SUU Quaretback Sets Record, But T-Birds Fall To Austin Peay State
Southern Utah University Football Quarterback Justin Miller put his name in the record book on Saturday night, but in the end it was not enough as the Thunderbirds fell to the Austin Peay State Governors 48-45 in double overtime. It was the third time this season that the T-Birds had a match-up with a Top 25 FCS opponent.
Miller set the record for the most career touchdown passes finding the end-zone for the 62nd time at the helm of the Thunderbird offense. For the night, Miller was 24 out of 42 and passed for 291 yards and three touchdowns.
In fact, it was one of those contests where SUU had the lead in every category except the score. The T-Birds racked up 338 passing yards to the Governors 263. And on the ground, SUU outpaced Austin Peay State 223-175. SUU had more 1st downs and converted more 3rd and 4th down situations. The Thunderbirds also had more time of possession of the football by more than thirteen minutes.
One category where the T-birds would not like to lead is penalties. SUU was whistled 8 times giving up 78 yards while Austin Peay State was only penalized 5 times for 32 yards.
A highlight for the Thundrbirds was the ground game. Saturday's 223 rushing yards was a season high for SUU. Braedon Wissler carried the ball 24 times for 106 yards and a touchdown. Grady Robinson racked up 79 yards on two carries. One of those was a 73 yard touchdown run.
Robinson also contributed to the passing attack, connecting on a 47 yard Hail Mary strike for a touchdown.
SUU struck first in the game, scoring a touchdown just four minutes in to the game, and took a 28-14 lead in to the locker room at halftime.
But in the second half things turned in favor of the Governors. Austin Peay State hit paydirt for 28 points in the second half while the T-Birds only put 14 points on the board. In his post-game interview, SUU Head Coach DeLane Fitzgerald said, “(we) played a really good first half, and then did very little right the second half.” He also expressed some concerns about the defense saying, “you score 42 points, you should probably win by two scores.”
Still, the Thunderbirds had a chance to win the game. In the first overtime, SUU's defense was able to hold the Governors out of a scoring opportunity. On their possession, SUU had to settle for a field goal attempt, which hit the left upright and bounced back into the field.
SUU got the ball to start the second overtime period, but had to settle for a 40 yard field goal from Tyler Graham. When Austin Peay State got possession, they were able to find the endzone for a touchdown to seal the win.
The Thunderbirds will be back in action this Saturday hosting Abileen Christian in another United Athletic Conference match-up. Game time is set for 1PM and you can hear the game on KSUB.
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Gallery Credit: Stacker