CEDAR CITY–Week two of the Thunderbird football season will unfold at Homer Bryce Stadium in Nacogdoches, Texas as Southern Utah (0-1) will take on Stephen F. Austin (0-1). This will be the second weekend in a row the Thunderbirds will be on the road, leading up to their home opener on September 16 against Northern Iowa.
The Thunderbirds opened their season against the Oregon Ducks in Eugene last Saturday, falling 77-21. After some early trick plays, SUU’s Patrick Tyler got the start for the Thunderbirds and completed 18 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for a touchdown on the opening drive for SUU.
Landen Measom caught five passes for the Thunderbirds, totaling 106 yards and a touchdown. James Felila carried the ball for SUU 20 times for 60 yards and a touchdown, while catching five passes for an additional 35 yards. Chinedu Ahanonu led SUU with 11 tackles and a single tackle for loss, while Anu Poleo had 2 tackles for loss and one sack to go along with his seven-tackle total.
Measom might be a name very familiar to those who follow the Thunderbirds, as he is the little brother of Brady Measom who graduated from the team last season and currently works as a graduate assistant for Southern Utah.
Much like it appears Landen has the ability to do, Brady had an immediate impact for the Thunderbirds during his freshman season in 2011. He appeared in nine games, catching a career high 44 balls for 488 yards and two touchdowns.
Words From Coach Warren
On what his message to the team has been this week…..
“The true side of a man’s character comes out when you’re faced with adversity, and now we have some,” he said. “We got embarassed out there. We got blown out and now we’ve got an opportunity to bounce back against a very good FCS team that’s not going to give us an inch. It’s a big game for them, it’s a big game for us and we want to see if we can lock into what we do. That’s what we didn’t do against Oregon. We let the moment get to us on defense and did the little things wrong.”
On what he’s seen from this week’s opponent…..
“They’re deep at running back,” he said. “They’ve got four running backs that can really play. They’re all big, strong and can run hard. Their receiver number 80 (Tamrick Pace), who was all-everything as a freshman is coming back and looking to have a great sophomore season, and their offensive line is big so that’s going to be another challenge for our D-line. Both of their quarterbacks played decent at times on offense. Defensively they had a new scheme, so they struggled a little bit early, but once they settled into their defense and got it right they played pretty well. They’re athletic, they run around and their D-line is huge. This is a big athletic football team with a lot of talent, so we’re going to have to do a good job of going out there, bringing our energy, being disciplined and play all 60 minutes to get away with a win.”
The Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin fell in their season opener to SMU 58-14.
Jake Blumrick led the offensive attack for SFA at quarterback, completing 13 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown. Kijana Amous and Jamall Shaw led the Lumberjack rushing attack, with 38 and 36 yards respectively.
Amous broke into the endzone on the ground. Tamrick Pace was Blumrick’s top target in their season opener, competing five passes for 51 yards. Pace was a FCS Hero Sports Freshman All-American following the 2016 season.
The Lumberjacks finished the 2016 campaign 5-6 with a 4-5 record in the Southland Conference.
Following their matchup with SUU, the Lumberjacks will open Southland Conference play against Incarnate Word on September 16.
Saturday’s game will be streamed on ESPN3, which can be accessed online with a network login.