Big Sky Football: Six Teams With One Loss - News, Sports and Weather

Big Sky Football: Six Teams With One Loss

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Six teams enter this Saturday's game tied in the loss column for first place in the league standings. At least two of those teams will pick up a second league loss on Saturday...No. 5 Eastern Washington (5-1) plays host to No. 11 Montana (4-1). The game will air live on ROOT SPORTS...The two hottest teams in the league battle in Pocatello. Idaho State (4-1) puts its four-game winning streak on the line at home against No. 21 Cal Poly (5-1). The Mustangs have won five in a row, including back-to-back wins over top 10 teams...No. 25 Northern Arizona (4-1) returns home to face UC Davis, which is seeking its first conference win...No. 15 Montana State (4-1) is at home against Portland State...Southern Utah returns from a bye week to take on Sacramento State, while Weber State guns for its first win of the season at North Dakota.

This Week's Sky Schedule

Saturday, November 8................................................................ Time

*Weber State (0-5, 0-9) at North Dakota (1-4, 3-6)................ 12:05

TV: MidCo Sports Network

Internet: Watch Big Sky

*#11 Montana (4-1, 6-3) at #5 Eastern Washington (5-1, 8-2). 12:10


Talent: Tom Glasgow, Jason Stiles, Jen Mueller.

*UC Davis (0-5, 1-7) at #25 Northern Arizona (4-1, 6-3)......... 2:05

TV: Fox Sports Arizona Plus

Internet: Watch Big Sky

*Portland State (2-3, 3-6) at #15 Montana State (4-1, 6-3)...... 2:05

TV: Cowles Montana

Internet: Watch Big Sky

*Southern Utah (2-3, 2-7) at Sacramento State (1-4, 4-5)....... 2:05

Internet: Watch Big Sky

*#21 Cal Poly (4-1, 6-3) at Idaho State (4-1, 6-3)....................... 2:35

Internet: Watch Big Sky

*Big Sky Conference Games

Times Local to Site/Subject to Change

Around the Big Sky

SIX-TEAM LOGJAM: Three weeks and 18 conference games remain in the regular-season, and six teams enter the home stretch tied in the loss column for first place in the league standings. Eastern Washington and Cal Poly are both 5-1. Idaho State, Montana, Montana State and Northern Arizona are all 4-1. Four of the remaining games feature matchups of teams with one conference loss. This Saturday, Montana is at Eastern Washington, and Cal Poly is at Idaho State. On Nov. 15, Idaho State is at Montana State. On Nov. 22, Montana State is at Montana. Northern Arizona's three remaining conference games are against UC Davis, North Dakota and Southern Utah - teams with a combined record of 6-20. Northern Arizona also has wins over Eastern Washington and Cal Poly, which could loom large in a tiebreaker to determine the Big Sky's automatic bid to the FCS playoffs. The 2014 Division I playoff field will consist of 24 teams. Twelve conference champions will earn automatic bids. The other 12 at-large will be selected by the FCS playoff committee. A record four Big Sky teams made the playoff field in 2013.


When two or more Conference members are tied in the final Conference standings, the tie shall be broken for purposes of determining the NCAA FCS automatic bid only, and shall be determined on the following basis:

1. Head-to-head Competition

2.Record against common CONFERENCE opponents in descending order

3. Record against common NON-CONFERENCE opponents

4. Sagarin Rating

5. Coin Flip

Example of No. 2: This applies to ALL head-to-head games, even those played as non-conference. (Example: Team A and Team B tie for the championship and played each other as a non-conference game. This game will be used as the tiebreaker).

Example of No. 3: If conference teams A and B both scheduled the same non-conference opponent (FBS, FCS, Division II or NAIA), the results of that game could be used in a tiebreaker.

BACK-TO-BACK FOR BENGALS: After failing to win a road game for eight years, Idaho State has now won consecutive road games. The Bengals beat Portland State 31-13 at Providence Park in Portland last week to move to 4-1 in conference and 6-3 overall. Idaho State has now won consecutive road games for the first time since 1995 when the Bengals opened with a win at Cal Poly and won their next road game a month later at Eastern Washington. This marks the first time ISU has won road games on consecutive weekends since 1983 when the Bengals opened with a win over UTEP and won at Eastern Washington a week later. The Bengals haven't made a playoff appearance since 1983. This is the first time since 2005 ISU has won multiple conference road games in the same season. Idaho State's four-game winning streak matches its longest winning four in a row in 2002. Idaho State has not won five in a row since the 1995 season. Idaho State's four conference wins are the most for the Bengals since the 2003 team finished 4-3. Idaho State's six victories are the most for the program since the 2003 team finished 8-4, which is also the last time ISU enjoyed a winning season. ISU's six victories this season matches the combined win total for the previous three seasons. Idaho State RB Xavier Finney rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Finney became the school's all-time single-season rushing leader with 1,235 yards and also set the single-season school record for rushing touchdowns with 14. His 219 carries this season are also a single-season school record.

SOUERS GUNS FOR 100: Northern Arizona head coach Jerome Souers will try for his 100th career coaching victory on Saturday when the Lumberjacks play host to UC Davis. Souers, in his 17th season with the Lumberjacks, enters Saturday with a 99-91 overall record. Souers is attempting to become just the second coach in league history to amass 100 victories while coaching in the league. Former Nevada coach and College Football Hall of Famer Chris Ault won a Big Sky record 111 games from 1979-91. Souers is looking to become the 15th active FCS coach to win 100 games at his current institution. Northern Arizona has gone 20-9 the past three seasons with a share of the Big Sky title in 2013.

MUSTANGS COMPLETE RARE SWEEP: Over the years, not many Big Sky teams can claim it beat Montana and Montana State on consecutive weekends. In fact, Cal Poly became the first team to accomplish the feat since Weber State in 2008. Cal Poly's Treasure State sweep came against teams that were both ranked in the top 10 - Montana at No. 7 and Montana State at No. 8. Cal Poly has now on five consecutive games heading into Saturday's showdown against Idaho State. Cal Poly's last six-game winning streak came in 2012 when the Mustangs opened with seven consecutive victories. Cal Poly continues to lead the nation in rushing with an average of 347.6 yards per game. Since joining the Big Sky in 2012, Cal Poly has compiled a 17-5 conference record. Cal Poly's Tim Walsh ranks fourth all-time in Big Sky history with 86 victories.

FIVE RANKED IN SPORTS NETWORK POLL: Five Big Sky Conference teams are ranked in this week's Sports Network Top 25, marking the first time this season and the first time since the final 2013 poll that five league teams have been ranked. Cal Poly cracked the poll for the first time this season, checking in at No. 21. Eastern Washington is ranked fifth, followed by Montana at 11, and Montana State at 16. Northern Arizona returned to the poll after six weeks outside the top 25. The Lumberjacks are 25th. Four Big Sky teams are ranked in this week's Coaches' Poll. Eastern Washington is fifth, followed by Montana at 10 and Montana State at 16. Cal Poly is ranked 23rd. This is Cal Poly's first appearance in the Coaches' Poll this season. Cal Poly was last ranked in both polls on Sept. 30, 2013. Northern Arizona received 30 votes in the Coaches' Poll, good enough for 26th. Idaho State received votes in both polls.

EWU'S HAMLIN MOVING UP: Eastern Washington senior linebacker Ronnie Hamlin enters Saturday's game against Montana with 431 career tackles in 48 games. Hamlin ranks fourth in Big Sky history since tackles became an official NCAA statistic in 2000. Hamlin needs one to tie former EWU great J.C. Sherritt for third place, and three to tie former Idaho State linebacker A.J. Storms for second place. Former Montana State safety and current Bobcat coach Kane Ioane is the all-time leader with 471 tackles in 48 games from 2000-03.

EAGLES-GRIZZLIES ON ROOT: Saturday's showdown between Eastern Washington and Montana from Cheney will be televised live on ROOT SPORTS and DIRECTV's Audience Network. Coverage from Cheney begins at 1 p.m. Mountain, 12 p.m. Pacific. Tom Glasgow, Jason Stiles and Jen Mueller will call the game. Eastern Washington has won 15 straight regular-season home games at “The Inferno” and is 29-4 all-time on the red turf.

RUNNING QUARTERBACKS: Five Big Sky quarterbacks have rushed for at least 100 yards in a game this season. Montana State sophomore Dakota Prukop has accomplished the feat four times, while Cal Poly junior Chris Brown has reached 100 three times. Brown has 953 rushing yards this season and is on the verge of becoming just the second QB in league history to rush for 1,000 for a season. Portland State's Connor Kavanaugh set the Big Sky single-season rushing record by a QB with 1,060 yards in 2011. Brown needs 108 to eclipse that mark. Sacramento State's Garrett Safron has rushed for at least 100 yards twice this season. Safron, a senior, has 1,786 rushing yards. He needs 179 to surpass Kavanaugh as the league's all-time top rushing QB. Kavanaugh gained 1,964 yards on the ground. Brown currently has 1,638 career rushing yards. Prukop has 797 rushing yards this season, which ranks third in single-season history by league QBs. Weber State QB Jadrian Clark rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to NAU. It was his first career 100-yard rushing game.

Extra points: NAU junior Jordan Perry completed 23-of-29 passes for 239 yards with two touchdowns in his first career start, rallying the Lumberjacks from a 22-point deficit for a 29-22 road win over Weber State...PSU kicker Jonathan Gonzales has made 12-of-14 field goals over his past five games. Gonzales hit from 33 and 48 yards in a loss to Idaho State...EWU sophomore QB Jordan West has his best game as a starter, completing 24-of-37 for 314 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in EWU's 54-3 win over UND...UM's Zack Wagenmann recorded 1.5 sacks in a 31-13 win over Sacramento State. Wagenmann leads the Big Sky with 10.5 sacks. Wagenmann has 31.5 sacks in his career, just three shy from the Montana all-time record of 34.5 set by Tim Bush...Home teams went 3-3 in conference games last week. Home teams are now 20-14 in conference games...EWU sophomore Cooper Kupp caught nine passes for 111 yards and TD last week. Kupp has 33 career TD catches in 24 games. He has 12 100-yard receiving games...UC Davis WR Ramon Vargas has three straight 100-yard receiving games.

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