Football back in action Saturday against Abilene Christian

The Southern Utah University football team will look to bounce back after a heartbreaking loss when they host Abilene Christian University on Saturday, Oct. 28. Kickoff will be at 1 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+. Southern Utah will enter the game with a record of 2-5, while Abilene Christian enters with a record of 4-3.

Abilene Christian
Abilene Christian enters this matchup fourth in the United Athletic Conference with a record of 2-1 in conference play. They are coming off an impressive 34-27 victory against Stephen F. Austin State University. 

ACU averages 29.7 points per game, led by a strong, balanced running and passing game. Junior quarterback Maverick McIvor is averaging 201.4 passing yards per game with 13 total touchdowns and only two interceptions. McIvor’s favorite target is junior wideout Blayne Taylor, who averages 56.1 yards per game and has five touchdowns. Taylor’s best game came three weeks ago when he hauled in six receptions for 85 yards and three touchdowns against North Texas.

Wildcat running backs Jay’Veon Sunday and Jermiah Dobbins have taken in a bulk of the carries. Sunday comes into the game averaging 60.1 yards per game with three touchdowns on the year, while Dobbins is averaging 51.1 yards and has scored two touchdowns.

On the defense side of the ball, ACU is led by linebacker Darius Moore. The junior from El Reno, Oklahoma, leads the team in tackles with 55. Senior cornerback Patrick Jolly has been a ball hawk, hauling in four interceptions, including one in each of his past two games.

Southern Utah
SUU will enter this matchup with a record of 1-2 in conference play, down to seventh in the UAC standings. Southern Utah lost their last game 48-45 in double overtime to Austin Peay State University.

Quarterback Justin Miller sketched himself in SUU’s record books last week as the all-time leader for passing touchdowns with 62. Miller threw for 291 yards, pushing his total on the year to 1,715 with an average of 245 per game. Senior wideout Isaiah Wooden has continued to be Miller’s favorite target on the season with five total touchdowns.

Redshirt sophomore Braedon Wissler is leading all Southern Utah rushers with 357 yards on the year. Wissler had his best game of the year last week when he recorded 106 yards on the ground and scored his first touchdown. 

Senior cornerbacks AJ Felton and Cody Coleman have been stepping up lately for the Thunderbirds in their pass defense. Felton recorded two interceptions against Austin Peay, and Coleman has two interceptions on the year.

Key stats
SUU is giving up 376.8 yards per game in their five losses while only giving up 297 yards per game in their two wins.
— McIvor is averaging 219.7 yards per game in the Wildcats’ four wins and only 177 yards per game in their three losses.
— Southern Utah’s defense had three sacks and five tackles for loss against Austin Peay.
— Senior kicker Kyle Ramsey is a perfect 11-11 in field goals for Abilene Christian with a season-long 55-yard field goal against Prairie View A&M University.

Author: Jack Paul
Photographer: Anden Garfield
Editor: Anden Garfield