GAME PREVIEWS: Big Sky Conference Out of Conference Play – Week of September 4th

Weber State at #24 Utah (FBS)

CSJ Season Preview: Weber State

Weber State begins their season in SLC as they take on the PAC 12 “tough guys”. Utah has sent a healthy amount of players onto the NFL and have been very competitive in the PAC 12 in recent years. Weber State will an uphill battle as the Utes have a stout defense and a clock-draining offense. Josh Davis will have to run out of his mind and count on the Wildcat defense to force turnovers to have a real chance.
Utah 35 Weber State 17

UC Davis at Tulsa (FBS)

CSJ Season Preview: UC Davis
CSJ Conference Preview: AAC

UC Davis reloads their team with a road trip to Tulsa. The hot and cold Aggies will do their best to steal a game against an on-the-rise Tulsa team. Do the Aggies have enough seasoned talent on offense to keep up? Dan Hawkins best hope so since his defense is quite talented, but lacks the depth it requires to beat an FBS team.
Tulsa 31 UC Davis 9

Sam Houston State at Northern Arizona

CSJ Season Preview: Northern Arizona
CSJ Preview: Sam Houston

Northern Arizona will face the FCS’s best as Sam Houston comes to town as the defending champions. The Bearcat’s star studded lineup has multiple players on professional football radars (NFL & CFL). Northern Arizona struggled against the likes of Southern Utah so there is little chance this game is competitive outside of NAU hosting in a dome environment.
SHSU 42 NAU 20

Eastern Washington at UNLV (FBS)

CSJ Season Preview: Eastern Washington
CSJ Conference Preview: Mountain West

Eastern Washington is a top flight team in the FCS while UNLV is a moderate to bottom team in the Mountain West. While UNLV is rebuilding with former QB1 star Tate Martell, Eric Barriere looks to outshine him on the road to a Walter Payton Award. The deep offensive playmakers gives EWU a good shot to win the game.

EWU 33 UNLV 30 (OT)

Southern Utah at #25 Arizona State (FBS)

CSJ Season Preview: Southern Utah

Southern Utah struggled against mediocre Big Sky competition so Arizona State will race past the Thunderbirds. A top 25 FBS team will pick apart SUU systematically. Justin Miller should hide behind Braxton Jones and throw the ball quick and often.
Arizona State 38 Southern Utah 6

Courtesy Greeley Tribune

Northern Colorado at Colorado (FBS)

CSJ Season Preview: Northern Colorado

Northern Colorado may be the extra, extra dark horse to get an FBS win this weekend. The Bears will be a brand new, never before seen, and vastly upgraded team compared to every other edition of UNC previously. On top of that, JT Shrout, former starting Buffs quarterback, is out for the season with a knee injury. Could the Bears be enough of a surprise to get a win or just better than before?
Colorado 37 Northern Colorado 24

North Dakota at Idaho State

CSJ Season Preview: Idaho State
CSJ Season Preview: North Dakota

Idaho State could have a quiet contender for game of the week with a strong FCS-FCS matchup week one. North Dakota proved themselves a worthy MVFC foe last year as they were not far off from conference title contention in a brutal conference. Idaho State emerged as a decent team in spring with FBS transfer QB Tyler Vander-Waal as a true gunslinger. Offensively these two teams should tear into each other for all they are worth.
North Dakota 45 Idaho State 42

Montana State at Wyoming (FBS)

CSJ Season Preview: Montana State
CSJ Conference Preview: Mountain West

Montana State starts the new season with a new coach from their week one opponents. Brent Vigen leaves the Rocky Mountain shores of “Laradise” and trades in the Brown and Gold for a new brand to ride under. While Coach Vigen is introducing a lot of new, including FBS transfer QB Matthew McKay, there will be plenty of old talent roaring to hit the field after the spring hiatus. Can Montana State’s All-American talent push them to a win?
Wyoming 27 Montana State 20

Cal Poly at San Diego

CSJ Season Preview: Cal Poly

Cal Poly hired one of the most talented Big Sky coaches in recent history in Beau Baldwin. The problem is that Cal Poly looked worse than many D2 team last year. The confusion, lack of direction, and overall lack of effort last year left fans wondering how much farther the Mustangs could spiral. San Diego is not a super special team to any degree, but they should be able to tame the wild ponies of San Luis Obispo.
San Diego 31 Cal Poly 16

Courtesy Idaho Statesman

Simon Fraser (D2) at Idaho

CSJ Season Preview: Idaho

Idaho hosts the famous Simon Fraser, the only Canadian NCAA team in the nation. Canada has the CFL which is definitely professional football, but also noticeably a step down compared to the NFL in America. The same can be said about Simon Fraser. A scrappy team who tries hard, but cannot amount to much in the win column.
Idaho 42 Simon Fraser 13

Montana at #20 Washington

CSJ Season Preview: Montana

Montana may be a power team in the Big Sky, but Washington will be serving humble pie topped with humility for the Griz. Huskies players are generally bigger, faster, and more talented that the majority of Pacific Northwest players. Look for the Griz to create highlights in this multiple score loss.
Washington 42 Montana 21

Sacramento State at Dixie State

CSJ Season Preview: Sacramento State

Sacramento State was the first Big Sky team to postpone due to COVID, despite being defending conference champions at the time. Dixie State has shown promise at the FCS level, but consistency will be a key factor to start building. Will the time off hurt then Hornets and leave the door open to newcomer Dixie State?
Sacramento State 31 Dixie State 20

Portland State at Hawai’i (FBS)

CSJ Season Preview: Portland State
CSJ Conference Preview: Mountain West

Portland State goes on vacation for the first week. This “work trip” will be a rough negotiation as Hawai’i has come a long way in recent years compared to their past. The Warriors are no longer push-overs and are doing the pushing over now.
Hawai’i 35 Portland State 7