Big Sky Week 2 FCS Football Game Breakdowns

Week 2 Big Sky Game Breakdowns

And just like that, here we are at week two of the Big Sky football season. One team in particular is celebrating a great deal (see Eastern Washington below), but for 75 percent of the conference teams it was a successful weekend (9-3 overall record). There are only 11 games instead of 12 this week, highlighted by a chance for another FCS squad to make a strong showing against an FBS opponent.


Sacramento State at Arizona State, Thursday, 9:05 pm

Look out for this game, as it could be a chance for Sacramento State (0-1) to shine after a lackluster performance in a 24-0 loss to San Jose State. Sacramento State has beaten an FBS opponent each of the past two seasons (Oregon State and Colorado), and Arizona State has not played its first game of the season yet. The Sun Devils had one of the top 20 scoring offenses in the nation and went over 40 points seven times, so I don’t think the upset bid happens this time around.

Projected Score: Arizona State 30, Sacramento State 10


Weber State at Utah, Saturday, 2:05 pm

This is the fourth meeting for these schools, and Utah has dominated all three meetings. Utah’s last win came in 2008 in Salt Lake City, as the Utes won 37-21 despite Weber State’s Cameron Higgins throwing for three touchdowns. Weber State endured a wild 50-40 slugfest against Stephen F. Austin, including 23 first-quarter points. Weber State scored 29 points in the first quarter during all of 2012. As for Utah, it barely squeaked past Utah State 30-26. It probably will not happen, but I’m going to call the upset bid here in a close call.

Projected Score: Weber State 31, Utah 28


Colorado State-Pueblo at Northern Colorado, Saturday, 3:35 pm

An in-state matchup pits CS-Pueblo, which is playing its first game of the 2013 season, against a Northern Colorado team that hasn’t seen this opponent in nearly 40 years . Northern Colorado is 11-0-2 against CS-Pueblo with the last win coming in 1976. The school did not have football from 1985 until 2008, when it resumed as a Division II school. Northern Colorado’s 31-10 win over Langston gave the Bears a four-game winning streak, its longest since 2003.

Projected Score: Northern Colorado 42, Colorado State-Pueblo 10


Portland State at California, Saturday, 5:05 pm

Last week Portland State bombarded Eastern Oregon with a high-caliber offense in a 57-17 victory. This game will be a lot different. California (0-1) lost its season opener, but it was a 44-30 defeat to a Northwestern squad that has some serious chops to it. California has only seen Portland State once before in 2006, and the Golden Bears won convincingly that time around 42-16. Look for a game similar to that one as California will bring Portland State to .500.

Projected Score: California 37, Portland State 7


Dixie State at Idaho State, Saturday, 5:05 pm

This is the first game of the season for the Pocatello-based Idaho State program, and Dixie State is also playing its season opener. Dixie State is a Division II school based in St. George, Utah, and it plays its games in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Idaho State enters this contest having lost its nine games, but Dixie State is on a five-game losing streak. Someone’s going to win this game, and my bet is the Idaho State fans will celebrate in Pocatello Saturday night.

Projected Score: Idaho State 17, Dixie State 0


Western Oregon at #5 Eastern Washington, Saturday, 7:05 pm

Eastern Washington may still be coming down from the emotional high of the biggest win in school history, a 49-46 upset of Oregon State that established the school as a powerhouse that can hold its own with big-time FBS programs. Western Oregon is also from the Great Northwest Conference and is a Division II school, so this game could… and probably will… get ugly. Look for Eastern Washington to improve to 2-0 following this contest. Western Oregon leads the series 9-6-1, but Eastern Washington has won four consecutive meetings dating back to 1978.

Projected Score: Eastern Washington 52, Western Oregon 17


#4 South Dakota State at North Dakota, Saturday, 7:05 pm

North Dakota is coming off a powerful showing against Valparaiso, but it should be cautioned that the 69-10 win came against a pretty weak Valpo squad. North Dakota, which had 17 rushing touchdowns during the entire 2012 season, came up with five running scores last week. South Dakota State, which beat Butler 55-14 last week, hasn’t won a game in Grand Forks since the 1989 season. That nearly 25-year losing streak will come to an end on Saturday, setting off a raucous celebration in Brookings.

Projected Score: South Dakota State 37, North Dakota 24


Fort Lewis at Southern Utah, Saturday, 8:05 pm

The most noteworthy thing you need to know about Fort Lewis is its coach, John L. Smith, famous for stops at schools like Michigan State and Arkansas. Smith is trying to rebuild his football coaching career following a disastrous stint at Arkansas, but his first win may not come here. Southern Utah last faced Fort Lewis in 2000 and came away with a 54-46 victory. Southern Utah upended FBS foe South Alabama, 22-21, in its first meeting. This game might be closer than expected, but look for Southern Utah to prevail.

Projected Score: Southern Utah 38, Fort Lewis 27


UC Davis at Nevada, Saturday, 8:05 pm

Although Nevada leads the overall series 27-21-3, these teams have not met since UC-Davis stole away a 24-17 victory in 1989. Both teams, under the tutelage of first-year coaches, lost their season openers. UC Davis lost 10-7 to South Dakota and Nevada fell 58-20 against a resurgent UCLA squad. UC Davis held South Dakota to 286 yards total offense, and that could suggest a close contest here should UC Davis limit Nevada’s offense. It could be close, but I’m calling another upset special.

Projected Score: UC Davis 28, Nevada 20


#2 Montana State at SMU, Saturday, 9:05 pm

Thirteen players from Texas found their way to the Montana State roster, demonstrating the power of Texas high school football to spread players all across the country. This is the first meeting between these two programs, but all signs point to Montana State going into the Dallas-Fort Worth area and stealing away a victory. Montana State’s tandem of DeNarius McGhee and Cody Kirk know how to score touchdowns at quarterback and running back. Montana State defeated Monmouth 42-24 in the first game, while SMU lost 41-23 to Texas Tech.

Projected Score: Montana State 38, SMU 20


Cal Poly at Fresno State, Saturday, 10:05 pm

This battle of teams coming off opening-week wins has been heavily tilted in favor of Fresno State. Fresno State won 31 of the 43 meetings between these teams, and Cal Poly is coming off a 38-16 win over San Diego. Fresno State needed overtime for a wild 52-51 win over Rutgers, suggesting defensive struggles that could carry over into this game. Cal Poly could steal away another victory here, especially if Kristaan Ivory’s 185 yards and three touchdowns could be duplicated this week.

Projected Score: Cal Poly 40, Fresno State 34


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns