MISSOULA, Mont. The team is struggling to score, the quarterback situation is in chaos with the starter demoted to third string and a redshirt freshman is now set to line up behind center.
The star running back was also demoted to second team in the last game and has yet to top 80 yards rushing in a game.
Sounds like the perfect formula for success when traveling to face the No. 1 FCS (formerly I-AA) team in the country.
"You get very few chances as a player to play against the No. 1 team in the country, but we have it this week," Weber State coach Ron McBride said as he takes his team to Montana. "That only should motivate you to improve yourself and prepare like you've never prepared before."
The Wildcats (0-3, 0-1 Big Sky) will certainly have their hands full as they face the Grizzlies. Undefeated at 3-0, Montana is used to sell-out crowds, lots of points and wins just about every time it takes the field.
Weber State, on the other hand, has started another season on a bad note and desperately needs a shot of confidence as the year nears its midpoint.
Former starting quarterback Jimmy Barnes had a terrible outing last week against Montana State, throwing only five passes, completing one for just three yards and having two intercepted and returned for touchdowns. He was benched, and freshman Cameron Higgins sparked the team a little bit in the second and third quarters.
JC transfer Brendon Doyle, likewise, played the entire fourth quarter and had some success moving the team downfield but was unable to put any points on the board.
Higgins will get the start this week with Doyle likely to see some action at one point or another.
Higgins has "been through a whole season and a spring practice and continues to learn and improve," McBride said. "Brendon will get some reps as the backup. We certainly haven't given up on Jimmy, but we need to see what the others have to offer."
Sophomore running back Trevyn Smith got the lion's share of carries a week ago, but McBride used him as a reserve senior Adrian Conway started hoping to light a fire in him.
Whoever is starting, McBride hopes they come out ready for the challenge they will get."They deserve the No. 1 ranking. They are rock solid in every phase of the game which makes it hard to spot or find a weakness you can try to exploit," McBride said of Montana. "They always have big, physical players up front to protect so we need to find a way to penetrate and put some pressure on the quarterback. Defensively they aren't big but very athletic and fast. They also have tremendous special teams as well."
Wildcats on the air
Weber St. (0-3, 0-1) at
No. 1 Montana (3-0, 0-0)
Today, 1:05 p.m.