Football Preview: UNC at Southern Utah

The University of Northern Colorado football team will not end the season winless thanks to a team effort in stomping Northern Arizona. UNC showed its true potential by playing a full game and being reward for doing so.

Traveling to Cedar City, Utah, the Bears look for win number two against Southern Utah. While SUU showed greatness last season by making the playoffs, it has been hard for them this season with a difficult schedule.

The Thunderbirds played two PAC-12 teams and top-ranked FCS talent Eastern Washington to start their season. Through seven games they have only been able to produce one win over Sacramento State 48-27 for their homecoming.

Question is, was it only the homecoming magic that helped SUU win a game?

UNC is hoping that is the case as they return to a winning mindset. After last week’s drama, there is some uncertainty on the depth chart as multiple second string-players shined brightly.

Coach Collins even mentioned in the post-game conference that positions are up for whoever proves themselves in practice.

The one thing for certain is whoever plays starting roles for the Bears will be hungry to continue the winning streak. With three games left in the season, UNC will be looking to add as many good vibes as possible.

What to Expect     

Southern Utah was a playoff team just a season ago, so overlooking them could be dangerous.

Winning a game took an enormous amount of pressure off the team, but there is no time left in the season to relax.

This is the game where the UNC defense can get back to stopping the run. SUU is a very run-heavy since their quarterback situation has also been unstable. With SUU having a predictable game plan the Bears should be able to capitalize if they execute.

Despite being a one-win team the Bears are actually the 9th best passing offense in the entire FCS. With Keaton Mott at quarterback the Bears offense has flourished.

Other Important FCS Games

  1. South Dakota State (4-2) at Illinois State (5-2)
  2. Weber State (5-2) at North Dakota (5-2)
  3. Bethune-Cookman (4-4) at FBS Nebraska (1-6)
  4. Towson (6-1) at Delaware (5-2)
  5. Stony Brook (6-2) at James Madison (5-2)
  6. UC Davis (6-1) at Montana (4-3)

The Mirror’s Keys to the Game

Defense:

  1. Stop the Run: This seems to be a goal the Bears have not checked off their list very well all season long.
  2. Sack the Quarterback: There are less than a half-dozen of sacks on the season recorded by Bear players.
  3. Keep Causing Turnovers: Last week with five turnovers it seemed like Christmas for the Bears defense. UNC flourishes when they can cause turnovers.

Offense:

  1. Give Mott Time: The offensive line did surprisingly well last week and need to build on that momentum.
  2. Focus on Milo: Trae Riek is a great running back, but Milo Hall has seen more success running the ball. So build on Hall and bring Riek in for running routes and blocking.
  3. Score Early: The Bears were confident and excited when they started with a scoring drive last week. Doing just that again could be the quick start they need to get to the finish line.

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