Dixie State hosts nationally-ranked Thunderwolves

Dixie State University football | File photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
No. 24-nationally ranked Colorado State University-Pueblo (7-2 overall, 7-1 in the RMAC) at Dixie State University (4-5 overall, 4-4 in the RMAC) today, 1 p.m., Legend Solar Stadium in St. George
Previous Meeting: Dixie State lost on the road to CSU-Pueblo 24-13 despite outgaining them 313-268 in total yardage (Nov. 5, 2016)
Overall Series Record: CSU-Pueblo leads series 1-0
Broadcast: (Television) CEC-TV – TDS Cable Channel 22; (Audio) ESPN SportsRadio 97.7 FM; Online Video and LiveStats at DSU Stretch Internet Portal

TRAILBLAZERS
Head coach: Shay McClure (2nd year, 4-5, 10-10 overall)
Offense: Pro Set
Offensive PPG: 28.9
Defense: Pro 4-3
Defensive PPG: 27.8
Last Game: Beat Adams State at home last weed for homecoming 54-28
Players to watch: Quarterback Blake Barney was named RMAC Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after accounting for 350 yards and five touchdowns in last week’s 54-28 win over Adams State. Sei-J Lauago returned after an absence to rush for 187 yards. He leads the team with 665 yards. Orlando Wallace (47-493), Kasey Allison (37-569) and Josia Blandin (16-362) lead the team in receptions. On defense, back Mike Jones leads the team in tackles (70). He is followed by linebacker Noe Perez (62) and back Trayvon Watson (55). Watson is tied for the team lead in interceptions with Jaylen Moore at three apiece. Perez and lineman Amate Savusa lead the team in TFLs (8). Lineman Remington Kelly scored a defensive touchdown last week with a 45-yard fumble return.

THUNDERWOLVES
Head Coach: John Wristen (9th year at CSUP, 7-2, overall 95-23)
Offense: Multiple with a slant towards run
Offensive Average: 39.4
Defense: 3-4 with Multiple Stunting
Defensive Average: 15.7
Last Game: Beat Western State at home 40-7
Players to watch: Quarterback Rex Dausin has completed 87-of-151 passes for 1,070 yards and eight touchdowns. Dausin’s favorite targets include Osha Washington (38 receptions, 459 yards, 3 TD), Ammon Johnson (29 receptions, 415 yards, TD), and Josh Smith (14 receptions, 212 yards, 6 TD). Marche Dennard (101 carries, 856 yards, 13 TD) and Austin Micci (111 carries, 564 yards, 7 TD) lead the CSUP rushing attack. On defense, linebacker Brandon Payer ranks third in the RMAC with 88 tackles (12.5 for loss) and 4.5 sacks. The defensive backfield is led by Darius Williams (7 INT) and Emery Taylor (5 INT), CSUP leads the RMAC with 17 interceptions.

GAME OUTLOOK
CSU-Pueblo runs a balanced attack of pass (226.7 yards per game) and run (193.3 yards per game). Quarterback Rex Dausin has completed 87-of-151 passes for 1,070 yards and eight touchdowns. The Thunderwolves lead the RMAC in total defense (No. 19 nationally, 288.3 yards per game) and scoring defense (No. 13 nationally, 15.7 points per game). Through nine games Dixie State leads the RMAC in pass defense (163.4 yards per game) and fourth-down conversions (7-11, 63.6 %). The Trailblazers rank second in offensive pass efficiency (156-255-8, 18 TD, 146.0 efficiency rating), defensive pass efficiency (138-274-11, 9 TD, 98.3 efficiency rating), kickoff coverage (40.0 return yards per game), and opponent third-down conversion (45-133, 33.8 %). It was nice having Lauago back. McClure thinks that Barney’s passing accuracy last week was the best it has ever been. The Blazers outplayed and were very close to upsetting this team last year on the road. It would be nice to see them stick it to the ranked Thunderwolves.

STGNews.com Prediction: CSU-P 24, DSU 14

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

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