Week 10 in the Big Sky showed us who the true first place team should be. Weber State established their spot in the drivers seat and the rest of the Big Sky should fall in line according to them. Sacramento State is still a force to be reckoned with, but they will have to keep winning to sustain their standards. Montana and Montana State are following closely as the postseason looms just beyond the horizon, but who will get in?
Marquee: Weber State def.Sacramento State 36-17
Weber State was able to man-handle Sacramento State like a rag doll. The Hornets could not get anything done as there was nothing to do in order to beat Weber. The run game was swallowed up, Kevin Thompson was contained, and the defense was gashed. The Wildcats secured a solid win with both the running and passing games being formidable.
Northern Colorado def. Idaho State 26-20
Northern Colorado looks like a respectable team this week in the big sky. The Bears were able to limit Matt Struck and force the Bengals to run the ball. While on the other hand, Jacob Knipp was able to take advantage of Idaho State’s lacking pass coverage. ￼ Ty Flanagan was still able to carve up the Bears defense by running for 124 rushing yards.￼￼￼ Michael Walker was able to rack up another player of the week award with two interceptions on the day and one of those returned for a touchdown. For the first time since playing at Southern Utah last year the Bears finally look like a formidable Big Sky team on the road.￼￼￼
Montana State def.Southern Utah 42-7
This game could have been called off at half time due to Montana State’s 42 to 0 lead with half a game still left to play. It seemed like both teams used every active player on the roster.￼￼ Montana State used so many players since they had the availability to sub players at will, while Southern Utah was just trying to complete the game.￼No matter what Southern Utah tried Montana State had a counter for it. After a few disappointing weeks Montana State may finally have the playoff mentality needed to make a late push for an at large spot.
Eastern Washington def. Northern Arizona 66-38
Eastern Washington lit up Northern Arizona in an offensively explosive matchup. While the first half was entertaining and somewhat competitive the Eagles were able fully destroy the Lumberjacks in the second half. In just one half the Eagles scored as much as the Lumberjacks did in the whole game.￼ Both Case Cookus and Eric Barriere were able to lead a 300+ passing attack, give their running backs opportunity to have 100+ yards, and have one receiver with 100+ yards and at least one touchdown. The difference maker was the fumbles by NAU and EWU’s defense was able to make a few stops.
Idaho def. Cal Poly 21-9
Once in a while in the big sky conference football games actually stay under 30 points. While this was a low-scoring affair Idaho was able to take care of business. This matchup was a defensive game,￼ or simply lacked a competent offense. Cal Poly has done fantastic at making teams play them in the run game and only use their run game in return.￼ Although, Cal Poly lacks wins on their record to show or prove just how schematically talented they are. Idaho carried on as normal with a little more emphasis on the run game than usual and also more success running than they have been accustomed to in the past few weeks. ￼
Montana def. Portland State 38-23
Montana trailed Portland State at half time, but was able to handedly thump the Vikings in the second half. Young quarterback Cameron Humphrey showed no signs of weakness throughout the game as he completed￼ 75% of his passes and also through four touchdowns. Marcus Knight was able to tally 106 rushing yards and a touchdown in his hard nosed running.￼ between Montana’s big three receivers they were able to haul in 312 yards receiving and four touchdowns on the day. Montana continues to show why they deserve to be a top 10 team. As the season winds down they have hard games left, but if they stick to this pace they should be sitting pretty for the playoffs.￼
My name is Ben Schleiger and I’m your representative for the Big Sky Conference. I have done work for multiple newspapers and sports blogs including The Johnstown Breeze, The University of Northern Colorado Mirror, and Mile High Maniac. I am a proud alumnus of the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Political Science. In my free time, I like watching sports, playing video games, and trying new foods.