SOU turns its sights to Humboldt

A week after knocking off Montana Tech, the Southern Oregon University football team turns its attention to Humboldt State on Saturday, when the Raiders (1-0) host the Lumberjacks (0-1) in SOU's home opener at 6 p.m.

SOU made a statement Aug. 28 by going on the road (by two-day bus trip) and defeating 21st-ranked Montana Tech 30-25 in Butte, Mont.

"That was a great win for us," third-year head coach Steve Helminiak said. "We went into a hostile environment and came out with a win against a very good team."

After weeks of preseason camp and playing against each other, the Raiders were able to see themselves on tape against another opponent.

"It's good for the guys to get a chance to see the film,"

Helminiak said. "They start to realize that they are not USC and they have a lot to work on. They have to be ready to play every time we go out."

Humboldt State opened its season at NCAA Division IAA Sacramento State and was dealt a 45-13 setback in new head coach Rob Smith's debut.

Smith came out of retirement to take over at Humboldt after 17 years at Western Washington where he came away with a 109-62-1 record.

"They are much improved from last year," Helminiak said. "The staff has done a great job getting them playing at a higher level."

Against Sacramento State, Humboldt ran out a pair of quarterbacks.

Starter Garrett Hubrich lasted just the first quarter and was replaced by Brian Hildebrand, who finished 11 of 20 for 102 yards.

This week, Hildebrand is listed No. 1 on the depth chart.

Despite the fact that Sacramento State ended with 396 yards against Humboldt last week, Helminiak said he has seen plenty to be concerned about with the Lumberjacks.

"Humboldt will run some option and zone read and with that our defense has to be discipline and play assignment football," Helminiak said. "We have to eliminate the big plays. Offensively, we will have to protect Bryan (Lee-Lauduski) and develop the running game."

SOU was impressive on both counts against Montana Tech.

The Raiders picked off four Tech passes and Lee-Lauduski was sacked just once as he threw for three touchdowns.

Saturday marks the 25th anniversary of Raider Stadium. The addition to Fuller Field was completed during the 1983 season. The $1.25 million upgrade featured a new press box, stands and concession stands along with other new features.

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