ranked team.

"Montana State is a very fast, very physical team on both sides of the ball," SUU coach Wes Meier said. "Defensively I think their strength is that they hustle so well and have great speed to the ball, while on offense they can hurt you both on the ground and through the air."

SUU, meanwhile, is coming off its best offensive game of the season, albeit in a loss to then-No. 6 McNeese State. The Thunderbirds piled up more than 400 yards but still came up short in a 41-20 loss. SUU opened the season by giving No. 2 Montana a test before suffering a 37-17 road loss, but scored just 10 points in each of its next two games, a 37-10 loss to Division II North Dakota and a 44-10 setback against then-No. 6 Southern Illinois.

"The bye week was good for us," said Meier. "It gave us a chance to get in some early preparation on Montana State but it also gave us an opportunity to heal up a little."

Montana State holds a 1-0 lead in the series. In the only previous game between the two schools, the Bobcats squeezed out a 32-31 victory in Bozeman back in 1993, the Thunderbirds' first season playing at the Division I-AA level.