“We’re going to take every team’s best shot now,” SUU head coach Ed Lamb said about the victory. “We’re kind of becoming a marked team as we move through the season and I think we took UC Davis’ best shot. I thought that was as well as they’ve played and I think they’re a good team that’s run into a really tough schedule that doesn’t have a lot of wins to back up how good they are. But we took their best shot, weathered the storm and in the second half found that killer instinct, I was really proud of our resiliency.”
The Aggies struck first with just over six minutes to play in the first quarter, when kicker Brady Stuart hit a 33-yard field goal to put the Aggies up 3–0. After a few early drives were stalled, the Thunderbirds were able to get on the board with a touchdown run from one yard away to put SUU up 7–3. The run capped off a seven play, 40-yard drive.
With about four and a half minutes left in the first half UCD’s Stuart hit a 48-yard field goal, a career high, to pull the score within 7–6.
The Thunderbirds got the ball back right before halftime and were able to drive the ball into field goal range, but Calhoun’s attempt was blocked leaving the score in favor of SUU 7–6 at the break.
SUU’s offense started rolling midway through the third quarter as Malik Brown carried the ball in from 31 yards out to put the team up 14–6.
After defensive end James Cowser forced a fumble with a sack and strip late in the third quarter, Olsen found wide receiver Justin Brown from 13 yards out to up the Thunderbird lead to 20–6 after the PAT was missed.
Early in the fourth quarter UCD quarterback Ben Scott left the game with an injury. He finished the game with 16 completions for 85 yards.
With 11:12 to play, the Thunderbirds lined up in a wildcat formation with wide receiver Ty Rutledge lining up at quarterback and running the ball in from two yards out to put SUU up 27–6.
As the fourth quarter rolled on, the Thunderbirds offense found more success, as Olsen found Steven Wroblewski from 17 yards out to increase the Thunderbirds lead to 34–6, and that would remain the final score.
The SUU defense has still not given up a touchdown in Big Sky play, allowing only three field goals in their four conference matchups.
The Thunderbirds have outscored their last five opponents 207–16.
SUU safety Miles Killebrew said said the success is coming from every aspect of the team. “Our coaches are definitely doing a great job preparing us week to week and we take each team with the same mentality, which is that every opponent is the best team we’re going to play all year,” he said. “That’s what we did today. We weathered the storm as coach Lamb likes to say, and it was a great team win.”
Olsen finished the game 26-of-41 through the air, throwing for 336 yards and two touchdowns. J. Brown was Olsen’s top target on the night, finishing with 121 yards on eight catches and a touchdown. Wroblewski finished the game with four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown, and Meason had 53 yards on four catches.
M. Brown finished the game with 90 yards rushing and a touchdown on 12 carries, and fellow RB Jarom Healey had seven carries for 42 yards.
The SUU offense outgained the Aggies 531–235 on offense. The stifling Thunderbird defense finished with six sacks and 11 tackles for loss. Killebrew led the team in tackles with 15, and Cowser finished the game with three tackles for loss and two sacks.
Cowser is currently one TFL away from tying the FCS record for a career.The Thunderbirds will put their five game winning streak on the line next Saturday, as they will host Cal Poly. The game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. at the Eccles Coliseum. Tickets can be purchased online at tbirdtickets.com.