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Southern Utah Knocks Off Utah Tech Trailblazers In WAC Opener

Sep 24, 2022, 11:36 PM | Updated: Oct 11, 2022, 10:35 am
Justin-Miller-SUU-Thunderbirds-Football...
Southern Utah quarterback Justin Miller (Courtesy of SUU Athletics)
(Courtesy of SUU Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY – Southern Utah used 17 second quarter points to build a cushion on their way to their first WAC win of the year in a 31-17 defeat of Utah Tech.

Southern Utah (3-1, 1-0) hosted the Utah Tech Trailblazers (1-3, 0-1) at Eccles Coliseum in Cedar City, UT on Saturday, September 24. This was the Western Athletic Conference opener for each program.

First Half

The Thunderbirds struck first when Elijah Burns capped off a 76-yard drive with a one-yard scoring plunge that gave SUU a 7-0 lead over the Trailblazers.

Four minutes later, the Trailblazers got on the scoreboard when Kobe Tracy hit Rickie Johnson with an 18-yard scoring pass.

Later in the half with the score still knotted at seven, SUU’s Justin Miller found Isaiah Wooden with a perfectly place deep ball for a 65-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive.

Utah Tech cut the deficit to four when Connor Brooksby connected on a 20-yard field goal later in the period.

Southern Utah matched it with a field goal of their own thanks to the leg of Micah Pettit when he split the uprights from 47 yards.

With just 15 seconds remaining in the half, Southern Utah increased their lead to two touchdowns when Ethan Bolingbroke reeled in a three-yard pass from Miller.

Second Half

Both programs traded possessions for much of the third quarter until Utah Tech was able to build a drive late in the quarter.

With 37 seconds left in the period, Tracy hit Joey Hobert with a 15-yard scoring strike, making the score 24-17.

The Thunderbirds offense continued to struggle into the fourth as they clung to a seven point lead. Midway through the quarter Southern Utah took the ball and drove 60 yards while running nearly five minutes off of the clock before Bobby Cole punched it into the end zone with a nine-yard rush.

Cole touchdown accounted for the final 31-17 score.

Kobe Tracy threw for 277 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Running back Quali Conley finished with 113 yards on the ground. Hobert led the Trailblazers with six catches for 105 yards and a score.

Justin Miller finished with 352 yards on 29-0f-37 passing and two scores. Elijah Burns and Bobby Cole combined for 112 rushing yards and two touchdowns while Isaiah Wooden added 129 yards receiving.

Up Next

Southern Utah (3-1, 1-0) travel to Richmond, Kentucky where they will play Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, October 1. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. (MST).

Utah Tech (1-3, 0-1) return home where they will welcome in Abilene Christian on Saturday, October 1. Kickoff for this Western Athletic Conference contest is scheduled for 7 p.m. (MST).

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