Big Sky Week 5 FCS Football Game Breakdowns

Week 5 Big Sky Game Breakdowns


After one month of non-conference matchups, we are finally ready for the 51st season of Big Sky Conference football to get underway. An early game on Thursday dominates the non-weekend action, followed by six Saturday contests. The biggest of those contests takes place in Texas as Sam Houston State welcomes Eastern Washington for some Lone Star hospitality. Here is a look at the schedule:

Cal Poly at Portland State, Thursday, 10:15 pm

Although these teams have met 19 times, with Cal Poly holding a 10-9 lead in the overall series, this is the first time since 1998 the game has been played in Portland. It is sort of old home week for Cal Poly coach Tim Walsh, who guided Portland State from 1993 to 2006. Cal Poly’s 1-2 record is a bit misleading as both losses are against FBS schools. Look for a solid ground game from both schools; Portland State leads the nation with 328 yards per game and Cal Poly averages 227.3. Portland State’s D.J. Adams and Cal Poly’s Kristaan Ivory should be the focused backs in what could be a rushing-dominated contest.

Projected Score: Cal Poly 42, Portland State 30


Southern Utah at Northern Colorado, Saturday, 3:35 pm

The regular Saturday action starts with a game in Greeley between two teams that have not met since 2005. Home cooking could be the order for Northern Colorado, which is playing its fourth home game in five weeks. The last time Northern Colorado played Southern Utah in Greeley, it won 42-7 in 2004. Southern Utah RB Raysean Martin averages nearly 72 yards per game for a team that scores 26.2 points per game and allows 22.5. Northern Colorado scores 20.2 per game and allows 28. All signs point to a Southern Utah win.

Projected Score: Southern Utah 38, Northern Colorado 27


#7 Montana State at North Dakota, Saturday, 3:35 pm

Montana State, which began this series with North Dakota in 1948, holds a 15-13 edge. The last game in Bozeman saw Montana State produce 695 yards total offense. Substitute the wide open spaces with a domed stadium in Grand Forks and it still should be Montana State’s game. Montana State has 15 sacks in four games, and North Dakota has allowed 10 sacks in three games. The Montana State defense should have this game ended before halftime.

Projected Score: Montana State 48, North Dakota 10


#4 Eastern Washington at #8 Sam Houston State, Saturday, 4:05 pm

Two of the biggest FCS college programs in the country engage each other again in their first meeting since a wild 2012 national semifinal contest. Sam Houston State beat Eastern Washington 45-42 in that game as it overcame Eastern Washington QB Vernon Adams’ six second-half touchdowns. Adams is back and is fourth in the nation in pass efficiency, and Sam Houston QB Brian Bell is sixth. Sam Houston averages 52.3 points per game and Eastern Washington averages 533 yards. Fasten your seat belts. This is going to be one wild roller coaster of a game.

Projected Score: Sam Houston State 58, Eastern Washington 49


Sacramento State at Weber State, Saturday, 8:05 pm

A pair of 1-3 teams meet in a game where home-field advantage will tilt heavily toward Weber State. For starters, Sacramento State is 0-8 all time in games played at Ogden, Utah. Weber State has won four of the last six meetings in this series, which started in 1996. Keep an eye on Weber State if it makes a fast start. The team has 29 first-quarter points in four games. It scored 29 first-quarter points all of last season. Key Weber State stat: Anthony Morales averages 9.2 tackles per game on defense.

Projected Score: Weber State 30, Sacramento State 13


#6 Montana at #20 Northern Arizona, Saturday, 8:10 pm

Northern Arizona pulled off its first win over Montana since 1997 when it won last season’s meeting, but all signs point to a Montana victory. Montana has won the last seven meetings in Flagstaff and the team is the last remaining unbeaten in the Big Sky. With a 44.0 scoring average per game and a defense that allows 12.3 points per game, this could be a one-sided contest. Montana QB Jordan Johnson completed over three-fourths of his passes to date with eight touchdowns and no interceptions.

Projected Score: Montana 52, Northern Arizona 17


Idaho State at UC Davis, Saturday, 9:05 pm

I predict a long losing streak comes to a close here. Idaho State has lost 40 straight road games and 27 straight conference road games, having last won on the road in October 2006 at Northern Colorado. Look for that string to come to an end. For starters, Idaho State is 2-1 against FBS teams this season (this is the first game against an FCS opponent). Idaho State WR Cam Richmond has nearly nine receptions a game, and QB Justin Arias has 336 passing yards a contest.

Projected Score: Idaho State 30, UC Davis 14


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns