by Spencer Rodak
The SUU football team went on the road and beat UC Davis 47-27, extending its winning streak to six and improving to 8-2 overall and 6-1 in Big Sky play.
The Thunderbirds scored about four minutes into the game, when Jarmaine Doubs intercepted a UC Davis pass for a touchdown, giving SUU an early 7-0 lead.
The Thunderbirds added another score to the lead before the end of the opening period, when Patrick Tyler threw an 8-yard pass to Dawson Pedersen for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
SUU scored again just five minutes into the second quarter, via a Jay Green Jr. 1-yard run to take a commanding 21-0 lead.
The Aggies got on the board with just under five minutes to go before halftime when Jake Maier caught a 4-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 21-7.
The Thunderbirds added a Manny Berz 29-yard field goal and a safety to take a 26-7 lead into the break.
SUU added to the lead when with just over six minutes to go in the third quarter, Jay Green Jr. ran 14 yards for a touchdown that was followed by a successful two-point conversion, giving the Thunderbirds a 34-7 lead.
UC Davis scored a minute-and-a-half later to make the score 34-14.
SUU added a touchdown at the end of the third quarter, when Patrick Tyler found Ty Rutledge in the end zone for a 40-14 lead.
After an Aggies score, the Thunderbirds put the final stamp on the victory when Ty Rutledge caught his second touchdown from Tyler, this one for 75 yards, giving SUU a 47-21 lead.
UC Davis scored once more, but the Thunderbirds took the convincing victory 47-27.
SUU now sits in a three-way tie for first place in the Big Sky with a 6-1 conference record. The Thunderbirds can clinch the Big Sky championship and an automatic bid to the FCS playoffs on Saturday, November 18 in Cedar City. SUU will take on Northern Arizona for the title, and the game is set to kickoff at 2:30 p.m.
With its eighth win of the season, the Thunderbirds tied a single-season Division I school record, equaling the eight wins by the 2013 and 2015 teams. The team can break the record in its season finale on Saturday.
After the game on Monday, SUU moved up one spot in the STATS FCS Top 25 to 14th , the new highest ranking in either major poll in school history. The Thunderbirds also moved up one spot to 18 th in the FCS Coaches poll.
Tyler wins Big Sky weekly award
The Big Sky Conference announced Monday that SUU quarterback Patrick Tyler has been named the ROOT SPORTS Offensive Player of the Week. Tyler threw for 370 yards and three touchdowns on 26 completions, including a 75-yard bomb.
This is the second award this season for Tyler, who won the first one of the season following his performance vs. Stephen F. Austin.