GAME PREVIEWS: Big Sky Conference – September 18th

Heading into Week Three of the FCS schedule there has already been a fair amount of chaos and history that has been made. What lies in wait for the remaining out of conference games?

San Diego at Montana State – 1pm MT

Perennial Pioneer League power San Diego has been floundering during their out of conference competition. A nasty road trip to Bozeman, MT is the perfect prescription for an 0-3 start to the year. The Torreros may run wild in the Pioneer League, but the Bobcats will punish San Diego on each side of the ball.

Idaho at Oregon State (FBS) – 1:30pm MT

The Vandals are off to a predictable start and shall continue to be through this week with a multi score loss to Oregon State. The Beavers had a close loss to Purdue and then a decisive victory over Hawai’i. While Oregon State is far and away not a contender the PAC-12, they are still big enough and talented enough to lap Idaho.

Sacramento State at California (FBS) – 2pm MT

The Golden Bears come into the contest 0-2, but have every intention of whooping on the Hornets all day long. Sacramento State struggled to pull away from Dixie State in Week One and found themselves outpaced by Northern Iowa last week. The Hornets will need many people outside of Asher O’Hara to step up in order for this team to be taken seriously.

Additionally 3 sacks. Photo via UNC Athletics.

Lamar at Northern Colorado – 2pm MT

Lamar travels to Northern Colorado after a pendulum of two games, blowing out NAIA North American University and getting blown out by FBS UTSA. Northern Colorado has a similar resume as they lost to FBS Colorado and blew out FCS Houston Baptist. Dylan McCaffrey’s role in the upcoming game is unclear, but it seems like his arm injury is not a long term concern. Meanwhile, the new and improved Bears defense is a menace to offensive lines and quarterbacks led by David Hoage.

Eastern Washington at Western Illinois – 2pm MT

Western Illinois’ ten-point loss to FBS Ball State had leatherneck fans excited, until they played Montana and lost 42-7. Now the Leathernecks host another title contender from the Big Sky as Eric Barriere and the EWU Eagles look to out-do the Griz.

Western Oregon (D2) at Portland State – 3pm MT

A chummy in-state game between Western Oregon and Portland State has not happened since 2015. The last meeting Portland State calmly put up 31 points. Expect more of the same in 2021.

Southern Utah at Tarleton State – 5pm MT

Earlier in the season I circled this as a game Southern Utah MUST win. This game is “neutral”, but still located in Texas so it’s a baby home game for Tarleton State. Both Tarleton and Dixie State have shown roller coaster talent that has very high highs and mediocre lows. This newcomer team could pull the upset.

South Dakota at Cal Poly – 6pm MT

Cal Poly found themselves a worthy quarterback and now have a chance to compete in the middle of the pack for the Big Sky. South Dakota looks like an extremely formidable opponent compared to recent history. A three-point loss to FBS Kansas and a blowout of Northern Arizona have left many people wondering just how high the Coyotes ceiling could be.

Photo via Weber State Athletics.

James Madison at Weber State – 6pm MT

GAME OF THE WEEK! This is arguably the most important game of the week in the entire FCS. A battle of two conference title juggernauts will have the FCS Nation watching intently. JMU has an offense that will intimidate almost any team in the country. Weber State does have a well balanced attack, but will it be high caliber enough.

Northern Arizona at Arizona – 8pm MT

Northern Arizona is looking for a huge upset this week against FBS Arizona. The problem is that is simply a mirage in a desert of slim possibilities. Arizona will beat the brakes off them and it won’t even be close.

Dixie State at UC Davis- 8pm MT

Dixie State has one of the hardest FCS schedules so far and continue on with UC Davis. This newcomer shows great promise, but a ranked Aggies team who even has an FBS win is stacked and ready for a win. There’s not much Dixie State can do other than hope for a close game. Hunter Rodrigues is a top performer for the Aggies and will continue so this week.