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Weber State football: Wildcats used bye week to heal and plan

Published October 31, 2012 2:52 pm

NCAA football • Wildcats host Montana team riddled with suspensions.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A bye week on the heels of snapping a seven-game losing streak would be bad news for some.

Of course, Weber State football coach Jody Sears, a self-confessed glass-half-full guy, is all about the positive.

"Maybe a little bit [poor timing]," Sears said about the bye, "but we're not very deep and we needed some time off. We needed a little breather. The way the guys came back [to practice], it came at a good time."

Weber State wasn't perfect two weeks ago in upsetting Southern Utah 24-22, but it was the most consistent the Wildcats (1-7, 1-4 Big Sky) had played all season.

The week off not only provided some medicinal benefits, but it also gave Weber State a day or more to prepare for Montana (4-5, 2-4), which had struggled before clobbering Idaho State 70-24 on Saturday.

Although the Grizzlies are 17-7 all-time in Ogden, Weber State has won the last two games there.

In addition, Montana will be without four players who were suspended for violating team rules. Included is offensive tackle Trevor Poole, who was arrested for criminal possession of dangerous drugs. Quarterback Jordan Johnson was kicked off the team before the start of the season after being charged with rape.

"Any time a program goes through change, adversity, transition, there's going to be a ripple effect," said Sears, who knows all about program transition, having taking over the coaching reins after spring football. "We're not using that as an excuse for a loss or negative impact. We use it as a tool to grow stronger."

Hoke reaches 4,000 yards

With his 206 yards against Southern Utah, Weber State quarterback Mike Hoke became the 11th player in Weber State history to reach 4,000 yards passing. In 34 career games, Hoke ranks 11th in school history with 4,010 yards passing.

Hoke also has thrown 30 career touchdown passes and boasts a 60.7 career pass completion percentage.

Hoke has thrown for 1,511 yards with eight touchdowns this season. He ranks ninth in the Big Sky in total offense and 10th in passing.

Epperson out for season

Safety Tony Epperson, who also leads the nation in punting at 48.0 yards per game, likely will miss the rest of the season due to an MCL tear in his right knee suffered against Cal Poly. —

Montana at Weber State

P At Stewart Stadium

Saturday, 1:30 p.m.





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