Another week in the Big Sky is done. With that week over we have fully submerged ourselves in the conference play. Many of the games were very good games, such as Montana and Cal Poly, as well as Montana State and North Dakota. Sacramento State gave it a good effort to get into the win column with a mad fourth quarter dash, but couldn’t get it done against Idaho State. Eastern Washington stepped on the gas early against Northern Arizona and never let up. UC-Davis made a run at Weber State in the final quarter, but also faded late.
Cal Poly certainly has been a surprise this season. They were picked low in the media poll, as well as the poll put together by yours truly. They are now 3-1 on the season, and really should be undefeated. They are also tied atop the Big Sky Conference standings with Eastern Washington with their most recent win over Montana. The team was supposedly very angry to start the season because of being picked so low. They are now rolling thanks to Joe Protheroe and Kori Garcia.
At the bottom of the pile is Sacramento State and UC-Davis. The Hornets have yet to pick up a win this season and they may not have any chances for a win until they travel to Greeley to Northern Colorado, or at the end of the season against UC-Davis. UC-Davis’s best chances of winning look like Northern Colorado and Sacramento State.
At this moment there are three teams from the Big Sky ranked in the FCS Stats poll, Montana (11th), Eastern Washington (4th), and Cal Poly (16th). Southern Utah is just outside of the poll. In the Any Given Saturday poll has Eastern Washington (3rd), Montana (11th), Cal Poly (8th), and Southern Utah (20th). In the way too early playoff predictions we should see at least three, perhaps four teams in the BSC in the playoffs.
Cal Poly 42
North Dakota 17
Montana State 15
Sacramento State 34
Idaho State 42
Eastern Washington 50
Northern Arizona 35
Portland State 31
Southern Utah 45
Weber State 38
Player of the Week
Jerry Louie-McGee, wide receiver, Montana. Louie-McGee set a Montana record with 21 receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to Cal Poly. Louie-McGee was named the FCS STATS freshman of the week this week as well.
Big Sky MVP Candidates
Gage Gabrud, Eastern Washington. 35/56, 392 yards, 2 touchdowns. 11 carries, 85 yards, 1 touchdown.
Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington. 11 receptions, 111 yards.
John Santiago, North Dakota. 19 carries, 57 yards.
Joe Protheroe, Cal Poly. 17 carries, 90 yards. 1 reception, 55 yards, 1 touchdown.
Case Cookus, Northern Arizona. 17/28, 245 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception.
Emmanuel Butler, Northern Arizona. 5 receptions, 56 yards.
Big Sky Power Rankings
1. Eastern Washington
2. Cal Poly
4. Southern Utah
5. North Dakota
6. Weber State
7. Northern Arizona
8. Montana State
9. Portland State
10. Idaho State
11. Northern Colorado
13. Sacramento State
Looking Ahead to Week 5
In the game of the week in the Big Sky Southern Utah heads to Montana to take on the Grizzlies. Both teams are 2-1 coming into the weekend. Cal Poly will make the long trip to Grand Forks to take on North Dakota. Northern Arizona will drive up the road to Greeley to take on the Northern Colorado Bears. UC-Davis will be heading north to take on Eastern Washington. Idaho State will take on Portland State. Montana State will face off with Sacramento State.
Final Thoughts and Hot Takes
– Sacramento State is baaaaaaad. Jody Sears is probably not going to get another year for the Hornets.
– Montana was the sole team so far to bottle up Joe Protheroe, he still had 145 total yards and a score.
– Cal Poly is a pretty good team. Their quarterback looks like he used to play for Air Force, he looked that skilled running the triple option. He took some pretty mean hits on Saturday from the Grizzlies defense though.. and kept on ticking.
– The top four in the Big Sky are looking pretty tough to beat right now. We’ll find out more about Southern Utah this weekend in Missoula. I didn’t think they’d be this good this year considering they lost their coach, quarterback, a couple of pretty good defensive players, etc. Yet, here they are.
– Gage Gabrud had a huge game for Eastern Washington, a week after he was jerked out of the game in favor of Riley Hennessey. I guess Beau Baldwin knows how to motivate his starting quarterback.
– Good to see Cooper Kupp back on the field. Once he gets his feet back under him he’ll be dominating Big Sky secondaries.
– Perhaps next time Bruce Barnum wants to run his trap he should make sure his team is prepared to back up his mouth, Southern Utah fans showed out in force in response to his “Whoville” comments earlier in the week. Better win something first, Bruce, before you shoot your mouth off.
– The Vikings are now 1-3 on the season.