Dixie State home opener vs. Colorado Mesa is tonight at Hansen Stadium

Dixie State University vs. Menlo College, St. George, Utah, Oct. 25, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News


Colorado Mesa University vs. Dixie State University, today, 6 p.m., Hansen Stadium, St. George
Previous Meeting:
September 16, 2014 -Mavericks 44, Red Storm 37 OT (QB Hayden Gavett leads offense to over 600 total yards but Red Storm coughs up ball five times, including the one in overtime that seals the victory for the Mavericks).
Overall Series Record: Mavericks lead head-to-head series 5-1
Broadcast: (Audio) ESPN SportsRadio 106.1 FM; Southern Utah Live; CEC-TV

dsulogoHead coach: Scott Brumfield (6th year, 11-43 overall)
Offense: Pistol, Pro Set
Defense: Pro 4-3
Last Game: Lost to Humboldt State 71-13 (November 15, 2014)
Players to watch: Sophomore transfer Trevor Rea will be directing the offense at the quarterback position.. He will have plenty of weapons. Leading receiver Nate Stephens (75 catches, 985 yards) returns. Also expected to see action at receiver are incoming freshman Damarrio Hammonds, redshirt freshman Brad Duran and senior Barkley Christensen. Leading rusher Myles Burton (95 carries for 389 yards) returns. Joining him will be senior transfer DeJon C oleman and incoming freshman Orlando Wallace. The offensive line returns all five starters and is the deepest unit on the team. On defense Robert Metz and Trevor Oakley return as starters. Metz led the team in tackles last year (91). Senior Nik Wolford also returns experience at the linebacker position. The front four were all lost to graduation. Stepping up will be Benson Laumatia and Remington Kelly along with newcomers James Lautogia and Keanu Foki. The secondary returns three starters. Jacob Witham led the team in interceptions last year (4) Also returning are DeShawn Perkins and Colton Olsen. (Olsen actually had over 100 yards rushing against the Mavericks last year as running back). Joining them this year will be junior transfer Ty Stevens and incoming freshman Brandon Brooks.

Mesa_State_MavericksHead Coach: Russ Martin (4th year at CMU, 15-18, overall 27-45)
Offense: Split
Defense: 4-3 with Zone Blitz Scheme
Last Game: Beat Western State Colorado University 31-23 (November 15, 2014)
Players to watch: CMU returns 20 out of 22 starters from last years team. However QB Aric Kaiser lost his starting role to junior transfer Sean Rubalcaba. Rubalcaba was known as a dual threat in high school throwing and rushing for over 1000 yards. DJ Hubbard returns at running back. (92 carries for 392 yards) Daniel Perse and Virnel Moon return at receiver. The Maverick defense took a step back last year statistically but were still plus seven in turnovers. Leading tackler Marcus Cross returns at linebacker. He is joined there by Tom Saager. Blake Nelson is a tough assignment at end. Salim Cleghorne and Dustin Rivas lead the secondary.

It seems to be a good rematch of a hotly contested game last year. “They are a different team,” said Maverick head coach Russ Nelson. “They are different at both coordinator positions so we are not sure what to expect. The defensive coordinator (Shay McClure) is from Humboldt State, so we have been studying Humboldt game film. It looks like the offensive coordinator (Blaine Monkres) ran similar stuff (as Dixie State) at the high school level where he was extremely successful. Dixie did pick up some impressive juco talent. I expect them to be just as physical as last year, maybe more so.”

There are several question marks for the Dixie team. New coaches, new players and perhaps new systems. There is a buzz of excitement surrounding the changes but winning is the only way to maintain that. The first two games are at home. An excellent opportunity for the Red Storm to jump on the season early.

Twitter: @oldschoolag

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