Another week in the Big Sky and another week that Eastern Washington put up gaudy stats on some hapless team. This time that hapless team was Northern Colorado. The Bears are looking like a much improved team this year, but they simply did not have the fire power to compete with Eastern Washington. Gage Gabrud turned in another fine performance, totally a little over 500 total yards and five touchdowns. The Eagles are loaded with weapons on offense. Their defense, however, ranks among the worst in all of FCS. It should be an interesting matchup on Halloween weekend when Montana, with a top ten defense rolls into Cheney to take on the Eagles.
Speaking of Montana, the Grizzlies looked dominant in their win over Mississippi Valley State. Granted, the Delta Devils were a really bad team who does not even fully fund their team, they have 41 scholarships available to their players. However, Montana put up 67 straight points on the Delta Devils after giving up an opening drive touchdown. Montana’s defense was the star of the show by holding the Delta Devils, who average 14 yards per game rushing to -61 yards rushing. Needless to say, that’s a pretty solid effort from the Grizzlies.
In other news, Bruce Barnum hoped for a big crowd in Ogden this week for when his Portland State Vikings went on the road to take on Weber State. In another effort of Bruce Barnum opening his mouth his Vikings were once again beaten in Utah. Eventually he’s going to learn to keep his mouth shut, as his team does not seem capable of cashing the checks his mouth is writing. At least he makes for some good sound bites throughout the week.
Northern Arizona and Montana State had a nice tussle in Bozeman over the weekend. The Bobcats needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, and the Lumberjacks needed a win for a chance at remotely saving their season. The Lumberjacks, playing without star quarterback Case Cookus managed to pull off a victory in Bozeman. The Bobcats struggled in many parts of the game, unable to generate a lot of offense. The Lumberjacks rode the legs of Joe Logan to the tune of 147 yards and two touchdowns for a win. The Bobcats are now in an 0-3 hole in conference play.
Mississippi Valley State 7
Northern Colorado 31
Eastern Washington 49
Northern Arizona 20
Montana State 14
UC Davis 3
Southern Utah 24
Portland State 10
Weber State 14
North Dakota 40
Sacramento State 7
Big Sky Player of the Week
Gage Gabrud of Eastern Washington is the Big Sky player of the week this week. Gabrud completed 33/39 passes for 435 yards and five touchdowns. He also had 11 carries for 79 yards in their victory over Northern Colorado.
Big Sky MVP Candidates
Gage Gabrud, QB, Eastern Washington. 33/39, 435 yards, five touchdowns. 11 rushes, 79 yards.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington. Five receptions for 59 yards.
John Santiago, RB, North Dakota. Eight carries, 76 yards, 1 touchdown.
Case Cookus, QB, Northern Arizona. Did not play.
Emmanuel Butler, WR, Northern Arizona. Seven receptions for 68 yards.
Joe Protheroe, RB, Cal Poly. Bye.
Big Sky Power Rankings
1. Eastern Washington
3. North Dakota
4. Cal Poly
5. Southern Utah
6. Weber State
7. Northern Colorado
8. Northern Arizona
9. Portland State
10. Montana State
11. Idaho State
12. Sacramento State
Looking Ahead to Week 7
Next week will get started with Southern Utah heading to Grand Forks to take on North Dakota. This game has some pretty big implications in the Big Sky for the playoff picture going forward. Expect a good one here. Montana State will head to Weber State. Sacramento State will head to Missoula to take on Montana. Cal Poly goes north to take on Portland State. Northern Colorado will take on UC-Davis. Idaho State will head south to Flagstaff to take on Northern Arizona.
Final Thoughts and Hot Takes
– There is a definite three way race at the bottom of the Big Sky for worst team. I honestly can’t even pick who’s the worst, they all have their .. qualities.
– But at the top of the Big Sky it looks like it’s Eastern Washington and Montana.. everyone else is back in the pack.
– Big win for Northern Arizona in Bozeman this weekend, they needed a win just to try to right the ship. But on the other hand, bad loss in Bozeman this weekend for the Bobcats. Should have been a game they capitalized on.
– Northern Colorado put up a fight in Cheney this weekend for a while. The Bears might be improving.
– Gage Gabrud is piling up a lot of big numbers this season. Dangerous through the air and on the ground. Hard to think what’ll happen when Cooper Kupp really gets going again. Gabrud, in my opinion, is the leader in the clubhouse for Big Sky offensive player of the year right now.
– Montana did some baaaaad thing to Mississippi Valley State this weekend. A very outmatched MVSU team, sure, but that was a pretty healthy beating. Not sure I’ve ever seen a worse team in Washington-Grizzly Stadium in the 12 years I’ve been attending games. There might be a couple.