by Spencer Rodak
The most historic season in SUU football history came to an end on Saturday night, with the T-Birds dropping a second round FCS playoff matchup vs. Weber State, 30-13.
SUU (9-3) came out and scored first on their opening drive, when Jay Green Jr. broke into the end zone from 16 yards out, putting the T-Birds up 7-0.
SUU kicker Manny Berz added a 37-yard field goal with just under five minutes to go in the opening period, giving them a 10-0 lead.
Weber State (11-2) got on the board in the second quarter, when Drew Batchelor caught a 20-yard pass from Stefan Cantwell, cutting the deficit to 10-7.
The Wildcats evened up the score with a field goal with just under six minutes to go in the second, and took a 13-10 lead with a 19-yard field goal with under two minutes left in the first half.
SUU tied the game at 13 when Manny Berz knocked a field goal between the uprights from 24 yards out with just 8 seconds left in the half.
That’s where the scoring ended for the T-Birds, as the Wildcats came out in the second half and dominated the rest of the way, scoring two touchdowns in the third quarter and adding a field goal in the fourth, winning 30-13 in the rematch from earlier in the season, when SUU won in Ogden.
Weber State will now play No. 1 and defending national champion James Madison next week.
Most Successful Team in School History
The T-Birds finished the most successful campaign in school history at 9-3, the most wins in a single season in the history of the program at the Division I level. SUU was crowned co-champion of the Big Sky Conference, finishing 7-1, their second conference title in three years.
The T-Birds knocked off four Top 25 ranked opponents during the 2017 campaign, beating No. 18/21 Northern Iowa, No. 16/18 Weber State, No. 8 Eastern Washington, and No. 23 Northern Arizona.
The 2017 season marked the third time in five seasons that SUU qualified for the FCS playoffs, and it was the first time the team received a first-round bye and national seed (No. 8). The T-Birds also hosted a playoff game for the first time in school history.
SUU also broke the attendance record three times this season, first against Cal Poly, followed by the Grand Canyon Trophy game vs. NAU, then on Saturday night vs. Weber State in the FCS playoffs.