No. 13 Utah looks to bounce back against Southern Utah

Southern Utah (1-0) at No. 13 Utah (0-1), 1:30 p.m. ET. (Pac-12 Networks)

Line: No early line on FanDuel Sportsbook

Series record: Utah leads 1-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

A 29-26 loss at Florida dropped No. 13 Utah six spots in this week’s Top 25. The Utes will try to bounce back against the Thunderbirds, an FCS team in its first year as a member of the Western Athletic Conference after leaving the Big Sky. Utah has a 15-2 record in home openers under coach Kyle Whittingham. The Thunderbirds are coming off a 44-13 win over the University of St. Thomas. Southern Utah and Utah met in 2016, with the Utes winning 24-0.

KEY MATCHUP

Southern Utah QB Justin Miller was named the WAC offensive player of the week after throwing for 364 yards and three scores against St. Thomas. He will be under pressure from a defensive front that includes Van Fillinger and Junior Tafuna along with Gabe Reid, who transferred to the Utes from Stanford. The Utes didn’t record a sack on Florida QB Anthony Richardson.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Southern Utah: DE Francis Bemiy, who had 48 tackles and four sacks last season.

Utah: Preseason All-Pac-12 first-team TE Brant Kuithe, who caught nine passes for 105 yards and a score against Florida.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is Delane Fitzgerald’s first season as coach of the Thunderbirds. He spent the past eight seasons at Division II Frostburg State University in Maryland. … Southern Utah has lost 12 in a row to FBS teams. … Thunderbirds were 1-10 last season, beating Tarleton State 40-35 for their only win. … Southern Utah plays at Eccles Coliseum and Utah at Rice-Eccles Stadium. … The Utes are 78-25 at Rice-Eccles under Whittingham, including a 6-0 mark last season. … The Utes have won 26 straight nonconference home games. It’s the third-longest streak in the FBS, trailing only Alabama (40) and Oregon (28).

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