What a great week to be a Coug! Coming off the huge upset at USC the Cougars have a lot to be excited about. Now it’s officially week 3 of the college football season and there are a lot of BIG match ups. The Pac-12 faces off with 4 games vs the Big Ten and it’s a big opportunity for each conference to establish some national credibility.
The Cougs are not in a matchup this weekend with a Big Ten school but every week is very important to this Coug team as they are fighting to get back into post season play. Every win is big, every opponent matters. This week Wazzu faces a Southern Utah University team who is 2-0 on the season.
Let’s take a look at this match up.
What SUU Brings:
Southern Utah seems to play well against larger opponents. In big games the Thunderbirds come to play. Last year the Thunderbirds defeated #11 Northern Arizona and #1 Eastern Washington in the FCS. They also played Cal very well and took #4 Montana State down to the wire. Aaron Cantu leads their offense at the quarterback position and is coming off a game where he went 15-16 with 4 TD’s.
The Thunderbirds don’t throw the ball an overwhelming amount, their strength seems to be the running game. They had 5 different people run the ball last week for almost 200 yards. Mike Sharp and Malik Brown lead the T-Birds rushing attack.
So what are the Cougar trends this week?:
Play this game like any other game. WSU has already proven, to me at least, that they are not easily distracted. This is a focused bunch and they come to play no matter how big the stage. Now I think this will carry over to the smaller opponents as well, staying focused and not looking past teams. It is very hard not to look at these next two games as blowouts and start thinking about Stanford in Seattle but the Cougs must not look past this team. We need to put together a complete game this time and take care of business.
On offense we need a huge performance out of Halliday. Connor has played well in my mind but 5 interceptions and a foolish fumble has fans murmuring about Austin getting to start. I say that’s crazy talk but Halliday has to help me out. Connor can’t turn the ball over against this team and he must finish drives like he did the first half of the Auburn game. Our offensive line must perform as well. Before last week there was much talk of an improved offensive line, for the most part it has shown, last week however, against a huge test like USC, there still seems to be some weakness in that position. This line needs to prove it is improved and dominate this smaller FCS D-line.
Last, The D! First off hats off to this bunch for their performance last weekend. Second, Just lather, rinse and repeat baby. We need this defense to continue to play hard all year just like they did and we will be in position to win some big games, most importantly for this week, we should dominate SUU if the defense has another big performance.