State Colleges

College of Idaho football faces tough test in No. 9 Southern Oregon

The College of Idaho travels to Ashland, Ore., on Saturday (2 p.m., 96.5 FM and 730 AM) for the first of two games against the Red Raiders this season.

The Yotes (2-2, 1-2 Frontier Conference) have taken on Southern Oregon — the 2014 national champion and the 2015 national runner-up — twice each year since reinstating football, and the results have not been pretty. The Red Raiders (2-2, 1-2) have racked up 56.8 points and 560 yards per game, edging the Yotes by an average of 33.8 points in four victories.

The C of I defense leads the Frontier and ranks 12th in the NAIA, allowing 16.2 points a game, but it will face its toughest test yet Saturday. Southern Oregon is fifth in the NAIA in total offense at 557 yards per game, and it is averaging 33.3 points per game behind quarterback Jack Singler, the younger brother of the NBA players Kyle Singler (Oklahoma City) and E.J. Singler (Toronto), a former Idaho Stampede player.

College of Idaho quarterback Tyler Cox (Boise High) will try to bounce back from a rough start against Rocky Mountain (three interceptions, two lost fumbles). Mike Kirby (Centennial High) has emerged as the Yotes’ top running back, posting nine or more carries and 55 or more yards in each of the last three games.

Southern Oregon plays at the College of Idaho on Oct. 22. Both games count in the Frontier standings.

Michael Lycklama: 208-377-6424, @MichaelLycklama