Gentlemen, start your engines.

Southern Utah University is installing synthetic turf on the football field at Eccles Coliseum.

SUU began removing the old grass surface on June 15. The project is expected to be completed in time for the Thunderbirds' home opener against New Mexico Highlands on Sept. 15.

They will play two road games prior to the home opener.

The addition of the Hellas MatrixTurf will allow the Big Sky Conference university to hold practices on the field during inclement weather, attract additional events from outside the university, reduce field maintenance costs and likely reduce injuries.

It also could boost recruiting, as "recruits typically visit our campus in January (and) the synthetic surface will be a key visual point of interest," head football coach Ed Lamb said, adding, "The fans will see a much cleaner, faster game."