Sacramento State continued their climb up the FCS national polls this week as they defeated the Montana Grizzlies at home this weekend. The Hornets jumped out to a big lead and never looked back and just kept piling it on. Montana started with an opening drive score on a 64 yard Jerry Louis McGee run. However, Kevin Thomson would respond with a 44 yard pass and a two point conversion to take the lead. After that it was all Hornets. Thomson had 369 yards passing and 50 yards rushing and accounted for six touchdowns. Is he now the leader in the Big Sky MVP race? Maybe.
Portland State is another Big Sky team who’s a sleeper pick to win the conference if the chips fall where they do. The Vikings are now 3-1 in conference play. This weekend they got a win over hapless Northern Colorado. The Vikings got 221 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Sirgeo Hoffman to lead the way against a pesky Bears team that didn’t want to completely roll over. Jacob Knipp decided to do it all for the Bears, accounting for 427 total yards and two scores.
Weber State absolutely crushed Northern Arizona after trailing by seven at the half. Weber State’s Josh Davis ran for an eye popping 328 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Wildcats. Without looking it up, that could very well be the top rushing performance in FCS this season. In total the Wildcats rushed for 443 yards. Meanwhile, Case Cookus piled up the stats but wasn’t enough to get the Lumberjacks on the board. Cookus has 359 yards and four scores. In the battle of Idaho the Vandals got a win against their rival Idaho State. Big day for receiver Jeff Cotton, catching 192 yards of passes.
North Dakota continued its independent life and beat Cal Poly on the road this weekend. Nate Ketteringham had 234 yards and two scores plus a rushing touchdown to lead the way for the Fighting Hawks. In the night cap Jake Maier had 271 yards and three touchdowns, while Ulonzo Gilliam had 140 yards rushing and a score to get a close win over Southern Utah.
Coming up this week Eastern Washington will go across I-90 and take on Montana. Montana State will head to Grand Forks to take on North Dakota. Idaho State heads south to take on Southern Utah. Northern Arizona will be hosting Portland State. Weber State goes on the road to take on UC Davis. In the night cap Sacramento State will take on Cal Poly.
Sacramento State 49
Portland State 38
Northern Colorado 30
Northern Arizona 28
Weber State 51
Idaho State 21
North Dakota 30
Cal Poly 26
UC Davis 33
Southern Utah 25
Big Sky Player of the Week
This week’s Big Sky player of the week is Sacramento State quarterback Kevin Thomson. Thomson was 24/34 for 369 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 50 yards and two touchdowns as the Hornets defeated #6 Montana at home on Saturday.
Big Sky MVP Candidates
Kevin Thomson, QB, Sacramento State
Dalton Sneed, QB, Montana
Ulonzo Gilliam, RB, UC Davis
Jeff Cotton, WR, Idaho
Eric Barriere, QB, Eastern Washington
Big Sky Power Rankings
The Quad Shot
I have no idea what’s gotten into the water in Sacramento this season, but this is a dominant Hornets team. Sweeping both of the Montana teams is an accomplishment for the Hornets. Probably has never been done in the history of their team. I wasn’t terribly surprised by the result, but this was a killer for the Griz’s chances to win the Big Sky outright. Some dominoes are going to have to fall for the Griz to win the conference at this point. For now we’re at a two way horse race between Weber State and Sacramento State for the conference title. Still a lot of football left to play, however.
The battle of Idaho was a more interesting battle than I thought it would be. I didn’t think there was any way Idaho was going to win that game, they are so bad. However, Jeff Cotton turned in a big day, catching 192 yards of passes and I guess the Vandals won? I guess there’s some magic in the Kibbie Dome.
Disappointed we’re not going to get to see Southern Utah and Northern Colorado battle it out to see who the worst team in the Big Sky is this year. Both teams can make a really strong case in being the worst. According to the Massey Index the Bears are at 91, Southern Utah is at 88, out of 126 teams. In the Sagarin Rankings Southern Utah is 196, Northern Colorado is at 201, out of 256 teams. So if we’re going to use complicated computer rankings and calculated into an Excel spreadsheet Northern Colorado is worse. However, the Bears have a conference win. So I guess by virtue of win/loss things, Southern Utah is definitely the worst.
College Game Day announced that they are going to head to Brookings, South Dakota for this week’s Saturday morning show. I know a lot of Big Sky fans would like to see Game Day come a little further West and maybe take in the Brawl of the Wild. Game Day seems to really like visiting North Dakota State and who can blame them. They’re received well in Fargo, the Bison are good, but come on. It’s the Midwest. How about coming to the Northern Rockies and taking in a real rivalry game. That being said, not this year folks. Cat/Griz weekend falls on a weekend where there are a lot of other rivalry games being played, and late in the season I can imagine Game Day would be disinclined to focus on an FCS game rather than a FBS game with playoff implications. If you were going to attend a Game Day setup somewhere, where would be your ultimate destination? Mine would be The Grove in Oxford Mississippi. Tailgating, sundresses, and the SEC, what more could a person want?