T-Birds must win last three games to finish above .500.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.
Cedar City • One by one, Southern Utah's goals for its first football season in the Big Sky Conference have disappeared.
A league title? A Football Championship Subdivision playoff berth? Gone after heart-breaking Big Sky losses to Montana State (24-17), Sacramento State (27-22) and Weber State (24-22).
The Thunderbirds are 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the conference. The only tangible goal remaining is a winning season, which would be their third straight.
To finish over .500, however, SUU must defeat Eastern Washington, North Dakota and Northern Arizona in its final three games.
The first opponent No. 1-ranked Eastern Washington is likely the best. The Eagles are unbeaten in the Big Sky and pursuing their second national championship in three years.
Despite Southern Utah's failure to finish close games, Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin is wary of the Thunderbirds and senior quarterback Brad Sorensen.
"It will be an extremely tough game," he said. "They have one of the best quarterbacks if not the best in the nation. He can really throw it from the pocket, and he's consistent. This game will be a huge challenge for us."
E. Washington at Southern Utah
P At Eccles Coliseum
Kickoff • 1:05 p.m.
TV • Big Sky TV (Internet)
Radio • 91.1 FM
Records • Eastern Washington 6-1, 5-0; Southern Utah 3-5, 2-3
Series • Eastern Washington, 4-1
Last meeting • Eastern Washington, 31-24 (2010)
About the Thunderbirds • They have lost three Big Sky games by 14 points. ... QB Brad Sorensen needs 700 yards to pass Matt Cannon as their all-time total offense leader. Sorensen already ranks first in passing yards (8,313), completions (702) and TD passes (56).
About the Eagles • Not including a blowout victory against North Dakota, they've won four Big Sky games by 18 points. ... They have split against FBS opponents this season, defeating Idaho (20-3) and losing to Washington State (24-20).