Wednesday, May 03, 2006
The Wildcats (5-5) and the Thunderbirds (1-8) kick off in Cedar City's Eccles Coliseum today at 1 p.m.
At stake for Weber State is the chance to finish with a winning record.
A victory would give WSU coach Ron McBride a 6-5 record in his first season with the 'Cats. The Wildcats also had a shot at sharing the Big Sky Conference title until they lost at Portland State last week.
McBride was disappointed with last week's effort and hopes to end the season on a bright note.
"This will be a real test to see who has the strength to be finishers, especially in the fourth quarter," McBride said. "If we don't come out and play with a physical passion for the game, it will be another long afternoon for us."
The T-Birds are playing for pride and a chance at their fourth win over the Wildcats in the last five meetings. Weber State holds a 12-3 edge in the overall series and has won two of the last three in Cedar City.
SUU is also aware of WSU's 1-4 road record this year and should feel good about the possibilities of finishing its season on a high note. Still, Southern Utah coach Wes Meier isn't leaving anything to chance.
"Weber State had a little bit of a letdown last week, but they've been playing very well in the second half of the season. We're going to have to play one of our best games," Meier said.
The Thunderbirds played well against nationally ranked Cal Poly last week, but lost 20-10. McBride expects to see their best effort in the season finale.
"They haven't had the season they hoped they would have, but they played very well and very hard last week on the road against a good Cal Poly team," McBride said. "They have a lot of good, solid players from inside the state of Utah so this is a very big game for them, and for us, each year."
The team that wins the turnover battle will likely win the game. SUU has turned the ball over 27 times this season. WSU only has 17.
Time of possession could also be a factor. Weber State is averaging more than 29 minutes of possession time and Southern Utah is averaging just more than 26 minutes.
It's like this, Tommy: Cats are reeeeally sneeeeaky. It's part of their nature as hunters to be very quiet and patient when they're stalking prey. Then, at just the right moment, the cat pounces in a flash. Sometimes this trick works, and sometimes it doesn't. If birds couldn't fly, there sure would be a whole lot fewer of them around.
If you read the bird-feeding article in last month's issue of Ranger Rick, you learned that pet cats catch and kill tons of wild birds. These cats aren't after the birds for food. They're mostly just practicing their hunting skills. Check back in that issue (December 1996, page 47) for some tips on keeping pet cats and wild birds apart.
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