4th: Big Sky Conference
136th: Division I
2017 In A Sentence: The Thunderbirds shared the Big Sky Conference title last year with Weber State and advanced to the FCS playoffs but lost to their in-state rivals at home in the opening round to finish the season 9-3 overall.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: QB Patrick Tyler was a All-Big Sky performer last year after throwing for 2,796-yards on the season and 20 touchdowns on the year. He also added 339 yards on the ground and five more scores.
Key Players: The key players on SUU likely are likely the best trio of offensive linemen in the FCS division in senior Marquez Tucker and juniors Zach Larsen, and PJ Nu’usa. With a new quarterback coming, this trio will need to open holes for the running game and pass protect a little longer. All three of these offensive linemen were named to the All-Big Sky preseason team this summer.
Fearless Prediction: SUU returns just 13 starters overall and will need to overcome playing to FBS PAC-12 teams before entering Big Sky play but the Thunderbirds have some players that were in backup roles that look poised to fit into Coach Warren’s system. If the new quarterback can put up enough offense in the passing game, this team will surprise some and get back to the playoffs.