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(STATS) -- Nearing the halfway point of the conference slate, Southern Utah is in the mix to defend its Big Sky title. Slightly concerning, however, is its league wins have come at home over a pair of struggling programs while it was blown out on the road in its only matchup with a STATS Top 25 team.The Thunderbirds again find themselves on the road against a ranked team Saturday when they face No. 22 North Dakota, which is looking to win five straight games for the first time since moving to Division I in 2008.A defense led by NFL-bound James Cowser, Miles Killebrew and LeShaun Sims carried Southern Utah to its first Big Sky title a year ago. The Thunderbirds offense was no slouch, either, averaging 35.4 points and 445 yards. This season, under first-year coach Demario Warren -- the defensive coordinator from the past two seasons -- the defense is again leading the way but the offense has been a major liability.Southern Utah (3-2, 2-1) is last in the Big Sky in yards (338.8 per game) and second-to-last in scoring (23.4), and behind JUCO-transfer QB Patrick Tyler, the offense just isnt able to find any rhythm or sustain long drives. It is converting 24.6 percent of its third downs, ninth-worst out of the 125 FCS schools, and its average of 25:20 in time of possession is fifth-worst.Tyler, who is completing 54.3 percent of his passes, is averaging 195 passing yards in four starts -- a pretty substantial dropoff in production from a year ago when Ammon Olsen averaged 278.7 yards passing.We feel confident that Patrick is the guy that can help us win games, Warren said.The run game, however, is still thriving behind senior Malik Brown, who is second in the Big Sky in rushing (540 yards) and average (6.3 per attempt) among those with at least 50 carries.Brown and the rest of the offense, however, didnt get much going against overmatched UC Davis last weekend. The Thunderbirds gained 260 yards -- their fewest in a conference game since 2013 -- but scored TDs on both first-half trips inside the red zone and didnt turn the ball over in 24-3 winOur offense did their part in those areas and there are some other areas we want to improve at for sure, Warren said. But as long as were great at situational football, well give ourselves a chance to win at the end of the game.The Thunderbirds two Big Sky victories have come against teams that are a combined 3-9 while their conference loss came at then-No. 11 Montana on Oct. 1.Southern Utahs scuffling offense will face its greatest test of the season when it visits the Alerus Center, where the Fighting Hawks (4-2, 3-0) have won four in a row and are 10-3 under coach Bubba Schweigert.North Dakota, which defeated then-No. 16 Cal Poly in its last home game on Oct. 1, is 3-0 in conference play for the first time since joining the Big Sky in 2012 and coming off its most emphatic victory of the season. The Fighting Hawks racked up 625 yards, including 422 on the ground, while holding Sacramento State to 272 in a 40-7 win -- the programs largest margin of victory against a Big Sky foe.All five of UNDs touchdowns came on the ground and the team had three 100-yard rushers, with Brady Oliveira gaining 111, Austin Gordon at 102 and quarterback Keaton Studsrud with 100. John Santiago, named to the 2015 STATS All-American second team, was cleared to play just before kickoff after injuring his leg on the games second play against Cal Poly, and ran for 76 yards on just eight attempts.The Fighting Hawks are third in the league in rushing, averaging 216 yards, and are just as strong against the run. They rank second in the Big Sky, allowing an average of 125.3 yards and 3.3 per rush.I really like the plan our defensive staff puts together. Our guys understand the plan and weve been able to limit big plays, Schweigert said. A big key to our defensive effort has been our offense being able to control the football and thats really helped us.Powered by its stellar ground game, North Dakota leads the Big Sky in time of possession at 32:54.With Santiago a little banged-up, Oliveira has stepped up, totaling 409 yards rushing with a 6.8 yard average in the last three games. Oliveira ranks sixth in the league in rushing yards per game at 84.8 and Santiago is eighth at 73.8, giving the Fighting Hawks the only pair of teammates in the Big Sky that are in the top 10.Weve been pleased with our tailbacks, Schweigert said. The big challenge for us is how do we get them into space and get them some room to run. Hisashi Iwakuma Jersey . The CFLs leading rusher kept adding to his gaudy numbers this season and scored the winning touchdown with just over two minutes to play. The New Westminster, B.C., native plowed three yards into the end zone for the last score of a heated, see-saw battle between the two teams with the best records in the CFL. Edgar Martinez Jersey . -- Jimmy Walkers first PGA Tour trophy came with a special gift tucked inside. http://www.cheapmarinersjerseys.com/ . Thousands of Southern California fans enveloped the Trojans to celebrate an improbable win secured by an interim coach, an inconsistent kicker and a thin defence that wouldnt break. Cheap Mariners Jerseys China . -- Hunter Smith scored the winner with just 12 seconds remaining in the third period as the Oshawa Generals edged the host Sarnia Sting 5-4 on Friday in Ontario Hockey League action. Robinson Cano Jersey .ca looks back at the stories and moments that made the year memorable. After an incredible and storied career with the U.S. womens national soccer team, Heather OReilly is officially hanging up her cleats?Thursday night after the game against Thailand. While she will continue to play for FC Kansas City, the match will mark her final appearance in international play.So, naturally, her teammates are enjoying their last days with her, and have -- of course -- taken to social media to thank her for her amazing contributions to the team, and to the game itself.HAO on the way to #USWNT camp. Looks like shes heading to Cabo, not Columbus. Good vibes, indeed. #ThanksHAO pic.twitter.com/VqODJAhB7n- Becky Sauerbrunn (@beckysauerbrunn) September 13, 2016 Lets start showing our love for this gem! #ThanksHAO https://t.co/9xVIV2YCkU pic.twitter.com/e4PHIrMGRd- Ashlyn Harris (@Ashlyn_Harris) September 13, 2016 From extreme game face to your hilarious stories to your dedication to this team, Ill miss you @HeatherOReilly!! pic.twitter.com/SlmiZhFKDa- Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) September 2, 2016 Thank u @HeatherOReilly for being the epitome of class/competitor. Lucky to have shared the field w/you. Great career, even better person!??- Alyssa Naeher (@AlyssaNaeher) September 1, 2016 My Rooms. Congratulations oon an amazing international career.dddddddddddd. You are one of the best if not THE best teammate anyone could ever have. The true meaning of absolute badass, pro, works her ass off every single day type of woman and Im so happy I got to share the field with you all the while representing red, white and blue. I love you Rooms!!!A photo posted by Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) onSep 1, 2016 at 12:48pm PDT There arent enough words to describe the respect and love Ive always had for @HeatherOReilly and the impact she had on soccer...- Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) September 1, 2016And the team couldnt help but share a hilarious video from a trip to China, with OReilly playing tour guide.Before HAO retires from #USWNT on 9/15, who could forget that time she toured China & made some friends? https://t.co/xqlfgWn9Ko. #ThanksHAO- U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) September 10, 2016Its hard to imagine that anyone will ever be able to replace OReilly, on or off the field. #ThanksHAOSee something entertaining on social media that you think deserves to be shared? Let me know on Twitter, @darcymaine_espn. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '