Since joining the Big Sky Conference in 2012, Southern Utah has had arguable more success than any of the league’s other three “newest” teams. The Thunderbirds made the FCS playoffs in 2014 before earning the Big Sky’s auto-bid to the FCS playoffs in 2015 and 2017. In the years that did not end in a postseason berth, SUU had just one losing season: in 2012, a campaign that included wins at Montana, over No. 1 Eastern Washington and over No. 11 Eastern Washington.
Southern Utah is entering unchartered waters this season as the calendar turns to November. The Thunderbirds started the season 0-5 in part because of an upset 34-30 home loss to North Alabama followed by a four-game losing streak that included a pair of FBS defeats plus loss at Northern Arizona and No. 5 Eastern Washington. SUU broke through with its first win, a 48-27 victory over Sacramento State in its first home game in a month.
Since then, the losing has continued. SUU fell behind 31-0 in a 31-12 loss at Idaho. Southern Utah fell behind 42-18 to Northern Colorado before a furious rally that fell just short in a 42-39 loss to the Bears.
On Saturday, SUU welcomes a Montana team in the midst of its first three-game losing streak since 1992. The Griz turned the ball over four times in each of the last three weeks, losing to Portland State at home for the first time since 1987, getting blown out 41-14 at North Dakota and giving up 46 unanswered points in a 49-21 loss to No. 6 UC Davis for the worst loss in Washington-Grizzly Stadium history.
Photos by Brooks Nuanez or SUU Athletics. All Rights Reserved.