#13 Utes Back To The Drawing Board Against SUU

Sep 9, 2022, 3:43 PM
Southern Utah quarterback Justin Miller (Courtesy of SUU Athletics)
(Courtesy of SUU Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY- After a big road trip to Gainesville that fell just shy of being victorious, the Utes will be home this week taking on Southern Utah University. It’s a good opportunity for Utah football to go back to the drawing board with SUU, focus in on fundamentals that were missed in the season opener, and get their game plan sharpened ahead of what could still be a big season in 2022.

Previewing SUU

#13 Utah will play host to the Southern Utah Thunderbirds at 11:30 am MT at Rice-Eccles Stadium on September 10th.

2021 was a rough season for SUU only winning a single game and going 0-8 in conference play. Not only are the Thunderbirds breaking in a new conference in 2022 (Western Athletic), but also a new head coach in DeLane Fitzgerald- so far so good for the team. In 2022 they have already matched their win total in 2021 after beating the St. Thomas Tommies 44-13 last week.


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The Thunderbirds bring back experience at the quarterback position this year with three-year starter Justin Miller. Despite a rough overall year for the team last year, Miller was consistently a bright spot and appears poised to help Fitzgerald right the ship in Cedar City. In 2021, Miller racked up 4,186 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, 17 interceptions and averaged 220 yards per game. Last week, Miller impressed with a 63.9% completion rate off of 359 yards and three touchdowns.

A familiar name to Utah fans on the Thunderbird roster is former running back Braedon Wissler. He didn’t get a ton of play in last week’s game for SUU, but Wissler’s name might be called on occasion. Last week he had seven rushing yards and 33 receiving yards in the Thunderbird’s win over St. Thomas.

Expect receiver Isaiah Wooden’s name to be called a lot in Saturday’s contest as he led SUU in receiving last week. Wooden impressed with five catches and two touchdowns while amassing 142 receiving yards. A 5’9″ and 170 pounds, Wooden is also an ideal size to try rushing and recorded 15-yards last week.

Defensively, SUU will be fielding cornerback Damaje Yancey who had four tackles and three pass deflections in last weeks’ win over St. Thomas. At 6’1″ and 180 pounds, Yancey has good size and some experience for the Thunderbirds being in his third season. Over Yancy’s career he has recorded a total of 37 tackles and four pass deflections in 16 games played.

Defensive end Francis Bemiy has played in 39 total games for SUU over five seasons making him one of the most experienced players on their roster. During that time he’s notched 139 total tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss, and 1o sacks for the Thunderbirds.

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