GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
Dixie State University (1-3) at Western State, Colo. (0-4), 1 p.m., at the Mountaineer Bowl in Gunnison, Colo.
Previous Meeting: October 1, 2016 – Dixie State 28, Western State 20 Blake Barney leads Trailblazers to win. DSU rushes for team record 277 yards.
Overall Series Record: DSU leads 1-0.
Broadcast: ESPN SportsRadio 97.7 FM
Head coach: Shay McClure (2nd year, 1-3, 7-8 overall)
Offense: Pro Set, Multiple
Offensive PPG: 28.5
Defense: Pro 4-3
Defensive PPG: 33.0
Last Game: Lost to No. 20 nationally-ranked Central Washington 58-40 at home
Players to watch: Quarterback Blake Barney was held out last week due to a concussion. Barney torched Western last year and could be a big factor in today’s game. Quarterback Malik Watson continues to lead the team, throwing for 215 yards per game. Wide receivers Orlando Wallace (22 catches) and Kasey Allison (21) are Watson’s favorite targets. Running back Sei-J Lauago leads the team with 367 yards rushing and nearly six yards per carry. Defensively the linebacking crew of Mike Jones (31), Trayvon Watson (30) and Tane Tuifua (26) lead the team in tackles. Remington Kelly has been a beast on the line. Tyneil Cooper and Jaylen Moore have been solid at the corners.
Head Coach: Jas Bains (7th year at WSCU, 0-4, 19-51 overall)
Offensive PPG: 12.8
Defense: Base 3-3-5
Defensive PPG: 48.5
Last Game: Lost to Colorado Mines 45-7 last week on the road
Players to watch: The Mountaineers average 266.2 yards of total offense (176.8 pass/89.5 rush) per game. Quarterback Dylan Jacob steers the WSCU offense, and has completed 75-of-130 passes for 700 yards and four touchdowns to go with six interceptions. Running back Justice Macneal-Young leads the ground attack with 205 yards rushing on 66 carries. Receiver Elijah Gilbert (9 catches/149 yards/2 TD) and receiver Rodray Perkins (20 catches/142 yards) have been Jacob’s favorite targets through four games.
The Mountaineers surprised everybody last year by jumping out to a 3-1 start en route to an overall record of 7-4. This year however, they have yet to win and all of their games have been blowouts. But they have also played the upper-echelon teams of the RMAC, while Dixie State has played lower division teams. But the Trailblazers again enter this game the better team, in my opinion. Defense has been solid. Offense needs to play better.
STGNews prediction: DSU 28, WSCU 7
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