SOUTHERN UTAH THUNDERBIRDS

Southern Utah Drops Defensive Battle Against UC Davis Aggies

Sep 16, 2023, 11:21 PM

Justin-Miller-Southern-Utah-Thunderbirds-Football...

SUU quarterback Justin Miller (Courtesy of Southern Utah Athletics)

(Courtesy of Southern Utah Athletics)

CEDAR CITY, Utah – Second-half fireworks weren’t enough as Southern Utah fell to UC Davis 23-21 on the road on Saturday night.

Southern Utah (0-3) was in California to face the No. 16 UC Davis Aggies (2-1) on Saturday, September 16.

Wide receiver Isaiah Wooden’s 122 receiving yards and two touchdowns led all players and his seven catches were second only to UC Davis’ Lan Larison’s eight grabs. Justin Miller completed 20-of-42 (48 percent) of his passes for 324 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. No Thunderbird running back had more than 22 yards on the ground.

Mile Hastings completed 21-of-38 passes for 256 yards and two scores for the Aggies. Larison finished with 166 yards combined on the ground and through the air.

First Half

Thunderbirds quarterback Justin Miller was intercepted on the first play from scrimmage and UC Davis turned the turnover into three points with a 43-yard field goal.

Defense ruled much of the first half as the two teams struggled to gain any advantage. The Aggies 110 yards from scrimmage outpaced Southern Utah’s 106 scrimmage yards.

UC Davis added another field goal with 7:02 left in the half to cap the scoring at 6-0 Aggies

Miller finished the half 5-of-14 passing for 67 yards and one turnover. He completed one pass to five different receivers. The Thunderbirds had one play that gained more than 20 yards in the half.

Second Half

UC Davis scored the night’s first touchdown when Josh Gale caught a 14-yard pass to take a 13-0 lead with 6:07 left in the third.

Southern Utah followed with their first scoring drive, capped by an Isaiah Wooden three-yard grab from Miller.

The Aggies extended their lead once again early in the fourth period when Lan Larison got behind the defense for a 73-yard touchdown catch.

SUU answered with a big play of its own less than a minute later when Miller hit Wooden for a 66-yard scoring strike.

UC Davis finished a 3:15 drive late in the game with a 24-yard field goal to make it 23-14 Aggies with 2:27 remaining.

Miller scrambled around a disintegrating pocket on third down before finding Zach Mitchell for a touchdown with 45 seconds remaining. After the extra points, the Thunderbirds trailed 23-21.

UC Davis recovered the onside and was able to run the clock out for a 23-21 win.

Following Southern Utah Athletics With KSL Sports

The Thunderbirds return home to host the Western Illinois Leathernecks on Saturday, September 23. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MT).

KSL Sports coverage of Southern Utah University Athletics can be found here.

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Southern Utah Drops Defensive Battle Against UC Davis Aggies