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GAME WEEK: Weber State at Northern Colorado

GAME WEEK: Weber State at Northern Colorado



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Game #8
Weber State at Northern Colorado
Saturday, October 24, 2009 * 1:35 p.m.
Nottingham Field * Greeley, Colorado

NORTHERN COLORADO "Bears"

HEAD COACH

SCOTT DOWNING is in his 4th season as head coach at Northern Colorado. Coming into Saturday's game Downing's record a NC stands at 5-36. He is 3-26 in Big Sky Conference games. ... Downing was the head coach at Sterling College in Kansas in 1980 and 1981 where his teams were 13-4-1. ... Downing is 0-3 vs. Weber State.

SERIES HISTORY

This series started in 2006 when the Northern Colorado joined the Big Sky Conference. The Wildcats are 3-0 vs. the Bears and 1-0 in Greeley.

  • 2006 at Weber State 26-21 W
  • 2007 at Northern Colorado 23-0 W
  • 2008 at Weber State 17-10 W

LAST MEETING - Oct. 18, 2008 - Ogden, Utah

The Wildcats won 17-10 despite losing three fumbles and throwing an interception. CAMERON HIGGINS threw an 18-yd TD pass to TIM TOONE in the 2nd quarter and JON WILLIAMS kicked a 40-yd field goal as time expired, giving the Wildcats a 10-0 half time lead. ... The Bears took the opening kickoff in the 2nd half and kicked a 38-yd field goal by MICHAEL YORK to make it a 10-3 game. ... The Wildcats made it a 17-3 game with 14 seconds left in the 3rd quarter on a 27-yd TD pass from HIGGINS to CODY NAKAMURA. ... Early in the 4th quarter, the Wildcats drove to the NC three-yard line, but on 1st-and-goal, HIGGINS was sacked for minus seven yards, fumbled, and QUINCY WOFFORD recovered. ... The ‘Cats forced the Bears to punt and got the ball back. This time they drove to the NC 13 looking to make it a 24-3 game, but HIGGINS was intercepted by MYLES HAYES at the five and returned it to the 41. WSU was called for a personal foul on the play and the Bears got the ball at the WSU 44. It took 10 plays but the Bears scored with 2:26 left on a 5-yd pass from BRYAN WAGGENER to JASON CAPRIOLI. ... NC tried an on-sides kick but the Wildcats got it at mid field. ... The Bears held and the Wildcats had it 4th-and-one at the NC 41 with 1:40 left. After a time out, the Wildcats called on TREVYN SMITH who rushed for eight yards and a first down. WSU then ran out the clock. ... HIGGINS had big afternoon completing 27-37 for 413 yards. SMITH rushed 22 times for 119 yards as the Wildcats piled up 571 yards of total offense while holding the Bears to just 142. WSU held the ball for 34:42.

LAST TIME IN GREELEY, COLO. - October 13, 2007

BRYANT ETEUATI had eight catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Wildcats to a 23-0 win. BRENDON DOYLE started at quarterback for the Wildcats in place of CAMERON HIGGINS. DOYLE responded by hitting 11-19 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown. HIGGINS played in the 2nd half and was 7-8 passing for 72 yards and a touchdown. ... TREVYN SMITH carried 24 times for 113 yards and scored on a 59-yd run. ... WSU led 16-0 at half time. The only score in the 2nd half was a 22-yd pass from HIGGINS to ETEUATI with 10:13 left in the game which was played on cloudy day with light rain. ... WSU's defense held the Bears to just 133 yards of total offense. It was WSU's first SHUTOUT in Big Sky Conference play since 1980, and WSU's first shutout ON THE ROAD in league play since 1966. ... The only sore spot for the Wildcats were penalties where they had 12 for 104 yards.

SCOUTING THE BEARS

Northern Colorado broke a 19-game losing streak in Big Sky Conference play with a 30-7 win last Saturday at Idaho State. NC running back ANDRE HARRIS carried 24 times for 113 yards and one touchdown and BRYAN WAGGENER completed 24-42 passes for 212 yards and a TD. MICHAEL YORK added field goals of 30, 47 and 31 yards. ... Northern Colorado comes into Saturday's game with an overall record of 2-5 and a 1-4 mark in Big Sky play. ... The Bears rank FIRST in the Big Sky Conference in TOTAL DEFENSE allowing just 350.6 yards per game and are FIRST in PASS DEFENSE al lowing only 197.7 yards a contest. They rank THIRD in PASSING EFFICIENCY DEFENSE holding teams to a rating of 125.3. ... Defensively, weak side linebacker MATT KING is 6th in the Big Sky in Tackles Per Game at 8.3.

WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY "Wildcats"

COACH RON McBRIDE

Weber State head coach RON McBRIDE enters into his 5th season as head coach of the Wildcats and his 18th overall as a head coach on the NCAA Division I level. ... McBride is now 29-25 (.5370) at WSU and 117-88 (.5707) overall. ... Mac is 22-15 (.5945) in Big Sky Conference regular season games and is 3-0 vs. Northern Colorado. ... In 2008 McBride was named the Big Sky Conference Coach-of-the-Year after leading the Wildcats to a 10-4 record overall and a 7-1 mark and the conference co-championship in Big Sky Conference play. It marked the first time since 1968 that the Wildcats had captured the Big Sky Conference championship. ... McBride guided his Wildcats to a 45-28 win over #2 ranked Montana during the regular season and a stunning 49-35 road win over #3 ranked Cal Poly in the first round of the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs. Twelve of McBride's athletes earned First Team All-Big Sky Conference, the most by any team in a single season in the 47-year history of the league. Twenty Wildcats earned some type of all-conference honor in 2008. ... Ten Wildcats earned Second or Third Team All-America honors either by The Associated Press or The Sports Network.

TRAVEL PLANS

Team and travel party are set to leave Ogden, Utah on Thursday, October 22nd at 5:00 p.m. by charter buses. ... Team headquarters on Thursday and Friday night will be the BEST WESTERN CROSSROADS INN at 5542 East US Highway 34 in Loveland, Colorado (970) 667-7810. ... Team is tentatively scheduled to practice on Friday, October 23 on Nottingham Field at 2:00 p.m. (MDT). ... Team will leave immediately after the game and bus back to Ogden.

RADIO / TV

Back for his 11th season as the football radio voice of Weber State football is Wildcat CARL ARKY. He will be joined in the broadcast booth by former WSU standout defensive back TY SPARROW. ... Once again, all Weber State football games will be carried LIVE on KLO (1430 AM) with the Pre-Game Show beginning 30 minutes for each kickoff. ... New this year is the NCAA Division I FCS Round Up Show which airs 30 minutes before each Pre-Game Show. ... Saturday's game is being carried LIVE on ALTITUDE TV with BLAKE OLSON calling the action and former Colorado State University standout quarterback, MATT NEWTON providing color commentary. MAYA STARKS is the sideline reporter. It is WSU's third appearance on Altitude TV this season. ... In UTAH, Altitude is carried on DIRECT TV CHANNEL 681; DISH NETWORK CHANNEL 410 and on COMCAST CHANNEL 65.

WEEKLY POLLS - ‘Cats Drop to 16th?

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 members of the media who cover those schools. ... THE FCS COACHES poll is just that. Coaches from various FCS schools representing each conference and independents vote each week. Both polls are released each Monday afternoon. ... Despite a solid 49-10 win over Sacramento State, the Wildcats DROPPED one spot (to 16th) in The Sports Network poll, but stayed at 15th in the FCS Coaches poll.

48th SEASON OF WEBER STATE FOOTBALL

This is the 48th season of Weber State University on the four-year level, and the 47th season as a member of the Big Sky Conference. ... Weber State attained four-year status in 1962 and played as an NCAA Division II member until 1978 when, along with the rest of the Big Sky Conference, moved up to the newly created NCAA I-AA (now FCS) level. ... Weber State's all-time football record stands at 248-262-3 (.4834) coming into this week's game vs. Northern Colorado. ... In BIG SKY CONFERENCE regular season games, the ‘Cats are 141 -167-2 (.4548).

TEAM CAPTAINS

The 2009 DEFENSIVE CAPTAINS will be: Brighton Barkdull (6-3, 250 Sr. DE), Beau Hadley (6-0, 185 Sr. Safety), Kevin Linehan (6-3, 245 Sr. DE), Josh Morris (6-0, 190 Sr. CB) and Taylor Sedillo (5-11, 235 Jr. MLB). .. The OFFENSIVE CAPTAINS will be: Cameron Higgins (6-2, 210 Jr. QB), Kyle Mutcher (6-3, 300 Sr. OC), Treyvn Smith (5-9, 210 Sr. RB) and Tim Toone (5-10, 175 Sr. WR). ... The SPECIAL TEAMS captain will be Mike Snoy (6-2, 180 Sr. Punter).

HIGGINS, TOONE EARN BIG SKY P O W s HONORS

CAMERON HIGGINS (6-2, 210 Jr. QB) was named the Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week and TIM TOONE (5-10, 175 Sr. WR) was named the Big Sky Conference Special Teams Player of the Week. Toone was also named the NATIONAL Special Teams Player of the Week in NCAA Division I FCS by The Sports Network. ... Higgins completed 23-30 passes, no interceptions, for 290 yards and threw FIVE touchdown passes in WSU's 49-10 over Sacramento State. He had a 212.9 efficiency rating in the game. Through seven games, Higgins LEADS NCAA Division I FCS in Passing Yards with 2,109. This is the 2nd time this season Higgins has been named Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week, and the 6th time in his career. ... Toone set a Big Sky and Weber State record with a 95-yard PUNT RETURN for a touchdown. He also caught passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns. On his first catch of the day - a 25-yarder for a touchdown - Toone became the 7th player in Big Sky Conference history, and the first in WSU football history, to have 3,000 career receiving yards. It was his first player of the week award in 2008 and the third in his career.

TOONE-TOWN

Tim Toone must wish he could play against Sacramento State every game. Two years ago in Ogden, he tied a school record with four touchdown catches in WSU's 26-7 win. He scored one touchdown last year against the Hornets (a 60-yarder) in Sacramento, then scored four against them last Saturday giving him nine total touchdowns vs. Sac State in his career. ... Toone now has 173 career receptions for 3,152 yards and 26 touchdowns. .. Those 173 catches now places him 3rd on the WSU career receiving chart. He needs five more catches to pass Peter Macon into second place behind Trevor Shaw (206). ... Toone needs to average 8.25 catches per game in WSU's last four contests to catch Shaw. ... Toone now has 3,936 All-Purpose Yards in his career and is 5th in Weber State history. He needs just 28 more yards to pass Freddie Cook into 4th, and 64 to join Trevyn Smith, Bryant Eteuati and Nick Chournos as the only Wildcats to achieve 4,000 career all-purpose yards. ... Toone is now 8th on the WSU career Punt Return list with 33 returns for 475 yards (14.39 ypr) and two touchdowns. Only two players in WSU history (Jim Edwards: 1969-70 / Randle Anderson: 1970-71) have returned THREE PUNTS for touchdowns. ... Toone's two returns for 109 yards vs. Sac State is the THIRD most Punt Return yards in a game in WSU football history. Chris Darrington holds the WSU record with 142 yards on five returns vs. Idaho State in 1986.

TOONE's career Yard Per Reception mark of 18.22 per catch is nearly two yards better than anyone on the 3,000 yard list. ... With at least four games left, Toone needs to average 74 receiving yards per game to move past Orshawante Bryant into 4th place on the career.

SACK'EM UP!

KEVIN LINEHAN (6-3, 245 Sr. DE) recorded his 6th quarterback sack of the season last Saturday. Linehan now has 22 career sacks which puts him third on the WSU career charts behind Jason Jensen (25) and Brady Fosmark (32.5). Linehan is second behind NAU's Isaac Bond in Sacks Per game. Bond is at 1.08 and Linehan, 0.86. ... Linehan has 31 total tackles in 2009, 15 unassisted. Of those 15, seven have been tackles for loss. ... He also has SIX career Forced Fumbles and FOUR Fumble Recoveries to his credit.

MILES OF PUNTING YARDS

With his 180 punting yards last Saturday vs. Sacramento State, MIKE SNOY (6-2, 180 Sr.) became the first punter in Weber State history to have over 8,000 punting yards for a career. He now has 198 career punts for 8,040 yards (4.56 MILES) for a career average of 40.60. He is now currently 7th on the WSU career list for Punting Average. ... He needs just four more punts to pass Wyatt Kennah (also a Northridge High grad) for the most punts in a career at Weber State. Kennah had 201 career boots for an average of 39.65 a kick. ... Snoy currently ranks 9th in NCAA Division I FCS, and 3rd in the Big Sky, in Punting Average this season at 43.17. ... Nine of his 28 punts have been downed INSIDE THE 20, six have been fair caught and one was a touchback. ...

...NET RESULT IS GOOD

Because of Snoy's kicking abilities, and WSU's excellent Punt Cover team, the Wildcats continue to lead NCAA Division I FCS in Net Punting with a 41.2 average. ... WSU opponents have had just NINE punt returns for a total of 35 yards this season for an average of just 3.89 yards per return. ... A 14-yd return by Wyoming in the season opener is the longest against the Wildcats this season. Idaho State had four returns vs. the Wildcats but for only one yard.

ROAD WARRIORS

Weber State comes into Saturday's game at Northern Colorado with a SIX GAME WIN STREAK ON THE ROAD in Big Sky Conference REGULAR SEASON games. ... The Wildcats were 4-0 in Big Sky play on the road in 2008 and have won their first two in 2009. ... Going back to the 2007 season, the Wildcats have now WON seven of their last 10 ROAD games against NCAA Division I FCS opponents. The three losses came @Montana (18-10, 2007), @Eastern Washington (38-16, 2007) and @Montana (24-13, 2008 in the FCS playoffs).

TOTAL O VS TOTAL D

Saturday's game matches the Big Sky's top OFFENSE team, Weber State, against the league's top DEFENSE team in Northern Colorado. ... The Wildcats are averaging 435.00 yards of Total Offense per game while Northern Colorado is yielding just 350.6. ... On the opposite side, Northern Colorado ranks eighth out of nine teams in the Big Sky in Total Offense averaging 310.9 yards a game. Weber State is 4th in Total Defense allowing 379.0 yards a contest. ....Weber State ranks FIRST in the Big Sky in Pass Offense averaging 309.1 yards a game. Northern Colorado ranks FIRST in Pass Defense allowing just 197.7 yards through the air. They are the only team in the Big Sky holding opponents under 200 yards passing per game.

PUNT RETURNS

Montana (21.6 yards per return) and Weber State (20.8 yards per return) not only rank one-two in the Big Sky Conference in Average Yards per Punt Return, but rank ONE-TWO in NCAA Division I FCS coming into this week's games. .. The Grizzlies have 14 returns for 302 yards and the Wildcats have 15 returns for 315 yards. Both teams had punt returns for touchdowns last week. ... Individually, Montana's Mark Mariani is the current 2009 NCAA Division I FCS Punt Return leader with eight for 193 yards (24.1 ypr) and a touchdown. TIM TOONE is 2nd in NCAA Division I FCS with 13 returns for 287 yards (22.1 ypr) and a touchdown. Both Mariani (84 vs. Eastern Washington) and Toone (95 vs. Sacramento State) returned punts for touchdowns last weekend. ... Northern Colorado's RYAN LUTZ is 3rd in the Big Sky in Punt Returns with 19 for 135 yards (7.1 ypr.)

NEWCOMER JORDAN BROWN

JORDAN BROWN (6-2, 175 Jr. Free Safety / Brigham City, Utah) continues to play well and contend for 2009 Big Sky Conference Newcomer of the Year. ... Brown picked up his thi rd interception of the season last Saturday, returning it 31 yards to set up a WSU touchdown right before half time. ... He had nine total tackles vs. the Hornets with three of them unassisted. ... He now has 61 Total Tackles this season, 28 unassisted and two pass break ups. He is WSU's current team leader in overall tackles this season.

BACKWARDS IN TIME

Coming into last Saturday's game at home with Sacramento State, the Wildcats had been averaging nearly 33 minutes of possession time per game and were coming off a 31-13 road win at Eastern Washington where they had the ball for just over 36 minutes. ... But against Sacramento State, the Wildcats scored 49 points with a season LOW 25:38 minutes of possession time. ... It was just the second time this season the Wildcats have had the ball under 30 minutes. They had it for 29:57 in the season opener at Wyoming which was the previous low game total for the season. ... Was was even more amazing last Saturday was the fact the Wildcats scored 28 2ND POINTS in just 3:45 of possession time in the quarter!

WINNING THE TURNOVER BATTLE

The Wildcats have quietly gone for the minus side to the plus side in TURNOVER MARGIN this season. ... The Wildcats have had just one turnover in the last two games. Last Saturday's game vs. Sac State marked the first time this season the Wildcats did not have a turnover. ... Weber State has fumbled just eight times in seven games but have lost just two. Opponents have fumbled 13 times and lost seven of them. ... The Wildcats have thrown 12 interceptions and have intercepted opponents eight times for a Turnover Margin of +0.14., tied for 3rd in the Big Sky with Eastern Washington and NORTHERN COLORADO.

THE RED ZONE

Weber State is 8-8 in Red Zone scoring opportunities in their last two games. The ‘Cats scored five touchdowns and kicked three field goals in those two games and are now 26-36 (.722) in Red Zone scoring chances. .... Eastern Washington and Sac State had a combined six red zone scoring opportunities but managed just two touchdowns and a field goal. ... WSU's defense has FORCED FOUR FUMBLES from opponents inside the zone this season.

ODD'S AND END'S

The Wildcats had their first 1st Quarter SHUTOUT of the season last Saturday vs. Sacramento State. WSU has been out scored 55-32 in the 1st Quarter this season, but have out scored opponents 105-40 in the 2nd Quarter. . . . The Wildcats did not attempt a field goal vs. Sacramento State marking the first time this season they have not attempted at least one in a game. . . . Weber State has not allowed a Two-Point Conversion this season. Opponents are 0-3 while the Wildcats are 2-3. . . . Weber State is averaging 7,599 per home game this season.

NEXT WEEK

It will be a "Halloween Howl" in Missoula, Montana on Saturday, October 31 when the Wildcats and Grizzlies meet up for the third time in less than a year. ... Kickoff in Washington-Grizzly Stadium is set for 1:05 p.m. (MDT).

COACH RON McBRIDE QUOTES

ON NORTHERN COLORADO: "They played with a lot of passion, enthusiasm and purpose at Idaho State last week. I was impressed with how physical they played, especially on the defensive side. They have some good lock down corners who have speed and quickness and their front seven puts a lot of pressure on the quarterback in passing situations. I like their quarterback. He's big and strong but has a nice throwing motion. All three times we have played the games have been very physical and I expect it will be that way again this week."

ON THE WILDCATS: "We won all three phases of the game last Saturday which is what we strive for each week. You usually win if you win two of the three, so that was a plus. Tim Toone had an incredible game, one of the best individual performances by a player in a game in my coaching career. He's a special player." "We need to keep our focus this week. Our number one priority is Northern Colorado and nothing else this week."

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