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SUU Football Celebrates Cedar City Night Saturday Against Nationally-Ranked UC Davis

first_img Tags: SUU Football/UC Davis Football FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailCEDAR CITY, Utah-Saturday, after playing their best game of the season in many respects, in a 29-14 loss to Weber State, Southern Utah (1-6, 0-3 in Big Sky Conference play) hosts No. 22 (STATS FCS)/No. 23 (AFCA Coaches) UC Davis.The Thunderbirds rank 90th nationally in scoring offense (22.1 points per game). Redshirt sophomore quarterback Chris Helbig completes 63.1 percent of his passes on the season (164-260) for 1,703 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has also run for a team-best five touchdowns.Redshirt junior tailback James Felila (74 car, 248 yards, 2 TD’s) and sophomore back Thomas Duckett (6 car, 140 yards, TD) have each carried the rushing burden for the Thunderbirds.Sophomore tailback Lance Lawson (57 rec, 524 yards, 3 TD’s) remains SUU’s overall leading receiver while freshman receiver Zach Nelson (13 rec, 200 yards, 3 TD’s) is tied for the receiving touchdowns lead on the squad. Senior receiver Carlos Baker (6 rec, 132 yards) leads the Thunderbirds with 22 yards per catch.Junior kicker Manny Berz has returned to action, making 1 of 2 field goals on the season in the loss to Weber State. Redshirt junior kicker/punter Kekoa Sasaoka has made 19 of 20 PAT’s for the Thunderbirds.SUU ranks 118th nationally in scoring defense (39.4 points per game). Sophomore defensive lineman Aaron Romero (4 sacks, forced fumble) is among the Thunderbirds’ defensive stalwarts. In interceptions, redshirt senior safety Nathaniel Vaughn, redshirt freshman cornerback Carlton Johnson and junior cornerback Khalid Taylor have a pick apiece on the season.In forced fumbles, redshirt sophomore linebacker Quaid Murray, sophomore defensive end Francis Bemiy and redshirt senior safety Kyle Hannemann each have one in addition to Romero’s.Last Saturday, the Aggies snapped a 3-game losing streak by pummeling Cal Poly 48-24. This was UC Davis’ first Big Sky win of the season.UC Davis ranks 48th nationally in scoring offense (30.3 points per game). Senior signal-caller Jake Maier completes 65.9 percent of his passes on the season (199-302) for 2,243 yards (2nd in the nation) for 18 touchdowns (tied for 8th nationally with Northern Arizona’s Case Cookus and Felix Harper of Alcorn) and nine interceptions.Maier, who ranks fifth nationally with 320.4 yards per game, is only 157 yards away from 10,000 career passing yards. The only other Aggies quarterback to exceed 10,000 yards in his career is former NFL/CFL journeyman signal-caller J.T. O’Sullivan, who starred at UC Davis from 1998-2001.Sophomore tailback Ulonzo Gilliam Jr. (131 car, 607 yards, 6 TD’s) is the Aggies’ leading rusher.Maier has several stellar targets at his disposal. They include sophomore receiver Carson Crawford (33 rec, 428 yards, 3 TD’s), junior wide-out Kris Vaughn (33 rec, 397 yards for a team-best 6 TD’s) and senior tight end Wes Preece (24 rec, 298 yards, 5 TD’s).Graduate student kicker/punter Max O’Rourke has made 8 of his 10 field goal attempts on the season and 24 of his 25 PAT’s for the Aggies.UC Davis is tied for 73rd nationally (29.9 points per game) in scoring defense with Murray State.Redshirt freshman linebacker Nick Eaton (4.5 sacks, four pass breakups, three forced fumbles) is the Aggies’ overall defensive leader.Sophomore defensive back Devon King and junior defensive back Isaiah Thomas have two interceptions apiece for the Aggies. King has also forced three fumbles on the season for UC Davis.The Aggies lead the all-time series against the Thunderbirds 11-9, but SUU has taken six of the last seven contests overall. October 17, 2019 /Sports News – Local SUU Football Celebrates Cedar City Night Saturday Against Nationally-Ranked UC Davis Brad James Written bylast_img read more