With the schedule Southern Utah University faced in 2007, which was the toughest schedule in all classifications, the T-Birds' margin of error was paper-thin to start, and an inexperienced defense and inept offense didn't help as they finished 0-11.

The T-Birds, who have lost 18 straight games — the second-longest streak in the nation in Div. I-AA and third-longest in Div. I-A and Div. I-AA — could have used the schedule as an excuse, but to their credit they never did.

"The way we approached it week in and week out was as a challenge," said assistant head coach Cole Wilson, who was named the interim head coach after the contract of head coach Wes Meier wasn't renewed last week.

"Yes, they were extremely good teams with a lot of experience. We took it as a challenge. The team saw it as a challenge."

SUU was one of six teams in Div. I-AA - N.C. A&T, Texas Southern, Indiana State, Stephen F. Austin and La Salle were the others — to not win a game this season.

"I know as far as the coaching staff we never looked at it (the schedule) as a negative but as a challenge and let's get ready," Wilson said. "Even in times when we felt like we should have won a couple of those games, we really stayed positive with the kids and made sure they understood that they were working hard and getting better."

The T-Birds lost their first four games by at least 20 points, but a 7-3 loss to Montana State seemed to be a time when the team started to play better, even though it never recorded a win.

They lost to Youngstown State by one and Cal Poly by seven.

"When we needed to we didn't convert. When we needed that extra yard or that extra catch or when we needed to push the line of scrimmage and knock people off the ball, we didn't do it," Wilson said.

SUU ranked 89th in the nation in total offense (329.09 yards per game), 104th in scoring offense (16.18 points per game), 94th in total defense (410.99 yards per game) and 107th in scoring defense (37.27).

"Defensively, when you make them earn it you can live with it but (not) if you're going to give up a big play," Wilson said. "You can't let them score over 17 points knowing that your offense is going to be hit or miss if you're going to be able to score that many points."

The T-Birds ranked 113th in turnover margin (-1.73). They led the nation by having 27 passes intercepted.

Offensively, the T-Birds lost the ball 36 times (27 INTs, 9 fumbles) while defensively they were only able to create 17 turnovers.

Senior quarterback Wes Marshall completed 105-of-202 passes for, 1,149 yards with four touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Backup Cody Stone completed 95-of-178 passes for 1,262 yards, with seven touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

Johnny Sanchez led the team in rushing with 701 yards and seven scores, while Marshall had 343 yards and a touchdown and Jamar Lee had 73 yards and one touchdown. Kyle Coop, before suffering a season-ending knee injury, had just six yards in two games.

Jeremy Edwards led the team in receiving with 36 catches for 725 yards, while Nick Miller added 35 catches for 433 yards and Craig Gritton tallied 33 catches for 377 yards.

Linebacker Rob Takeno led the team with 82 tackles.


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