Big Sky Conference: Week 5 Review and Power Rankings

Big Sky

The Big Sky Conference week five football season is over, and if you’re a Montana State fan you’re probably looking forward to week six… because it couldn’t possibly get any worse, right? The Bobcats had a 38-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter and inexplicably let Sacramento State score 20 straight points to win the game by three. That’s just not a loss you can take, and a poor defensive, as well as offensive effort by the Bobcats. Sacramento State is a pretty poor team and if you’re wanting to turn a program around that can’t be one you take on the chin. But congrats to Sacramento State, there’s not going to be a goose egg in the win loss column this year!

In one of the Big Sky match-ups of the week Southern Utah traveled north to Montana to take on the Grizzlies. Right out of the gate Southern Utah was in trouble and the Griz never looked back. Montana racked up over 600 yards of offense to take down the Thunderbirds 43-20. Brady Gustafson accounted for 415 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Griz. Southern Utah did some good things with the ball when they had it, but couldn’t translate those possessions into points against a ferocious Montana defense.

The other match-up of the week, North Dakota at Cal Poly nearly lived up to its hype. North Dakota stole the win 31-24 on their home turf. Cal Poly looked like a team that had a shot to finish at the top of the conference, but ran into a pretty stiff North Dakota defense. The Mustangs, one of the top rushing teams in the country, were held to 202 yards rushing. Joe Protheroe did not accumulate any stats due to an injury. North Dakota will keep their post season hopes alive with that important win.


Cal Poly 24
North Dakota 31

Northern Arizona 18
Northern Colorado 21

UC Davis 30
Eastern Washington 63

Idaho State 20
Portland State 45

Southern Utah 20
Montana 43

Montana State 38
Sacramento State 41

Big Sky Player of the Week

Cooper Kupp of Eastern Washington is this week’s player of the week. Kupp made his presence known that he was ready to resume his reign atop the Big Sky’s receivers. He caught 12 balls for 274 yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles’ victory over UC-Davis.

Big Sky MVP Candidates

Gage Gabrud, QB, Eastern Washington. 33/46 for 486 yards, six touchdowns. 39 yards rushing, one touchdown.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington. 12 receptions for 274 yards and two touchdowns.
John Santiago, RB, North Dakota. Did not play.
Case Cookus, QB, Northern Arizona. Did not play.
Emmanuel Butler, WR, Northern Arizona. 8 receptions for 58 yards.
Joe Protheroe, RB, Cal Poly. Did not play.

Big Sky Power Rankings

1. Eastern Washington
2. Montana
3. North Dakota
4. Cal Poly
5. Southern Utah
6. Weber State
7. Northern Colorado
8. Portland State
9. Montana State
10. Northern Arizona
11. Idaho State
12. UC-Davis
13. Sacramento State

Looking Ahead to Week 6

In the first game of the week the red hot (?) Northern Colorado Bears will travel to Cheney to take on Eastern Washington on the red carpet. Mississippi Valley State will make the cross-country trek to Missoula to take on Montana. Northern Arizona will limp into Bozeman to take on Montana State. UC Davis will be at Southern Utah. Portland State heads east to take on Weber State in what should be a fine matchup. North Dakota will travel halfway across the country to take on Sacramento State.

Final Thoughts and Hot Takes

Montana State laid a huge egg last week. That was a game they had to win on the road and they totally blew it in the fourth quarter. Unacceptable loss if you’re the Bobcats.

Sacramento State isn’t the worst team in FCS, but they’re pretty bad. Got away with one over the Cats. Judging by their schedule there may not be any wins left.

Northern Colorado is 3-1. That’s not a typo, they have actually won three games this season. They just defeated the preseason Big Sky champion. I guess that’s why we decide games on the field.

Meanwhile, without Case Cookus and Emmanuel Butler that NAU team looked pretty bad. It doesn’t look like Cookus will be back this week either. Could be another long week for the Jacks.

Surprised North Dakota took down Cal Poly. Poly looked like a pretty legit team, and really, should have been undefeated heading into Grand Forks. The Fighting Hawks took care of business to keep their post season alive.

UC-Davis might be 1-4, but they sure have put up a fight this year. Hasn’t quite translated to wins and losses, but they’re not a pushover.

Written by 

I'm a Wyoming native living in Missoula, Montana. I'm the owner of, a fan site for the Wyoming Cowboys. Now that I live in the heart of the Big Sky Conference I write about things that focus on those teams. I watch and read a lot of college football, probably more than is healthy. Hit me up on the Twitters @MrTitleist or @WyoNationDotCom Go Pokes, Go Griz!

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