Football Preview: SUU at Eastern Washington

CHENEY, Wash. — Southern Utah Football team looks to turn things around after a  rough start to the season, head to No. 4/5 Eastern Washington. The T-Birds are ready for a fresh start.

Unfortunately redshirt sophomore quarterback Chris Helbig’s injury  will keep him out of the match up with the Eagles. Helbig suffered the injury two weeks ago against Northern Arizona, and has not recovered enough to play.

The injury will probably lead to Helbig missing significant time, maybe even the season. SUU has called it a “shoulder injury” and has begun the paperwork to grant Helbig a medical redshirt, per the Spectrum’s Ryan Miller.

It’s rare for a team to submit a request for a medical redshirt not even two weeks after a player sustains an injury. Helbig’s likely out for the year.

Aaron Zwahlen will step in for Helbig.  Zwahlen has got quite the arm, but struggles with getting the ball  where it needs to go. Zwahlen racked up 139 passing yards with one touchdown in the second half against NAU.

The rushing attack of James Felila and Jay Green Jr had been potent so far this season, and each back amazingly has exactly 260 yards rushing. Green has found the endzone twice and Felila has scored one rushing TD thus far.

Ty Rutledge leads the T-Birds with 223 yards on 15 catches. Landen Measom has hauled in 19 catches for a total of 213 yards. Frank Harris III has scored two receiving touchdowns and has been a redzone target all season long.

The defense has been disappointing so far. SUU is currently last in the Big Sky in total defense, scoring defense and passing defense, per Ryan Miller of the Spectrum. That simply will not cut it.

The bright spot of the defense has been cornerback Taelin Webb, who is tied for first in the FCS with eight pass breakups.

The team’s record is not necessarily indicative of their success thus far. They are sticking to things that are within their control and are constantly striving for success, both as individuals, and as a team.

Head coach Demario Warren knows winning EWU will not come without effort. Having had two weeks to practice and train since NAU, the team has had plenty of time to prepare to bring their A game to Washington.

Eastern Washington is really good. Like fourth best team in the country good. Quarterback Gabe Gubrud currently leads the nation with 13 passing touchdowns to go along with 1416 yards through the air.

Thus far in the season EWU stands at 4-1. The Eagles defense totaled a meager 13 takeaways in the 2017 season has had quite the turn around, forcing six so far this year. That was their focus leading up to the season, and seems to be working.

EWU has a history of clutch performances, and so our T-birds will have to come out strong, and finish just as strong.

SUU will have to play an almost perfect game to even have chance against the T-Birds.

The game is Saturday Oct. 6, at 1:00 P.M. It will be broadcast on Root Sports, as well as on KSUB 590 A.M.

Story by: Connor Sanders and Robin Nelson
Photo by: SUU Athletics Strategic Communication