A week ago, Southern Utah University's football team ventured into Pac-12 country and came home on the short end of an embarrassing 77-21 score against the University of Oregon.
This weekend, it's Weber State's turn to take on a tough Pac-12 opponent, as the Wildcats travel to the West Coast to battle the Cal Bears on Saturday at 3 p.m. MDT in Berkeley, California.
The Wildcats come into the contest off a record-setting 76-0 victory over NAIA foe Montana Western last Saturday, when Weber State set new school records for the most points ever scored by a WSU football team and the biggest margin of victory in program history.
"We came out and played great, and it was one of those games that just everything went in our favor," WSU head coach Jay Hill said of the Wildcats' first shutout in 10 seasons.
Obviously, this week's opponent offers an entirely different and much more daunting degree of difficulty.
"We'll get a good test this week as to what exactly we are all about, we know that," Hill said. "It's a different mindset for sure. Last week, we went into the game knowing we should win and that we should play great.
"This week, the mindset's completely different. We know it's gonna be a dogfight and we're gonna have to go in there and play great to have a shot. This is a very good team we're playing and we as coaches know it, our players know it; but we're not intimidated, we're not scared.
"I hope our players rise to the occasion, and the better the opponent, the better gauge you have of your team," Hill said. "Hopefully, we go in there and tear it up and play great."
Weber State, ranked 20th and 25th in this week's FCS polls, piled up 317 yards rushing in last week's record-setting win, and eight different Wildcat players scored rushing touchdowns. Quarterback Stefan Cantwell threw for two TDs and ran for another score, while the WSU defense held Montana Western to just 147 yards of total offense and came up with five turnovers.
Cal is also off to a 1-0 start, as the Bears traveled across the country and came away with an impressive 35-30 come-from-behind win over North Carolina.
Historically, Weber State is just 3-53 all-time against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents, and the Wildcats have lost 30 straight times since their last win over an FBS foe, Nevada, in 1993.
Southern Utah, meanwhile, goes on the road for the second straight week when the Thunderbirds travel to Nacogdoches, Texas, to face Stephen F. Austin, which is also 0-1 on the young season. Kickoff time is 5 p.m. MDT.
SUU quarterback Patrick Tyler will try to pick up where he left off last week when he threw for 197 yards and a touchdown and also ran for another TD.
T-Birds coach Demario Warren is eager to see how his team responds in the wake of last week's lopsided loss to the Ducks.
"The true side of a man's character comes out when you're faced with adversity, and now we have some," he said. "We got embarrassed out there. We got blown out and now we've got an opportunity to bounce back against a very good FCS team that's not going to give us an inch.
"It's a big game for them, it's a big game for us, and we want to see if we can lock into what we do. That's what we didn't do against Oregon. We let the moment get to us on defense and did the little things wrong."
Stephen F. Austin dropped its own season opener, 58-14, against SMU, but Warren knows the Lumberjacks are dangerous.
"They're deep at running back," he said. "They've got four running backs that can really play. They're all big, strong and can run hard. Their receiver, No. 80 (Tamrick Pace), who was all-everything as a freshman, is coming back and looking to have a great sophomore season. And their offensive line is big so that's going to be another challenge for our D-line.
"Defensively they had a new scheme, so they struggled a little bit early, but once they settled into their defense and got it right they played pretty well. They're athletic, they run around and their D-line is huge.
"This is a big, athletic football team with a lot of talent," Warren said of the Lumberjacks, "so we're going to have to do a good job of going out there, bringing our energy, being disciplined and play all 60 minutes to get away with a win."
EMAIL: [email protected]