NAU hosts Southern Utah with outside shot at Big Sky title
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Northern Arizona will put their nine-game, regular-season home win streak on the line Saturday in a battle for the HintonBurdick Grand Canyon Trophy, as Southern Utah pays a visit to the Walkup Skydome.
The Lumberjacks also have an outside shot at securing the Big Sky Conference's automatic bid into the FCS Playoffs. NAU must beat Southern Utah and get help in terms of Portland State beating Eastern Washington and Montana beating Montana State.
The Lumberjacks currently possess the HintonBurdick Grand Canyon Trophy after the beat the Thunderbirds last year 20-10 on the road in the snow.
Saturday will be the last regular-season home game for NAU's seniors. Senior wide receiver Ify Umodu leads NAU with 45 catches for 678 yards and five touchdowns. Umodu is averaging 15.1 yards per catch, and ranks 11th all-time on the NAU charts in receiving yards with 1,868 and is eighth in receptions with 134.
Senior linebacker Austin Hasquet is five tackles away from breaking the NAU career record. He has 78 tackles, and has eclipsed the 75-mark two seasons in a row.
The Thunderbirds -- 36-42 in six seasons under coach Ed Lamb --lost their past two games after falling to Montana and Sacramento State the last two weeks. Southern Utah has Big Sky wins over Weber State and North Dakota. SUU is 0-6 on the road this season.
Quarterback Ammon Olsen has thrown 339 passes for 213 completions for 2,743 yards, 10 interceptions and 20 touchdowns.