Sacramento State offensive coordinator Paul Peterson knows Southern Utah’s Eccles Coliseum very well.
For the past four seasons, Peterson has roamed the sidelines as the Thunderbirds’ quarterbacks coach.
However, when Peterson returns to the field this Saturday, he will not be helping Southern Utah. Instead, he will stand as the opposition when Sac State plays its second straight conference road game.
“I’m excited,” Peterson said. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for our team and I’ll get to see my all my friends and the players I used to coach. It should be a good trip.”
In his time at Southern Utah, Peterson worked with senior quarterback Brad Sorensen, who finished the last two years leading the Great West Conference in both passing yards and touchdowns.
This season, Sorensen has already passed for 1,218 yards and thrown 13 touchdowns.
“(Sorensen) is very smart,” Peterson said. “He is going to put his offense in the best play based on what the defense is giving him and he gives them a chance to win every game.”
Sac State currently ranks last in pass defense in the Big Sky Conference, but Peterson said he sat down with defensive coordinator Anthony Parker this past week to develop a game plan to slow down Sorensen.
“When you see a lot of passing, you get a lot of practice (defending) it,” Parker said. “We are just doing our best to put together a good plan and work hard.”
The Hornets saw what Sorensen could do last year when he threw for 271 yards in a 35-14 Thunderbirds win on Sept. 10.
Although Sac State has Peterson on its sideline, Hornets head coach Marshall Sperbeck said there is always a chance for Southern Utah to read its audible plays and game plan as well.
“It works both ways,” Sperbeck said. “I think you approach it like any other game by just watching their film and breaking it down. The team that makes the least amount of mistakes will be the team that wins.”
Kickoff will be Saturday at noon and televised on bigskytv.org.
Injuries will hold wide receivers in Sacramento
The Hornets will carry fewer wide receivers against Southern Utah after De’Andre Carter and Chris Broadnax suffered injuries and cannot travel.
Carter received a sprained ankle and a bone chip in his foot two weeks ago during practice. He was unable to travel with the team last week to Idaho State.
During the game at Idaho State, Broadnax was sidelined after he bruised his shoulder.
This season, Carter leads the team with four touchdown receptions and Broadnax is currently third on the team in receiving yards.
Despite Carter and Broadnax’s injuries, junior wide receiver Morris Norrise said he does not feel any extra pressure.
“I always want to be the playmaker,” Norrise said. “I feel that every receiver feels the same way.”
Sac State coaches did not say they will change any game plans because of the injuries.
Both players will return Oct. 13 when Sac State comes home to play Weber State.
Ryan Kuhn can be reached at @rskuhn