Football excited to return home in matchup against Southern Utah

James Frazier

The Sacramento State football team is back on home turf for the last time this season as only two home games remain. The Hornets will host Southern Utah this Saturday. Nov. 8. Kickoff will be at 2 p.m. for this Big Sky Conference afternoon matchup.

The two teams first met in 1986 and the all-time series currently sits at 7-7. In their most recent contest last season, the Thunderbirds edged out a 24-21 win in a controversial thriller.

The Hornets will face another dual-threat quarterback in SUU’s Amman Olsen who recently transferred from BYU. Olsen leads a balanced Thunderbirds offensive attack with 317 rushing yards and three scores, on top of his 2,128 yards and 17 touchdowns through the air.

Sac State (4-5) is coming off a 33-13 loss at the hands of No. 12 Montana last week. A typically potent Hornet offense struggled in the red zone and scored only one touchdown, which came on a short run from quarterback Garrett Safron with under a minute left in the game.

Safron has been spectacular this season as he has broken virtually every school passing record. In the game against Montana, he passed Ryan Leadingham for career passing attempts and now sits atop the all-time list in attempts, completions, yards, and touchdowns. His 10 career games of 300 passing yards or more is also a school record.

The leader of the Hornets’ offense was short and concise when asked about the game plan for a Southern Utah squad that he has faced annually since 2011.

“We need to execute to the best of our abilities,” Safron said.

Kicker Brad Cornish has also enjoyed success this season and received national recognition when he was named to Fred Mitchell Award watch list on Oct. 27. The award is presented to the best Division II or III kicker in the entire FCS.

Cornish leads all Hornets players with 75 points scored, coming on 12-of-15 field goals made as well as 39-of-41 extra point attempts. The junior insisted that the offense remains confident after a below-average performance last week.

“Our offense is still very explosive,” Cornish said. “The defense has been tightening some things down too.”

“We’ll be good,” he added.

Cornish will provide support to a Hornet offense that has scored points on 28-of-36 red-zone trips this season, a percentage that ranks 73rd in the FCS.

Coach Jody Sears remains proud of his team’s performance on and off the field, regardless of their current place in the standings. Sears prefers his players to simply continue to work and not dwell on close losses.

“We’ve got to just focus on the things that we can control,” Sears said. “We’ve got good football left to play and I know these guys are still excited to get out there.”

Local weather forecasts predict a clear and sunny day for this afternoon matchup, with a high of 79-degrees. Fans who can not make it out to Hornet Stadium are encouraged to tune in to from any computer or iOS device. Radio listeners can also follow the call of Jason Ross on KTKZ 1380 AM.