After last week’s blowout of California State University, Sacramento, the Weber State University football team will head on the road this week when it takes on the University of Northern Colorado on Saturday.
The WSU Wildcats will look to continue their good form against a struggling UNC team. The UNC Bears opened up their season with a 22-20 loss against Linwood University, a Division II school. Last week, UNC lost to Idaho State University. ISU put up more than 500 yards of total offense against the Bears and romped to a 50-20 win over UNC.
Despite the tough start to the season for UNC, Kamaal Ahmad, director of WSU Football Operations, said he expects a tough physical game, that the Bears will be looking to get a win.
“They’re going to be hungry, just like us. They want a win,” Ahmad said.
This will be the sixth time the two teams have met. WSU holds a commanding lead in the series over the Bears, having won all five previous meetings.
UNC is ranked last in the Big Sky Conference in scoring offense at 18 points per game and rank seventh in scoring defense at 35. It is also last in total offense, eighth in total defense, and last in pass offense and defense. One area where the Bears have been strong is in their run defense, which should make for an interesting match-up with the Wildcats, who saw Tanner Hinds rush for more than 100 yards last week.
WSU has been employing a running-back-by-committee system this season, with snaps being split between Hinds, Josh Booker, T.J. Parham and Barrinton Collins. Ahmad said the team will play whoever can help the team the most.
“As far to my knowledge,” Ahmad said, “we’re going to play the guy who gives us the best chance to win and leave it at that. If that means playing one (running back), we’ll play one. If that means playing four, we’ll play four. It kind of depends on how the game goes.”
Last week, all four running backs saw action for WSU. While Hinds had the best game, he didn’t see action until the second half. The Kaysville native carried the ball 10 times for a career-high 104 yards rushing, an average of 10.4 yards per carry. All 10 of those rushes came in the second half. Hinds also had a 25-yard touchdown run, the longest run of his career. He has now recorded a rushing touchdown in all three of WSU’s games this season.
The Wildcats started their season with two losses against FBS schools, falling to the University of Wyoming and Utah State University. Quarterback Mike Hoke said he feels that playing two tough opponents before the start of conference play helped to prepare the team for the Big Sky Conference.
“I think it helped a lot,” Hoke said. “Physically, Wyoming and Utah State were just real big, and real fast. . . . They were probably the best two defenses we’ll go against all year.”
Saturday’s game will be broadcast on Altitude TV, and kicks off at 1:30 p.m. This will be the first of three WSU games to be shown on television.