Big Sky Preview 2015.4

BSC  Week 4 Preview

Kris Kallem & Lance Berndt, BSC  Contributors | September 24, 2015

Kris Says-

Cal Poly @ Montana State
Cal Poly’s amazingly difficult opening schedule continues as they face a Bobcat team with one of the best duel threat quarterbacks in the country in Dakota Prukop. While Montana State will get its points, their new defense got pummeled last week in Cheney including giving up 259 rushing yards to EWU. This doesn’t bode well facing the #2 rushing offense in FCS. Expect a bit of a shootout here.

Western Oregon @ Portland State
The DII Wolves were tied with Portland State in the 4th quarter of last year’s game before losing by a touchdown. This appears to be a different Viking squad in 2015 but Western Oregon is a winning program and typically has some solid athletes. Don’t be surprised if the outcome is a little closer than expected.

Idaho State @ UNLV
The Bengals could get nothing going last week against Boise State and the 0-3 Rebels might provide Idaho State with an opportunity to keep it close and at least gain some much needed confidence.

Eastern Washington @ Sacramento State
The Hornets will need to get something going on offense if they’re going to hang with the Eagles. Sacramento State as a team has one less touchdown (7) on the season than Eastern’s Cooper Kupp has on his own (8). Not to jinx the Eagles, but they’ve never lost in Sacramento and I don’t see much of a reason to believe that will change this season.

Lance says-

UC Davis @ North Dakota
I wonder if during the pregame coin toss, the two teams will just say “Ok, first team to score a touchdown wins.” All jokes aside, neither team has shown much of an impressive offense this season, and we could very well see each team’s defense put up more points than their respective offenses. Players to watch for UND will be lead LB Will Ratelle who has 20 total tackles and running back John Santiago. For UC-Davis look for veteran quarterback Ben Scott and a very balanced attack on defense. I might be wrong, but this should be a very low scoring game.

Weber State @ Northern Colorado
Sure, Northern Colorado has the better record here, but Weber State essentially started the season with two FBS level games, while Northern Colorado basically had two D-II opponents. I think Weber has to be the favorite here coming off an impressive performance last weekend. Led by a QB-WR combo of Jadrian Clark and Cam Livingston along with a balanced rushing attack, the Wildcats offense has been improving and their defense has also stepped it up so far. The Bears, on the other hand, started well on offense, but laid an egg against Southern Utah and will need their offense to perform well to have a chance against the Wildcats. I think Weber State runs away with this one.

ORV Northern Arizona @ #13 Montana
A matchup between two teams who started better than people thought they would, but are now looking more like they originally seemed. While usually a defensive battle, this one should be much more high scoring with both offenses having a lot of firepower and both defenses having given up a fair amount of points. The Griz need to improve inside the red zone. On the season they are scoring a touchdown just 33% of the time, while allowing a 71% touchdown rate to opponents. Key players for NAU will be the duo of Case Cookus and Emmanuel Butler. Montana has done pretty well against the run so far this season, so the Lumberjacks will likely need to rely on their passing ability, which has been their strength so far. For Montana it will be the quarterback position. With Gustafson out, Chad Chalich, who played the last three quarters last weekend will likely start, but Makena Simis might also see a few reps if Stitt gives him the green light. Montana’s offense will heavily rely on if they can smoothly transition to the next man up.

D-II Brevard @ Southern Utah
After posting an amazing 6-1 turnovers advantage in their win over Northern Colorado, Southern Utah gets their home opener against an over matched D-II school from North Carolina. Brevard barely goes out of state for most of their games, so I’m surprised this one even got scheduled. Anyways, this should be a fun game for the T-Birds to showcase their team in front of their fans before more Big Sky action. Southern Utah has a relatively favorable conference schedule, so look for them to potentially make noise the next few weeks.


2:00 PM UC Davis @ North Dakota
3:35 PM Cal Poly @ Montana State
3:35 PM Weber State @ Northern Colorado
4:00 PM Northern Arizona @ Montana
5:05 PM Western Oregon @ Portland State
8:00 PM Brevard College @ Southern Utah
9:00 PM Idaho State @ UNLV
9:05 PM Eastern Washington @ Sacramento State

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