Utah Valley should have home field advantage Friday at Rio Tinto in Sandy, Utah, as the Wolverines’ campus is just a half-hour drive from the stadium, and they’ll likely need it.
UVU gets the unsavory task of playing Lindenwood, the first-year varsity juggernaut from St. Charles, Mo. that’s unbeaten against college competition in its short history. The Lions beat UW-Milwaukee 43-5 and defending champs UW-Whitewater 27-15 to reach the semifinals.
In the regular season, Lindenwood trounced every college team they faced, including Indiana and DI-AA playoff-bound Missouri. In their win over Whitewater, all 27 of Lindenwood’s points came from two players -- flyhalf Brendan Davis and fullback Morgan Findlay. Davis, an Aussie, and Findlay, a Kiwi, combine for a dangerous set of legs and feet.
“I think they kick and chase quite often. They attack in the backs. I think our defense is going to be a huge part of our results,” said UVU coach Clint Wilson of Lindenwood. Wilson says he’s been working with his back three a little extra going into this match.
“I’m real comfortable with our deep three. We’re actually really comfortable in the counter-kick game. All of our guys are pretty good.”
The counter attack, and general open field play, is actually an area where Utah Valley excels.
“I think our strength is in our open-field attack,” said Wilson. “Our guys are dangerous from anywhere on the field, and especially in the open field, so I think that’s where we play best at -- in multiple phases and in the open field.”
UVU, which struggled with injuries earlier this season, is as healthy as its been all year, despite losing Cameron Loser to a broken leg earlier in the playoffs. If anyone is going to knock off Lindenwood, it might as well be a healthy UVU side playing in front of a friendly crowd.