The race at the top of the Big Sky Conference appears to be a three horse race between Montana, Weber State, and Sacramento State. This weekend in Missoula it appears to be the showdown for the Big Sky championship. Weber State will make the trip north to Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The matchup will be between the #3 and #5 ranked teams in the latest FCS Stats poll. Only one other game this season has featured two top five teams, North Dakota State and South Dakota State. The game should prove to be a true championship game and atmosphere.
Speaking of Weber State, they survived a last minute scare from North Dakota to keep their win loss record intact. Jake Constantine ran for 12 yards to get the Wildcats into a tie with the Flicker Tails. Then two minutes later Trey Tuttle booted a 32 yard field goal to give Weber State the win. Montana struggled to get going in the first half against Idaho, but once they settled in they put the gas to Idaho and beat the Vandals by 24.
Sacramento State also survived an upset by scoring two touchdowns in the last three minutes. Two Jake Dunniway touchdown passes kept the Hornets playoff bound. Dunniway was filling in for the injured Kevin Thomson. The Hornets didn’t appear to miss a beat. Eastern Washington laid the wood to Idaho State after an interesting first quarter which had the Eagles up 3-2. Not willing to get caught in a pitchers dual the Eagles went and head and went on a 45-3 run to ice a win. UC Davis turned in a large fourth quarter to take down Portland State. Two Jake Maier touchdown passes, and an Ulonzo Gilliam run put it away for the Aggies. Montana State absolutely blasted Northern Colorado to keep their playoff hopes alive.
This week’s games feature Northern Colorado taking on North Dakota. Idaho State is headed off for another money game against BYU. Weber State and Montana will face off in Missoula. Northern Arizona is making a quick trip to take on Southern Utah. Sacramento State is headed to Moscow to take on Idaho. Montana State is hitting the road to take on UC Davis. In the night cap Eastern Washington is headed west to take on Cal Poly.
Montana State 45
Northern Colorado 14
Sacramento State 38
Northern Arizona 34
North Dakota 27
Weber State 30
Eastern Washington 48
Idaho State 5
UC Davis 45
Portland State 28
Big Sky Player of the Week
This week’s Big Sky Player of the week is UC Davis quarterback Jake Maier. Maier was 27/38 for 383 yards and four touchdowns as the Aggies defeated Portland State over the weekend.
Big Sky MVP Candidates
Dalton Sneed, QB, Montana
Kevin Thomson, QB, Sacramento State
Jeff Cotton, WR, Idaho
Ulonzo Gilliam, RB, UC Davis
Eric Barriere, QB, Eastern Washington
Big Sky Power Rankings
The Quad Shot
Montana got a big win over Idaho on Saturday. Not a big win in terms of defeating a good opponent, because Idaho was awful. But the Griz did keep their long-time rivalry trophy in Missoula. The Little Brown Stein has been shared between the schools has been around since 1903. Idaho leads the overall series 55-29-2. Montana has held the stein since 2003, however, there was a large gap in there when Idaho attempted to play FBS. After watching that game on Saturday you have to think that Paul Petrino is probably not safe after this season. That was one of the more bad teams I’ve watched in all of the college football this season. Undisciplined, sloppy, and not really a lot of talent. However, I will give props of Jeff Cotton. That guy is one bad mother. Montana had no answer for him, and had he not gotten hurt he probably would have had 15 catches.
The top of the Big Sky nearly became a wreck this weekend with both Weber State and Sacramento State hanging on for dear life and securing late game wins. Weber State scored 10 points in the final three minutes to beat North Dakota. Sacramento State scored 14 points in the last two minutes to pull off a win against Northern Arizona. Can you imagine two top ten teams going down in the same weekend? Oh wait, that happened with South Dakota State and Central Arkansas. With both teams hanging on for a win we might find ourselves in a three way tie for first at the end of the season. Assuming Montana beats Weber State and Montana State, and Weber and Sacramento State both win out. In that scenario Montana would have the tie breaker for Weber, Weber has the tiebreaker over Sacramento, and Sacramento has the tiebreaker over Montana. As our friends at the Brewery Follies would say, that’s a real fuster cluck!
Sacramento State didn’t seem to lose much with Jake Dunniway coming in on relief of the injured Kevin Thomson. Thomson, who looked like he might have been murdered on the hit he took. That being said, Sacramento State is still going to remain a tough out.
The quad shot should get back to normal’ish now. Life’s wild, man. A week out hunting in Eastern Montana with the old man, then a week in Vegas for work… yes, work. Getting back to the real world was kind of a drag.