Big Sky Week 4 FCS Football Game Breakdowns


Week 4 Big Sky Game Breakdowns


We are only three weeks into the Big Sky season and the top two teams in the league include a team that hasn’t seen a 2-0 start in quite a while. You have to go back to Bill Clinton’s second term as president to find the last time Idaho State won its first two games (1999). It should come as no surprise that Montana is the second team that is undefeated, as the squad traditionally has a good track record. Here is a look at the week ahead:

Idaho State at Washington, Saturday, 3:05

Remember what we were saying about Idaho State starting off 2-0? A 3-0 start might be out of the question as Washington appears to have its football mojo back following a few years in the Pac-12 Conference wilderness. Washington beat Boise State 38-6 in its first game in the new Husky Stadium. Washington’s offense exploded for 615 yards total offense in a 34-24 win over Illinois, and that offense is going up against the Big Sky’s leading defense. Although QB Justin Anas has 453 passing yards a game, Idaho State’s offense should be silenced a bit. But this could be a close game.

Projected Score: Washington 34, Idaho State 24


Oklahoma Panhandle State at #8 Montana, Saturday, 3:05

Montana has not lost a regular-season non-conference home game since 2003, and it is not about to start now. Oklahoma Panhandle State competes as a Division II independent, and Montana QB Jordan Johnson should pick this defense apart like tissue paper. WR Ellis Henderson has four receiving touchdowns. RB Jordan Canada has three rushing touchdowns. Get the picture this could be one ugly game in a hurry? Fans should be leaving Missoula’s stadium in a hurry to watch other contests.

Projected Score: Montana 64, Oklahoma Panhandle State 0


#7 Northern Iowa at Northern Colorado, Saturday, 3:35

Football fans in Colorado definitely need something to take their minds off the terrible rainstorms of the past week. Even if Northern Colorado isn’t favored in this game, it’s at least a chance to escape to the gridiron. This is the first time since 1926 these teams have met. Keep an eye on the first half of this game. Northern Iowa has outscored opponents 52-14 in that half this season, and if RB David Johnson and QB Sawyer Kollmorgen get red-hot this could be a long game. Northern Colorado’s defense could make this a bit more respectable.

Projected Score: Northern Iowa 38, Northern Colorado 10


South Dakota at #20 Northern Arizona, Saturday, 6:05

The first meeting between these two schools takes place in the high hills of Flagstaff, as the game serves as Northern Arizona’s home opener. The first down will be key for Northern Arizona, as opponents are converting less than 29 percent on first down. Zack Bauman is now the school’s all-time leading rusher and has a chance to move up the Big Sky’s list this weekend. Currently he is tied for second on the league’s all-time rushing chart (with Don Read). Both of these schools are 1-1, and Bauman’s running game and home advantage should tilt this game to Northern Arizona.

Projected Score: Northern Arizona 20, South Dakota 14


Southern Utah at Sacramento State, Saturday, 7:05

This is a relatively new series, having just started in 1996, but it is the first time these teams have met in Sacramento since the 2004 season. Sacramento State is coming off a wild 63-56 overtime victory against Southern Oregon, thanks in part to QB Garrett Safron’s seven touchdown passes and WR DeAndre Carter’s five touchdown catches. Southern Utah has intercepted a pass in 12 of its last 14 games, but one interception won’t save Southern Utah. Sacramento State should win this contest running away. Note: This is a non-conference game despite the fact both teams are in the Big Sky.

Projected Score: Sacramento State 38, Southern Utah 17


#2 Montana State at Stephen F. Austin, Saturday, 7:05

For the second time in three weeks, Montana State travels to Texas for a game. This time Montana State is in Nacogdoches for the fifth meeting between the schools. Montana State has won three of the four previous contests and should have the edge here thanks to QB Jake Bleskin, who threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns a week ago. Montana State’s pesky defense has caused six more turnovers than the offense has surrendered, and all of these pieces add up to a Montana State win.

Projected Score: Montana State 45, Stephen F. Austin 31


Weber State at #25 McNeese State, Saturday, 8:05

Lake Charles, Louisiana is the site of this contest, the fourth meeting between the schools. McNeese State leads Weber State 2-1 in the overall series. Weber State won the only game of the series played in Louisiana all the way back in 1990, but the consensus is fans will have some positive reasons to party following this game. Weber State ranks next to last in scoring defense, as it has given up 60 points a game. Combined with McNeese’s offensive prowess, this game could be a runaway.

Projected Score: McNeese State 48, Weber State 17


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns