After a long hiatus the football season has returned! I guess to a lesser extent, I’ve returned too. Been a hectic year of adulting but I think I have things under control now. I know you, the loyal readers of this blog, missed it.
That was sarcasm.
The first week or two of the Big Sky season is hard to judge any of the teams on based on their play up and play down games, so I’ll try to reserve too much judgement for any single team at the time. There were some games that the Big Sky probably should have won, like Weber State over San Diego State and if Northern Colorado could have put together a little bit of offense I think they could have beaten San Jose State.
Northern Arizona collected a nice win over Missouri State. Montana picked up a nice win over South Dakota, as it’s always nice to knock off a Missouri Valley team. Portland State kept things well within their grasp against the SEC’s Arkansas. Cal Poly hammered on San Diego, and UC Davis was really never out of their game against California.
Weber State and San Diego State went about as I expected, just a lack of points. I thought Weber may win that game earlier last week, and had it not been for a kick return called back they probably would have won that game. The Aztecs are a reasonably good Mountain West team with an elite running back in Juwon Washington, however, just couldn’t generate enough offense to get anything on the board against a sturdy Aztec defense.
I thought Jake Meier would have a better game against California, but under Justin Wilcox the Bears have fully transitioned from Sonny Dykes’ run and shoot offense to a more balanced team that can keep opponents in check, such as they did to the Aggies on Saturday. UC Davis will still be a tough team in the Big Sky this season despite the loss of Keelan Doss to their offense.
Again, too early to tell how good and bad any of these teams are at the moment. Montana State still looks like it might not have a quarterback after a rough showing in Lubbock over the weekend. Eastern Washington is still in a transition period of Gage Gubrud transferring and Eric Barriere stepping in to take over the Eagle offense. Sacramento State did a good thing this weekend and blew out a D2 opponent instead of losing to them, that’s progress for the Hornets. I’m sure the tens of Hornet fans will appreciate that comment.
Onto the rest..
Missouri State 23
Northern Arizona 37
Northern Colorado 18
San Jose State 35
South Dakota 17
Eastern Washington 14
Penn State 79
Portland State 13
Montana State 10
Texas Tech 45
San Diego 34
Cal Poly 52
UC Davis 13
Weber State 0
San Diego State 6
Southern Oregon 19
Sacramento State 77
Southern Utah 23
Big Sky Player of the Week
This week’s Big Sky player of the week is Cal Poly quarterback Jalen Hamler. Hamler was 8/11 for 221 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 96 yards and two scores as the Mustangs upset San Diego in San Luis Obispo this past weekend.
Big Sky MVP Candidates
Jalen Hamler, QB, Cal Poly – 8/11 for 221 yards, 3 TDs, 96 yards rushing and 2 TDs
Dalton Sneed, QB, Montana – 37/52 for 430 yards and 3 TD, 1 rushing TD
Case Cookus, QB, Northern Arizona – 18/29 for 290 yards and 2 TD
Kevin Thomson, QB, Sacramento State – 14/20 for 303 yards and 4 TD, 90 rushing yards and 1 TD
Eric Barriere, QB, Eastern Washington – 21/35 for 211 yards and 1 TD
Big Sky Power Rankings
The Quad Shot
Over the weekend on Twitter the Wyoming Barstool account tweeted something about maybe they should be in the SEC after beating Missouri. Idaho’s Barstool twitter account replied with a comment like, “We’ll take your place in the Mountain West.” I laughed like a maniac when I saw that because Idaho may not even be good enough to be in the Big Sky, or the Sun Belt, much less the Mountain West. I think that particular experiment is probably forever put to bed.
I thought that Montana State and Eastern Washington would get blown out much worse than they did. Good job to those teams for at least putting up a fight in their FBS play up games. Thought for sure Texas Tech would run up 60 points on that Bobcat defense. Which, if you look at the total yards they in fact did pummel the Cats despite an almost even TOP. Would hate to think Big Sky teams are starting to play defense after all these years.
Thought Northern Colorado had a reasonable chance at beating San Jose State on the road. The Spartans are in for another year of being hot garbage and their stadium only has half the seats that it normally does this season due to some remodeling.. the stadium was still only a third full, clocking in a little over 13K for the game. The Bears kept it close’ish but couldn’t quite get the points on the board. I’m not convinced SJSU would be competitive in the Big Sky.
Cal Poly running up the score on San Diego is something I didn’t see coming. The Mustangs don’t usually explode like that, but here they ran up 386 yards on 49 carries to beat the Toreros. It’s always interesting to see San Diego play these types of games.. it seems like they go relatively untested in their conference schedule. Getting kicked in the teeth during non-conference and in the playoffs suggests they might generally be paper tigers. There’s going to be some upset Torero fans after reading that, but it’s true.