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Snow facing toughest challenge of season

Snow facing toughest challenge of season

By Adam Mason, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Oct. 22, 2010 at 5:14 p.m.



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EPHRAIM -- No. 12 Snow College (6-1, 5-0) will be playing in the national spotlight again when it goes on the road to take on No. 7 Arizona Western (6-1, 3-1).

Snow will be facing the fighting Matadors for the third time in a little over a year. With 16 players returning for Western and 12 for the Badgers, these teams know each other well.

"It's two heavyweight fighters going at it," said defensive coordinator Justin Decol. "We're ready."

Snow played Western twice last year and lost each contest and wound up sharing the conference championship with them. In the first contest it was Western's first game of the season, so Snow had no film and had no idea what to expect. In previous years Western was dominantly a pass team, but that wasn't the case last year.

Snow was shocked to learn about a running back named Reggie Bullock, who as a freshman averaged 157 yards per game. Not much has changed for Bullock either as he is currently the second best rusher in the nation with 144 yards per game. He is also the lone 1,000 yard rusher in the nation; through seven games Bullock has 1,010 yards.

"We got to play a physical ball game," said Decol. "It (will be) our third game against him, so it's nothing new to us."

Snow will also be taking on the fourth best defense in the nation as Western gives up just over 204 yards per game. They are first in the nation in yards allowed in the rush game as they only give up just over 42 yards per game.

"I don't think they have really any weaknesses (defensively)," said offensive coordinator Tyler Hughes. "They're big and they have some speed and they just play great team defense."

Western will also have its work cut out for them as Snow is currently the sixth best offense in the nation and is the highest ranked offense that Western will have taken on this year. Snow averages just over 420 yards per game with 228 of those yards coming in its run game.

"We need to mix it up, we can't become reliant over one particular thing," said Hughes. "We need to have a big focus on this single game and the single moment."

Snow is hoping the team is focused enough that it will end their losing streak against Western.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Notes: Running back Muka Atiga is still fighting an ankle injury as he walks around in a boot. He is still expected to suit up and play when needed on Saturday. Snow with its win over Scottsdale Oct. 16 guaranteed themselves an above .500 season, which also qualifies them for the Zions Bank Top of the Mountains Bowl.

Adam Mason

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