Big Sky Week 12 FCS Football Game Breakdowns


Week 12 Big Sky Game Breakdowns


As the season winds down there is a chance for one team to clinch a share of the Big Sky regular-season championship this weekend. Eastern Washington is the lone team left in conference play with no losses, and the Eagles can clinch a share of the championship with a win over Cal Poly. That’s not to mean the rest of the schedule is loaded with meaningless games at all. Let’s take a look at the week’s schedule:

Weber State at #13 Montana, Saturday, 2:05

This game has one-sided written all over it, but not so fast. Weber State is 1-9 this year and Montana is 8-2 and on the verge of a playoff berth, but Montana’s defense forced three turnovers and limited Weber State to 229 total yards last year. Montana still had to squeak out a 24-21 victory. This game should be a little more one-sided, but Weber State hasn’t won a game in Missoula since 1987 and Montana has won 13 of the last 15 meetings. Montana leads the overall series 38-13 and Weber State is 0-6 on the road.

Projected Score: Montana 47, Weber State 17


Idaho State at Brigham Young, Saturday, 3:05

Idaho State goes off the conference board to face a Brigham Young squad that is 6-3 and bowl-eligible, not to mention 4-1 in games played at Provo, Utah. Idaho State is seeking its first road win since 2006, but Brigham Young has won every meeting in this series since it launched in 1932 (four in all). Idaho State does average 335.6 passing yards per game, and QB Justin Arias has 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. However, the history in this series will go against Idaho State in the end.

Projected Score: Brigham Young 30, Idaho State 13


#3 Eastern Washington at Cal Poly, Saturday, 3:35

These teams have met six previous times, but this marks the first time in Big Sky play that these two squads have hooked up. The Eagles lead the overall series 4-2 and can clinch a share of the Big Sky championship with a victory. Eastern Washington enters at 6-0 (8-2 overall), while Cal Poly stands 5-5 and 4-2 in Big Sky play. Can Cal Poly pull off a surprise here? Cal Poly does lead the series 2-1 in games played at San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly is allowing just 15.8 points per game against conference opponents. Eastern Washington is averaging 43.5 points against conference foes. Cal Poly has the nation’s best rushing offense at 308.6 yards per game. I think this game could be a surprise, and the Eagles’ title hopes may have to wait another week.

Projected Score: Cal Poly 37, Eastern Washington 34


Sacramento State at Portland State, Saturday, 4:05

A pair of 3-3 schools face off in Big Sky play in a series where Portland State holds an overwhelming 22-9 advantage since the squads first met in 1965. The decider here could be home-field advantage, because Portland State is 12-2 in Portland in this series and is 12-4 against Sacramento State since both teams joined the Big Sky in 1996. Sacramento State has won three of the last four meetings, but Portland State has won three straight games and is 4-1 at home this season. Look for RB D.J. Adams to add to his 1,207-yard rushing total in a Portland State victory.

Projected Score: Portland State 28, Sacramento State 17


Northern Colorado at #9 Northern Arizona, Saturday, 6:05

Since this series started in 1964 Northern Arizona has won 11 of the 13 meetings, and this year should make it 12 of 14. Northern Arizona has won 10 games in a row in the series dating back to 1978. Northern Colorado has not won on the road this season, and since winning the opener Northern Colorado has dropped nine games in a row. This is in part due to Northern Colorado’s minus-7 turnover margin. RB Zach Bauman is sixth in the nation with 126.3 rushing yards per game and ranks fourth in league history with 4,813 rushing yards. This should tilt the game in Northern Arizona’s favor. 

Projected Score: Northern Arizona 37, Northern Colorado 21


Southern Utah at #5 Montana State, Saturday, 6:05

If Eastern Washington coughs it up on Saturday, the direct beneficiary could be Montana State if it wins its game. Montana State is 5-1 in the Big Sky (7-3 overall) and Southern Utah is 7-3 overall and 4-2 in the league. Montana State has won all three meetings in the series, including a 7-3 victory over Southern Utah in 2007 (the last meeting in Bozeman). Southern Utah has won seven games in a season for the first time in 13 years, but Montana State has too much to lose. RB Cody Kirk needs six rushing yards to reach 1,000 for the second time in three years, and Brad Daly leads the league in sacks and tackles for loss.

Projected Score: Montana State 37, Southern Utah 30


North Dakota at UC Davis, Saturday, 7:05

UC Davis has won three of the five meetings between these schools, and North Dakota won the last meeting 14-7 in 2011, when both were members of the Great West Conference. North Dakota is playing its final game of the season, and WR Greg Hardin ranks fourth in the nation in all-purpose yards per game. He needs 26 receiving yards to reach 1,000 for the season. UC Davis is minus-3 in turnover margin but North Dakota is minus-18. This could tilt the contest toward Davis, especially since that game is at home.

Projected Score: UC Davis 27, North Dakota 16



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