The Southern Utah University football team is set to travel to Stephensville, Texas, to take on the Texans of Tarleton State University. This will be their second United Athletic Conference matchup of the season. The game is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7, at 5 p.m. MDT, and it can be streamed on ESPN+.
SUU and TSU are 1-1 against each other, with TSU taking a 42-40 victory in Cedar City last year.
The 4-1 Texans are ranked No. 2 in the UAC. Last week, they eked out a 14-13 win over Southeastern Louisiana University and started a two-game winning streak.
TSU scores 29.6 points per game, primarily courtesy of running back Kayvon Britten and wide receiver Keylan Johnson. Britten has six total touchdowns on the season, five rushing and one receiving. He averages 66.4 rushing yards per game, which puts him at No. 7 in the UAC, while his five rushing touchdowns tie him at No. 1 in the category. Johnson has scored five total touchdowns, all receiving, with four of them coming against the University of North Alabama. Those gave him more touchdowns in a single game than any other non-quarterback player in the UAC. His 57.6 receiving yards per game also put him No. 9 in the UAC.
Sophomore quarterback Victor Gabalis has thrown for eight touchdowns so far this season. His 53.3% completion percentage puts him at No. 7 of nine qualifying UAC quarterbacks. He has thrown for more interceptions than anyone in the conference with nine, and Southern Utah will likely look to capitalize on that weakness.
Texan kicker Adrian Guzman is one of two UAC kickers who has yet to miss a kick for points. He is 19-for-19 on point after touchdown attempts and 6-for-6 on field goal attempts.
The Tarleton State defensive line is quick, having sacked opposing quarterbacks more than all other teams in the conference. Defensive back Patrick Jones has amassed 27 solo tackles, more than any other Texan and good for the second highest total in the UAC.
SUU has a strong passing game with 11 of their 17 touchdowns coming from throws by Justin Miller. The two main receivers for Southern Utah thus far have been Zach Mitchell and Isaiah Wooden. Each have scored four touchdowns apiece and are No. 2 and No. 3 in the UAC, respectively, in both total receiving yards and yards per game.
Braedon Wissler and Targhee Lambson split running back duties for Southern Utah. Though Wissler has more carries with 56, Lambson is the only Thunderbird with a rushing touchdown, having scored four through the five games.
One of the top defensive players for Southern Utah has been Cody Coleman. He is tied for first in the conference for both interceptions with two and pick-sixes with one. Kohner Cullimore and Trevon Gola-Callard lead the team in solo tackles, though, having 25 and 23, respectively, barely trailing Tarleton State’s Jones.
Author: Anden Garfield
Photographer: Anden Garfield