In a week of chaos and controversy around the FCS we saw the Big Sky feature one of the top headlines. Undoubtedly, the top headline was the end of the North Dakota State winning streak, but a close second was the “missed” field goal during the Eastern Washington/ Idaho game.
For those who missed it, a referee was adjusting his mask as Eastern Washington’s field goal attempt went through the uprights. The controversial call was due to the ball being above the upright and the “unique positioning of the catwalk and scoreboard”. The Big Sky Conference issued a clarifying statement on Twitter.
Eastern Washington started out with a 14-0 lead, but Idaho found ways to battle back and win. The sloppy ball control and lack of tackling in crucial field positions allowed the Vandals to creep back into the game. After a controversial field goal “missed” call against EWU, the Vandals marched down the field for a beautiful touchdown grab with less than a minute to go. Barriere showed off his magic like usual, but even he could not abra-cadbra the Eagles a win.
The Lumberjacks were able to walk-off with a game-winning touchdown pass from Keondre Wudtee to Freshmen WR Coleman Owen. This was a gritty contest of a rejuvenated Thunderbird offense, a capitalizing NAU defense, and pure determination from the NAU offense to get into scoring position late in the game. Wudtee caught a break from the Southern Utah defense as a pass interference call set up the Lumberjacks at the two-yard-line with a mere two seconds left. NAU took advantage and brought the Grand Canyon Trophy home.
Quarterbacks were a huge question this past weekend for these two teams. Weber State should be ecstatic to have a phenomenal Freshmen star in Bronson Barron and Middle Tennessee State transfer Randall Johnson backing him up quite adequately. Meanwhile, Wyoming transfer Tyler Vander-Waal was simply outmatched despite his 304 yards and three touchdowns. Vander-Waal was sacked five times and intercepted twice. For the first time in a long time, the Weber State offense was electric through the air with the receivers getting nearly 350 yards and four touchdowns overall.
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.