BOZEMAN, Montana — Malik Brown and Levi Te’o each rushed for two touchdowns and Southern Utah beat Montana State 34-23 on Saturday to remain undefeated in Big Sky Conference play.
The Thunderbirds (7-2, 6-0) won for a program-record seventh straight time, including six straight to begin league play.
Southern Utah quarterback Ammon Olsen threw for 243 yards and a 20-yard touchdown pass to Mike Sharp for a 13-10 lead early in the third quarter. SUU would not trail again.
Te’o and Brown combined to rush for 151 yards and scored three of their four touchdowns after halftime as SUU dropped Montana State to 2-4 in Big Sky play, 4-5 overall.
“I just saw our offensive line pushing them back,” Te’o said. “They got their blocks, they did their assignments and coach trusted us so once we saw it we hit it and went as fast as we could.”
Southern Utah senior defensive end James Cowser notched a first-quarter sack, giving him the Big Sky Conference and Football Championship Subdivision records for tackles for loss in a career with 73.5. Idaho State standout and NFL All Pro Jared Allen previously held the Big Sky record.
“It seems like every win this year has been a little better, a little sweeter than the last,” Cowser said. As you win more games the conference championship seems to get closer, they seem to mean more, so its definitely up there.”
SUU head coach Ed Lamb said dealing with an offense like MSU has its challenges, but the team was able to make the proper adjustments, especially with Bobcat quarterback Dakota Prukop.
“We had to emphasize a zone coverage,” he said. “When we didn’t get into more aggressive man coverage we had to pull back the pass rush a little bit. Hes a real weapon, hes difficult to plan for.”
Lamb said the mood in the locker room after the game was an exciting one, but the team knows what is at stake as the season continues.
“This is just one challenge of many,” he said. “Theres a lot of pride and a lot of happiness in there, but weve got a big task, weve got to get back this week ready to work.”
The Thunderbirds will stay on the road next weekend, as they will travel to Portland, Oregon, for a date with the Portland State Vikings. That game is scheduled to kick at 3 p.m.