Friday, August 29, 2014

Southern Utah on the verge of GWC title

October 26, 2010 |

Enterprise staff writer

Two weeks ago, Southern Utah sat at 1-4 on the season and was down 14-0 after less than seven minutes had elapsed in North Dakota.

Things are completely different for the Thunderbirds in the present. They came back to beat the Fighting Sioux by 10; then Cal Poly, 20-7; and then South Dakota, 31-13 on Saturday.

Southern Utah has evened its overall record at 4-4 but, more importantly, sits at 3-0 in the Great West Conference and is a win away from its first league championship. By beating UC Davis at Aggie Stadium, the Thunderbirds would complete a perfect conference slate, though they can still win the title later with a loss if things break right.

ÒIt feels great for our team,Ó Southern Utah head coach Ed Lamb said during MondayÕs Great West teleconference. ÒThe season started out with some real disappointments in games we could have won but didnÕt make the plays. We feel very fortunate to be in this position.Ó

Over the last three games, Southern Utah has been clicking offensively.

Thunderbirds quarterback Brad Sorensen has completed 75-of-99 passes for 897 yards and four touchdowns over that stretch while the offense has averaged 442 yards per game. The sophomore has completed 64 percent of his throws on the season for 2,087 yards and 11 TDs.

Against the Coyotes, Southern Utah got its ground game going as well, as Austin Minefee rushed for 137 yards on 17 carries Ñ including a career-long 57-yard scamper Ñ while Deckar Alexander added 75. In all, the Thunderbirds added 241 rushing yards on 35 attempts.

For his efforts, Minefee was named Great West Conference Offensive Player of the Week. It was his third 100-yard game of the season and he also had one catch for seven yards.

ÒAustin deserves a lot of credit for turning some plays we thought were blocked for three- or four-yard gains into longer runs,Ó Lamb said. ÒHeÕs been reliable for us in the running game.Ó

The conference championship race is down to three teams, with UCD (3-4, 1-0) and Cal Poly (5-3, 1-1) also in the mix. North Dakota (2-5, 0-3) and South Dakota (3-5,1-2) have been eliminated fromtitle contention.

If the Aggies hold serve at home and take down Southern Utah, theyÕll move into the driverÕs seat, but they still face a very tough road game at Cal Poly on Nov. 13. UCD also has to make a tough trip to North Dakota while Cal Poly still has to play at South Dakota.

Cal Poly gets GWC win: Behind backup quarterback Tony Smith Ñ in for the injured Andre Broadous Ñ the Mustangs got off to a quick start and then came back in the second half in a 22-21 win over North Dakota at Spanos Stadium.

The Mustangs led 13-0 midway through the second quarter after a Mark Rodgers 42-yard run but the Fighting Sioux needed only 18 seconds to score and ran off the next 21 points. But Jake West booted a 22-yard field goal to end the third quarter and Rodgers punched it in from two yards out early in the fourth.

Smith finished 12-of-16 for 80 yards but Cal Poly ran for 249 yards, led by RodgersÕ 94-yard effort. Three other Mustangs had at least 49 yards on the ground.

ÒThis is one of those games where we were in control statistically but the scoreboard is where it counts,Ó said Cal Poly head coach Tim Walsh. ÒThey had the momentum in the third quarter but we did enough to get the win in the fourth.Ó

Players of the Week: Southern Utah defensive end Tyler Osborne broke the linebacker monopoly on the GWC Defensive Player of the Week award.

He had 4.5 tackles-for-loss including 1.5 sacks, two quarterback hurries and one pass broken up in Southern UtahÕs victory over North Dakota. He finished with six total tackles in the game to become the first non-linebacker to win the defensive award.

South Dakota kicker Kevin Robb made both of his field goals during the loss to the Thunderbirds, including a career-long 49-yarder, and was named Special Teams Player of the Week.

Home cooking: For the second straight week, the Great West has as many home games as possible considering the matchups.

The Thunderbirds are the only Great West team to hit the road this week, playing at UCD in the lone conference tilt. North Dakota hosts Lamar, South Dakota takes on Northern Colorado and St. Francis (Pennsylvania) plays at Cal Poly.

Rankings: Cal Poly jumped up a spot in both polls, rising to No. 20 in the FCS Coaches Poll and to No. 22 in The Sports NetworkÕs Top-25.

Southern Utah (No. 36), UCD (t-No. 49) and South Dakota (t-No. 52) all received votes in TSNÕs poll. The Thunderbirds are also ranked 38th by the coaches.

UCDÕs Causeway rival, Sacramento State, got votes in both polls and is ranked No. 46 by TSN and No. 42 by the coaches.

Ñ Reach Conor Tekautz at or (530) 747-8049. Comment on this story or check out The Enterprise sports blog at To view photo galleries and purchase prints of UCD football visit



  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Davis Innovation Center team fields questions

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Saving Putah Creek: a quiet concert at sunset

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Mr. Dolcini goes to Washington

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Winton to be feted for her many years of community work

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Researchers solve mystery of Death Valley’s moving rocks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    California extends review of $25B delta plan

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Assembly approves statewide ban on plastic bags

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Equestrian eventing competition slated

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Forum explores local mental health services

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Celebrate the Senior Center at Sept. 9 luncheon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Kids can sign up for a library card and get a free book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explorit Science Center: Volunteers supercharge summer camp

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

    Bodega Marine Laboratory hosts open house

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Local group charts a year’s worth of beauty in flowers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Free blood pressure screenings offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Name Droppers: UCD honors two of its own

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Books, conversation and poetry at Logos

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7



    Let’s sell the MRAP on eBay

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Seeing both sides of ‘tank’

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    What if we need MRAP?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    How could tank be helpful?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: C2

    Don’t sentence our police to death

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C2, 1 Comment

    Will Davis see river water?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Travel buddy is getting too fat

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5



    UCD-Stanford: the clock is down to counting the minutes

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Forget the score; focus on the energy brought by Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Returning seniors, new faces lead promising DHS links squad

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devil golfers return from Scotland with smiles on their faces

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils scrimmage with Sac

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: DHS girls fall by the slimmest of net margins

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery

    Wire briefs: Aces cruise past Cats at Raley

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B6





    ‘The November Man’: Who can be trusted?

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    B Street’s ‘The Ladies Foursome’ is aces

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery



    Technology makes a great car better

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: C1 | Gallery



    Margarita Elizondo

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Elaine Dracia Greenberg

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4