Every team seeks an edge against the competition, be it through scouting, recruiting or special training regiments. Sacramento State is no exception to this rule.
This week, the Hornets will travel to Southern Utah University for their second straight Big Sky Conference road game and no one knows the Thunderbirds better than Sac State offensive coordinator Paul Peterson.
Peterson served as Southern Utah’s quarterbacks coach from 2007 to 2011 and has worked with its senior quarterback Brad Sorenson since 2010.
Are the Thunderbirds so much of a threat that the football team needs an insider? With a record of 2-3, probably not. Knowing firsthand their biggest offensive weapon’s strengths and weaknesses gives the Hornets a big advantage in planning an effective defensive strategy.
Sorenson was voted preseason Big Sky offensive MVP at the beginning of the year because of his 3,000-yard passing performance and 17 touchdown passes in 2011.
This season he has already thrown 13 touchdown passes for 1,215 yards with six games to go in the season.
Although the statistics sound impressive, the Hornets found a quick fix to a high-powered pass offense when they defeated Idaho State last Saturday. The defense allowed Idaho State only eight points in the second half.
Sac State needs to put pressure on Sorenson. He has already thrown seven interceptions and making him throw on the run might cause him to be uncomfortable enough to turn the ball over once again.
From here on out, every game for the Hornets is important if they want to talk about a winning season. Last week was a step in the right direction, but the team needs to show it can win on the road consistently against conference opponents.
Starting Oct. 20, the Hornets will face three straight nationally ranked Big Sky opponents in Eastern Washington, Cal Poly and Montana State so every win helps in the standings.
Whether he is an insider or not, Peterson is an asset for Sac State and the Hornets have thrived in his new offense.
Ryan Kuhn can be reached at @rskuhn