CEDAR CITY, Utah, April 14 - Southern Utah's football team faced a Saturday scrimmage in the snow for the fifth consecutive spring on Saturday morning, and for the fifth straight spring the team made the most of it.
SUU had a 90-minute practice Saturday morning - including a 60-minute scrimmage including all phases of the game - in constant snow and at times under blizzard conditions, but there was never any thought of cancelling the workout.
"We didn't back down from the snow," SUU Head Coach Ed Lamb said, pointing out that come November and December, when the team would like to be playing in the NCAA FCS playoffs, snow could very well be a factor, and the team should have a feel for it.
"Every year we say let's get the snow and scrimmage, get a feel for it, so we can look back on it when we're in the playoffs in the snow, we can look back and know we've prepared for it," he said.
Lamb also noted that this was probably the best the team has performed in the snow scrimmages during his time at SUU.
"Today, out of all these snow practices we've had in past springs, there were no fumbles by the backs, no fumbles by anyone, the PATs and the field goals were all clean, the snap, the hold, the kick got up in the air and there were not a lot of guys on the ground. That's incredibly difficult so I think our athleticism is better our concentration is better and guys are fundamentally carrying the football, protecting the football."
Under the conditions the team went to the run more than to its customary passing game, and succeeded. Both Henna Brown and Brian Wilson ripped off long scoring runs, as well as short ones, and Mike Tagliaferri had success running the ball as well.
"To be successful in games in the snow you have to be able to control the football, and that means run the football with good offensive line play, good running back play, but also protecting the football," Lamb pointed out. "Typically there are a lot of fumbles [in wet snowy conditions] but our guys didn't fumble the ball today. Brian Wilson ran the ball exceptionally well, Henna Brown ran the Ball exceptionally well, and then we got into our four-minute offense and Mike Tagliaferri ... really did a heck of a job running that phase of the offense, so all three of those backs really did a nice job.
"I think it is fun for the guys. Fifteen full practices in the snow would wear on them and probably lead to muscular injuries and things but I really like getting out here [in the snow] two or three times in the spring. They're kids and they love being out here." Lamb added.
-- SUU --