Southern Utah scores 3 defensive TDs, beats Cal Poly 54-37

CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) Mike Needham returned two fumbles for touchdowns Saturday, and James Cowser returned another to help Southern Utah beat Cal Poly 54-37.

The Thunderbirds (6-2, 5-0 Big Sky Conference) led 33-31 late in the third when Needham scored his second touchdown. Cowser made it 47-31 on the first play of the fourth quarter, stealing Kyle Lewis' option pitch out of the air and returning it 55 yards.

Cowser tied Keith Pough (Howard, 2008-12) for the FCS career record for tackles for loss with 72.

The Thunderbirds took an early 17-3 lead by converting back-to-back Cal Poly (2-6, 1-4) fumbles into TDs.

Ammon Olsen threw for two TDs and Malik Brown ran for two scores for Southern Utah.

The Thunderbirds had allowed 35 points over their first seven games, but gave up 535 yards rushing to Cal Poly, which had Lewis, Jared Mohamed, DJ Peluso and Chris Brown each surpass 100 yards.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.