Estimated read time: 12-13 minutes
D I X I E S T A T E C O L L E G E
Dixie State head coach, RON HAUN, begins his third season. ... Coming into Saturday's game, Haun is 5-19 overall at DSU. He first season, 2006, Dixie State left the junior college ranks and became a four-year institution competing at the NCAA Division II level. ... Haun is no stranger to Weber State. He played quarterback for the Wildcats in 1964 under Coach Wally Nalder completing 39-76 passes for 515 yards and three touchdowns. He was set to play at WSU the next season under Sark Arslanian but decided give up playing and served as an assistant coach under Arslanian. Haun played two season under Arslanian at Dixie JC. ... Haun was the head football coach at Ricks JC (now BYU-Idaho) for 20 seasons where he was a sparkling 178-40-2 (.816). His team's at Ricks won or tied for 10 ICAC titles. Two of his teams (1992, 1994) posted perfect 11-0-0 records. ... Assisting Haun is KEN SCHMIDT who serves as the defensive coordinator. SCHMIDT spent the 2005 season on the Weber State staff during Coach Ron McBride's first season at the head coach at WSU. Schmidt coached the offensive line.
This the first meeting ever between the two schools.
SCOUTING DIXIE STATE
Dixie State (formerly the Rebels, but now without a nickname), comes into Saturday's game with a 1-1 mark. They lost their season opener, at home, to Central Washington, 44-36 in overtime. Central Washington was ranked among the top 10 teams in NCAA Division II coming into the game and Dixie gave them all they could handle. ... Last Saturday, Dixie State pounced on Western New Mexico, 35-3, at home. ... DSC has rolled up an average of 407.5 total yards of offense per game, while giving up just 283.0. Dixie has been tough against the run, yielding just an average of 47.50 rushing yards per game in their first two outings. ... Dixie will most likely be without their leading ball carrier. TAUNI VAKAPUNA (5-9, 210 Soph.) hyper-extended his knee in the overtime period vs. Central Washington on Aug. 30 and played one series last week vs. Western New Mexico. He has 21 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns. DEXTER HILL (6-1, 190 Sr.) is a JC transfer from Scottsdale CC via the University of Northern Iowa and Highland HS in Pocatello, Idaho. Hill is 43-67-1 for 539 yards and four touchdowns in the firs two games. His two favorite receivers have been SKYLER ENCE (6-1, 225 Jr.) and tight end JUDD THOMPSON (6-3, 210 Jr.) who is a transfer from Utah State. Ence has 11 catches for 150 yards and one touchdown. Thompson also has 11 receptions, but for 115 yards and no touchdowns. ... Defensively, TEDDY OWENS (6-0, 225 Jr.) a linebacker from Pleasant Grove HS via Southwestern Baptist, has 17 total tackles in two games, 10 of them unassisted. MANU MAFI, (6-3, 265 Fr) a defensive tackle, has 2.5 quarterback sacks for a minus 15 yards.
WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY "WILDCATS"
HEAD COACH RON McBRIDE
Weber State head coach, RON McBRIDE, enters his FOURTH SEASON as head coach the Wildcats. In 2005 he guided the Wildcats to a 6-5 (.545) record overall and a 4-3 (.571) mark in Big Sky Conference play. Last year the Wildcats were 5-6 overall and 4-4 in Big Sky play.
MAC is now 16-19 at WSU (.457) and 104-82 (.559) overall in his 17th seasons as a head coach. McBRIDE picked up his 100th career coaching victory in the 23-0 shutout of Northern Colorado last October.
McBride was 88-63 in 13 seasons as the head coach at the University of Utah from 1990-2002. ... McBride is now (11-12) overall in Big Sky Conference games.
NEW WEB SITE!
All Weber State University athletic department news can now be found on the new web site which is:
RADIO / TV
All Weber State football games will be carried LIVE on radio station KLO (1430 AM). ... Back for his 10th season of Wildcat football play-by-play is WILDCAT CARL ARKY. ... Due to a family commitment, Arky will be replaced on the air this week by KSL-TV sports anchor ROD ZUNDEL. He will be joined in the broadcast booth by former WSU footballs standouts JUSTIN DeFOUR and TY SPARROW for the six HOME GAMES. ... WSU Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations, BRAD LARSEN, will handle the color analyst duties on the road. ... SATURDAY'S PRE-GAME SHOW begins at 5:30 p.m. (MDT)
MONDAY COACHES SHOW AT JAVIER'S
This year's KLO Monday Night Coaches Show, hosted by Wildcat Carl Arky, will be held at JAVIER'S RESTAURANT AT 4874 South Harrison Blvd in Ogden beginning at 7:00 p.m. All Wildcat fans are encouraged to attend, enjoy some great Mexican food cuisine and pose some questions to Coach Ron McBride and WSU football players invited to attend each week. ... The FIRST SHOW of the 2008 season will air on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15.
TUESDAY NIGHT TV AT SONORA GRILL
The Imagination Company, along with the WSU Athletic Department, is proud to host "THE SONORA GRILL COACHES SHOW WITH RON McBRIDE" every Tuesday night beginning at 6:30 p.m. ... The Sonora Grill is located on 2310 Kiesel Avenue at "The Junction" near the Ogden Megaplex 13 cinema. ... The show, hosted by Wildcat Carl Arky, will feature Coach McBride, players and staff in a half-hour setting. ... It will be broadcast on COMCAST LOCAL CHANNEL 17 in Ogden/Weber County and Davis County, as well as the new CHANNEL 6 statewide. ALTITUDE SPORTS will rebroadcast the show on CABLE 61, DISH NETWORK CHANNEL 410 and DIRECT TV CHANNEL 681.
There will be TWO major weekly top 25 polls for NCAA Division I FCS this season. ... THE SPORTS NETWORK poll is voted upon by sports information directors from all 125 FCS schools plus selected media members. ... The FCS COACHES POLL is just that. Coaches from various FCS schools voted each week. Both polls will be released on Monday afternoon during the season.
N C A A DIVISION 1 FCS
The old "I-AA" is so yesterday! ... It's now NCAA Division I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision). FCS schools have a 16-team playoff format to determine a true national champion. NCAA Division I BCS (Bowl Championship Subdivision) determines it's champion through play in post-season bowl games. ... There are 125 schools in NCAA Division I FCS this season. The 16-team playoff has eight automatic qualifiers (league champions) from the following conferences: Big Sky, Colonial, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Missouri Valley Football, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern and Southland. The other eight teams receive at-large berths. ... The first round begins on Saturday, November 29, with the quarterfinals on Saturday, December 6, semifinals Saturday, Dec. 13 and the championship game on Friday, Dec. 19 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. ... In the 29-year history of NCAA Division I FCS football, a team from the BIG SKY CONFERENCE has reached the championship game nine times, and have captured five titles. Montana is the last Big Sky team to win the national championship. The Grizzlies defeated Furman, 13-7, in 2001. ... Weber State has made two playoff appearances. In 1987 the Wildcats went on the road and defeated Big Sky league foe Idaho, 59-30, then went on the road and dropped a 51-23 decision at Marshall. ... In 1991, Northern Iowa defeated the Wildcats 38-21 in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
47TH SEASON OF FOOTBALL
Thursday's game marks the 47th season of Weber State University football on the four-year level and the 46th season as a member of the Big Sky Conference. ... In 1962, Weber State attained four-year status and played as an NCAA Division II member until 1978 when they moved up to the newly created NCAA Division I-AA level (now I-FCS). ... Weber State's ALL-TIME RECORD in football is 234-255-3 (.475).
The team elected five captains for the 2008 season. ... The DEFENSIVE CAPTAINS will be J.D. FOLSOM (6-3, 230 Sr. SLB), RYAN GALOVIC (6-0, 220 Sr. ROV) and KEVIN LINEHAN (6-3, 255 Jr. DE). ... The OFFENSIVE CAPTAINS are PAUL CARPENTER (6-6, 305 Sr. OT), CAMERON HIGGINS (6-2, 195 Soph. QB) and MARCUS MAILEI (6-1, 245 Sr. FB) ... BRYAN ETEUATI (5-7, 160 Sr.) will be the SPECIAL TEAMS captain.
IT'S HOMECOMING GAME TIME!
Saturday's game is the 2008 Weber State HOMECOMING GAME. Former WSU head coach SARK ARSLANIAN is being honored. All his former players have been invited back to campus and will have a dinner on Friday night. ... Weber State is 19-27-0 (.413) in it's Homecoming Games, and have lost seven of the last 10 played including the last two in a row. ... Last year, the ‘Cats lost to Montana State 21-5 and two years ago to Portland State, 20-10. ... WSU's last HC win was in 2005 vs. Sacramento State (26-14). ... This is the first time since 1999 the Homecoming Game opponent HAS NOT BEEN a Big Sky team. In 1999, Southern Utah came in and defeated the Wildcats 39-7. ... WSU's biggest Homecoming Game win came in 1970 vs. Montana State (56-13). ... The worse defeat came in 2004 vs. Eastern Washington (7-51).
ETEUATI BECOMES KICKOFF KING
WSU kick return specialist BRYANT ETEUATI (5-7, 160 Sr.) become the Big Sky Conference career leader in Kickoff Return Yards with his 44 yard return of the opening kickoff at Hawai'i last Saturday night. He now has 74 career kickoff returns for 2,072 yards breaking the old mark of 2,031 yards (98 returns) set by former Weber State standout Wiley King. ... Eteuati is now averaging 28.00 yards per kickoff return. ... He is also racing towards becoming Weber State's career ALL-PURPOSE YARDS leader. He needs just 84 more yards, either by rushing, receiving or kick returns, to surpass the 4,161 yards by Nick Chournos. ... He now has 21 career rushing yards; 1,028 receiving yards, 2,072 kickoff return yards and 978 punt return yards. With 23 more punt return yards, he will become the first player in Big Sky Conference history with 1,000 career receiving yards, 1,000 kickoff return yards and 1,000 punt return yards.
NAME THAT TOONE!
WSU wide receiver TIM TOONE (5-10, 165 Jr.) had a single game high NINE receptions last Saturday night vs. Hawai'i. His previous best was six catches at home last year vs. both Sacramento State and Idaho State. He had 135 receiving yards in the Hawai'i game. ... He is now the team leader in 2008 with 12 catches for 176 yards, and now has 51 career receptions for 1,149 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is averaging an eye-popping 22.53 yards per reception in his career. Toone needs seven more touchdown catches to become WSU's career leader in that category.
OVER THE RAINBEAU
BEAU HADLEY (6-0, 185 Jr. Safety) had a big night vs. Hawai'i. The junior safety from near by Fremont HS, had 11 UNASSISTED TACKLES in the game. His previous best for tackles in a game was four last year vs. @Portland State and at home vs. Idaho State. He had as many tackles in the last Saturday's game as he did all last season in seven game appearances (7 unassisted, 4 assisted). ... Hadley is now the team leader in Total Tackles this season with 16 and 14 UNASSISTED!. He also has WSU's lone interception of the season.
SMITH OUT SLOW, BUT DON'T WORRY
Weber State running back TREVYN SMITH (5-9, 210 Jr.) has been the Big Sky rushing leader each of the past two seasons and has gained over 1,000 yards each campaign. ... Thus far in two games Smith has 33 carries for 114 yards and five touchdowns (7 catches for 96 yards and one touchdown). ... He's averaging 57.0 yards per game and currently ranks 8th in the Big Sky. ... But not to worry early. In his freshman season (2006), Smith did not have a carry in the season opener @Colorado State and just 81 yards in the next game at home vs. Cal Poly but ended the season with 1,129 yards. He rushed for 498 yards in the last three games of the season or just over 44 percent of his season total (203 vs. EWU, and 211 @ISU). ... Last season he averaged just 74.50 yards per game in WSU's first four outings, then turned up the heat and averaged 145.14 yards in the last seven games which included six straight 100+ yard performances with a career high of 225 vs. @Portland State.
JON'S RIGHT FOOT
The Wildcats have had a pleasant surprise in placekicker JON WILLIAMS (5-10, 200 Soph.). ... Williams, who attended Alcorn State as a freshman, the red-shirted last year at Grossmont JC, is a perfect 10-10 in PATs and 3-3 in Field Goal Attempts this season. He had made FGs of 32,35 and 28 yards.
PUNT FOR COVER!
Weber State's punt cover team has been spectacular through two games. ... In the season opener at home vs. Montana-Western they held the Bulldogs to two punt returns for minus two yards. ... Last Saturday, they held an explosive Hawai'i punt return team to just THREE RETURNS FOR ZERO YARDS! ... WSU opponents are now averaging -0.50 punt return yards per game!
The Wildcats are a solid 11-12 (.917) in "red zone" (inside the opponents' 20-yard line) scoring this season and have scored 65 of their 79 points from that area. ... The ‘Cats have scored eight touchdowns and kicked three field goals. ... Last year the Wildcats were 26-42 (.619) in red zone scoring chances.
QUICK HITTERS . . .
The minus 20 yards rushing last Saturday @Hawai'i was the 4th lowest single game rushing total in WSU football history. ... Of the 84 lost yards, 29 came on a run by Mike Snoy after a failed snap on the attempted punt (-14) and a minus 15 yards charged as a TEAM RUSH when Snoy went down to pick up another failed snap and went down on one knee to get the ball which made the play dead at the spot. . . . The Wildcat held the ball for 18:45 seconds in the first half vs. Hawai'i, but just 10 minutes and one second of possession time in the second half. . . . The Wildcats have out scored their first two opponents 35-6 in the SECOND QUARTER this season and 13-7 in the FOURTH QUARTER. . . . The two interceptions thrown last Saturday @Hawai'i were WSU's first turnovers of the season. The Wildcats are a +1.50 in Turnover Margin. Last year the ‘Cats were a -1.33. WSU has fumbled four times this season but have not lost one. . . . Saturday's game is WSU's last NIGHT HOME GAME of the season. WSU has only one more night game on the schedule after Saturday's game with Dixie when they play @Utah (Sept. 27) at 6:05 p.m.
Weber State opens up 2008 Big Sky Conference play traveling to SACRAMENTO STATE for a Saturday, September 20 meeting. ... Kickoff in Hornet Stadium is set for 2:05 p.m. (PDT) / 3:05 (MDT). ... WSU's next home game is Saturday, October 4 vs. Montana.
R O N M c B R I D E Q U O T E S
ON LAST WEEK'S GAME: "We played really well on both sides of the ball in the first half and had them confused. The key to the second half was the two three-and-out possessions we had at the start of the third quarter. Had we been able to sustain one of those drives, and got some points, we could have halted their momentum."
ON THE DIXIE STATE "They are much improved over last season. They gave a really good Central Washington team all they could handle and should have won the game. This is obviously a big game for them and it is for us as well. Playing an instate rival always makes the game more intense and interesting."