Arizona State vs. Weber State kicks off in two days, and that means the return of our Behind Enemy Lines series. Today we caught up with Michael Grennell, the sports editor and football beat writer for The Signpost, the newspaper at Weber State.
House of Sparky: How is Weber State approaching a game against a major conference opponent?
Michael Grennell: I'm not sure exactly, precisely what they are doing to prepare for the game. I know that our new coach, Jay Hill, has been on the coaching staff at University of Utah for quite a few years now, and we have several players that have transferred from BYU and Utah, so I think they have a pretty good idea of what they need to get done.
HOS: How has Weber State fared recently in its games against major conference opponents?
MG: The past few years have been rough for the Wildcats. Hill is our fourth head coach since 2011. Last year, we lost to Utah 70-7, and lost the following week to Utah State 70-6.
HOS: What are you hoping to see out of the team in the game?
MG: I'm hoping to see our passing game look good. I like our quarterback and I think we have a solid group of receivers. I also want to see our defense put up some good stops against ASU. I know that Sacramento State, another Big Sky school, got blown out by ASU 55-0 last season, so I would like to see our defense hold the Sun Devils to less than that. Above all, I would love for us to get the win, so we can be the first Big Sky football team to defeat the Sun Devils since 1938.
HOS: Who are some players for Sun Devil fans to watch out for?
MG: Players to keep an eye out for: cornerback Deon'tae Florence was the only member of our team selected to the All-Conference Preseason Team. Quarterback Billy Green: Coach Hill hasn't officially named his starting quarterback, but I like what I've seen from Green, and I think he'll get the job. Running back and kick returner Bo Bolen, who is one of the leaders on the team and is No. 12 on the school all-time rushing leaderboard. He has led the team in rushing two out of his three seasons, and is second all-time in kickoff returns.
Update: Green has been named starting quarterback for Thursday's game.
HOS: What is the season outlook for Weber State in the Big Sky?
MG: The Wildcats were picked to finish in last or second to last in the preseason conference polls. I think they will surprise teams. I really like what I've seen from some of these guys in fall camp. I don't quite think they are ready to win the conference, but I definitely think they will finish better than where they were ranked, and I think this season is going to be a turning point for the program.