Today’s matchup: High-scoring Colorado Mines invades Legend Solar Stadium

GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
Colorado School of Mines (4-2 in RMAC, 5-2 overall) at Dixie State University (4-2 in RMAC, 4-3 overall) today, 1 p.m., Legend Solar Stadium, St. George, UT
Previous Meeting: These teams have never met.
Overall Series Record: 0-0
Broadcast: (Audio) ESPN SportsRadio 97.7 FM; Southern Utah Live; CEC-TV (channel 22)

TRAILBLAZERS
blazerDHead coach: Shay McClure (1st year, 4-3)
Offense: Pro Set
Defense: Pro 4-3
Last Game: Beat then #23 nationally-ranked Colorado Mesa 38-31 (October 15, 2016)
Players to watch: Quarterback Josh Thompson played well last week after the first quarter. Clifford Simms had a career day with 207 yards rushing. DeJon Coleman and Orlando Wallace are always dangerous. It is a shame Aub Reed does not see more targets. He catches just about everything thrown to him. Justin Martin took one to the house last week. The offensive line allowed one sack last week, but more importantly, opened up some big lanes for Simms and Company. This game will show what the Dixie D is all about. Colton Olson leads the team in tackles (59). Right behind him are linebackers Peter Brown and Shiloh Pritchard. Linebacker Keanu Foki leads the team in sacks (4.5). Safety Jaylen Moore got a pick last week It seems a different defensive lineman steps up amd makes key plays each week. Defensive lineman Darius Matthews got a sack and two hurries last week.

OREDIGGERS
minesHead Coach: Gregg Brandon (2nd year at CMS, 13-5, overall 57-35)
Offense: Spread
Defense: 4-3
Last Game: Beat South Dakota School of Mines 56-28 (October 15, 2016)
Players to watch: The Orediggers will share the wealth in the passing game, as three receivers have logged 40 or more catches (Brody Oliver – 49 receptions, 956 yards, 16 TD; Ty Young – 41 receptions, 573 yards, 7 TD; Zach Richter – 48 receptions, 410 yards, 1 TD), and two others have 20 or more receptions (Riley Hoff – 25 receptions, 367 yards, 4 TD; Sam Seeton – 20 receptions, 132 yards, 1 TD). Quarterback Justin Dvorak became the RMAC’s all-time passing touchdowns leader last week with 111. He leads the conference in yards, touchdowns and total offense. He is also the active leader in college football in career passing yards, touchdown passes and total offense.

GAME OUTLOOK
Dixie State “shocked the RMAC” last week with its win over conference-leading and nationally-ranked Colorado Mesa. Colorado Mines is even more impressive on paper than the Mavericks. Their offense averages 44 points per game. They have scored over 50 three times this year. This game will likely be the pass against the run. Dixie State has the home advantage. After the first quarter the DSU offense managed the game well and held a 2-1 time of possession advantage against CMU last week. They will need similar success against the Orediggers. Thompson needs to limit the time that CSM offense is on the field with long, sustained Dixie State offensive drives. Don’t bet on Colorado Mines putting 50 up against the ‘Blazers. This may be DSU’s best opponent to date.

STGNEWS PREDICTION: CSM 35, DSU 24

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