Montana is a different animal. They are going to spread you out and throw the ball on you. —Weber State coach Jay Hill, on Montana
After five weeks of conference play, the season has officially reached its "every game matters" phase. Spots in the FCS playoffs, otherwise known as the NCAA Division I Football Championship, are few and far between, and with the Big Sky conference boasting five ranked teams (Eastern Washington, Northern Arizona, Weber State, Montana and Southern Utah), one loss is all it’ll take to knock a school out of the running.
“There are only so many playoff spots, and it is a tight race,” said Weber State head coach Jay Hill. “This is one of those years where you had better take care of business. We have already had one hiccup and you can’t have two this year.”
No. 22 Weber State (5-2, 3-1) avoided one of said hiccups last weekend, with a 17-3 victory over Cal Poly, but its next opponent is a different challenge altogether.
No. 24 Montana comes into Saturday’s game boasting a prolific passing attack, headlined by quarterback Gresch Jensen. More importantly, the Grizzlies are ranked first in the country in red zone offense, having converted 31-of-32 attempts, including 24 touchdowns.
“Montana is a different animal,” said Hill. “They are going to spread you out and throw the ball on you.”
No. 25 Southern Utah enters their contest at Northern Colorado on a weekslong high, having followed up their upset of Weber State with a 46-28 defeat of the Eastern Washington Eagles.
Their latest win marks the T-Birds third victory over a ranked opponent this season and ushered the team into the Top 25 rankings for the first time all year.
Don’t expect SUU to be distracted by their successes, however. Not with head coach Demario Warren in charge.
“We've got to start over, like we do every week," said Warren. “We've got to zero in on what we want. We've got a chance to have a winning season, that goal is right in front of us right now. We've got to be the best team we can be this weekend to beat a good Northern Colorado team."
WSU on the air
No. 24 Montana (5-2) at No. 22 Weber State (5-2)
Saturday, 2 p.m. MDT
Stewart Stadium, Ogden
TV: SWX (in Montana)
Radio: KLO 1430 AM
Online: Pluto TV 235/WatchBigSky.com
SUU on the air
No. 25 Southern Utah (5-2) at Northern Colorado (2-4)
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. MDT
Nottingham Field, Greeley, Colorado
Radio: KSUB 590 AM
Online: Pluto TV/WatchBigSky.com