CEDAR CITY, Utah Sacramento State linebacker Jeff Badger doesn't care how many yards teams rack up against the Hornets as long as they win.
Badger intercepted a pass at the Southern Utah 18-yard line with 1:45 remaining in the game to preserve Sac State's 27-22 victory over Southern Utah on Saturday at Eccles Coliseum.
"I was just spying (SUU quarterback Brad Sorensen)," said Badger, who also had 12 tackles and a sack. "I saw our defensive linemen hit him. I saw a ball in the air, and I just grabbed it."
Sac State allowed 388 yards of offense, but the Hornets moved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the Big Sky Conference, while the Thunderbirds dropped to 2-4 and 1-2.
The defensive performance was an improvement from the previous week, when Idaho State threw for 529 yards. Sorensen went 20 of 32 for 327 yards and a touchdown.
"He's a great quarterback," Badger said. "We had to plan all week, and we knew he was going to be one of the best we played this season."
There is a silver lining for the Sac State secondary. The defense locked down in the fourth quarter, limiting Sorensen to four yards on 2-of-7 passing.
Most of Sorensen's yardage in the game came on big plays, as the Hornets allowed receptions of 82, 43, 28 and 26 yards.
On the season, Sac State has allowed 21 receptions of more than 25 yards.
Hornets coach Marshall Sperbeck, however, wasn't overly concerned about the big plays. He said they are to be expected in the pass-happy Big Sky.
Sac State was solid against the run. The Hornets allowed 61 rushing yards, including a pair of one-yard stops on key third- and fourth-down situations in the first half.
"Just do your job. That's what we focused on this week in practice," Badger said.
Quarterback Garrett Safron was outstanding for Sac State. He did plenty of damage with his legs, rushing for two touchdowns.
Safron finished with 91 rushing yards, including a 62-yard scoring scamper to start the second half, on 12 carries. He completed 21 of 29 passes for 192 yards with two interceptions.
His lone touchdown pass came in the first quarter when he found Morris Norrise on a 23-yard strike to cap an 11-play, 75-yard drive.
"My O-line did a great job in protection," Safron said. "It's just playmakers making plays."
The Hornets trailed 16-7 at halftime but outgained Southern Utah 241-127 in the final 30 minutes.
"It was a great win," Safron said. "We missed a couple of assignments in the first half. In the second, we executed better and came out with a 'W.' "
Sac State will host Weber State on Saturday at 6:05 p.m.
"I saw a ball in the air, and I just grabbed it."
JEFF BADGER, Hornets linebacker on his interception