It was a busy and successful week for the Big Sky. Montana State made a statement in a matchup of ranked FCS teams, Weber State pulled away from fellow Big Sky team Cal Poly late, and UC Davis barely survived an upset bid in San Diego.
No. 5 UC Davis 38, San Diego 35
No. 5 UC Davis (1-1) survived a scare in San Diego, holding off the Toreros after a last-second play to escape with a 38-35 win.
San Diego (0-2) had the ball inside the Aggies’ 5 yard-line with under 10 seconds left, but tried to take a final shot at the end zone. Quarterback Reid Sinnett found running back Emilio Martinez in the right flat, but defensive back Devon King came screaming up to make the tackle.
His hit jarred the ball free right at the goal line. UC Davis recovered, and the officials ruled that Martinez had not crossed the plane before the ball came out, giving the Aggies a nailbiting win.
Jake Maier threw for 359 yards and Ulonzo Gilliam ran for 135 for UC Davis, which hosts Lehigh next week.
No. 4 Eastern Washington 59, Lindenwood 31
Sophomore wide receiver Dre’Sonte Dorton set a new school record with 289 receiving yards, as No. 4 Eastern Washington (1-1) went up big early and beat Division II Lindenwood (0-1), 59-31, in Cheney.
Dorton finished with 15 catches for 189 yards and three touchdowns, scoring on receptions of 78, 18 and 58 yards. He broke Cooper Kupp’s single-game receiving record of 275 yards, set in 2015 against Northern Colorado.
Eastern went up 31-0 early in the second quarter.
Eric Barriere threw for 569 yards and five touchdowns for the Eagles, who also set a program single-game record with 769 total yards.
Eastern travels to No. 18 Jacksonville State next week.
No. 11 Northern Iowa 34, Southern Utah 14
Southern Utah couldn’t hang with No. 11 Northern Iowa (1-1) in Cedar Falls, failing to score until late in the third quarter and eventually losing 34-14 on the road.
The Thunderbirds (0-2) had 60 total yards at halftime and were down 34-0 before scoring their first points, coming on a 4-yard run by quarterback Chris Helbig with 33 seconds left in the third.
Southern Utah hosts Stephen F. Austin next week.
Portland State 70, Simon Fraser 7
Portland State struggled with NAIA Simon Fraser early before blowing them out in the second half, winning 70-7.
The Vikings (1-1) gave up a 60-yard touchdown pass on the third play of the game, and the game was tied 7-7 until midway through the second quarter, when PSU put up two quick touchdowns to take a 21-7 lead at halftime.
Simon Fraser finished with negative-65 rushing yards and 113 total yards compared to Portland State’s 646.
Davis Alexander threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions for the Vikings, who travel to Boise State next week.
FBS No. 22 Washington State 59, Northern Colorado 17
Northern Colorado rolled up 355 total yards, but it wasn’t enough against Washington State as the Bears took a 59-17 loss in Pullman.
Milo Hall ran for 113 yards for Northern Colorado. His 12-yard scoring run tied the game at 7-7 midway through the first, but Washington State (2-0) scored two quick touchdowns and led 24-10 at the break.
It got worse from there as the Cougars recorded 594 total yards of their own and held Bears starting quarterback Jacob Knipp to 128 yards passing.
Northern Colorado (0-2) travels to Sacramento State next week.
No. 7 Weber State 41, Cal Poly 24
No. 7 Weber State separated late to beat Cal Poly, 41-24, in a non-conference matchup between two Big Sky teams in Ogden.
The Wildcats (1-1) led 17-10 at halftime and 24-10 early in the third, before a fumble-recovery touchdown for Cal Poly (1-1) cut the lead back to 24-17.But Josh Davis and Kris Jackson rushed for touchdowns late as the Weber defense stiffened.
Davis, the reigning FCS Freshman of the Year, ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats, who lost starting quarterback Jake Constantine to an injury midway through the game. Kaden Jenks replaced him.
Both teams have dates with FBS opponents next week, with Cal Poly going to Oregon State and Weber playing at Nevada.
No. 13 Montana State 38, No. 12 Southeast Missouri State 17
The No. 13 Bobcats made a statement in Bozeman, beating No. 13 Southeast Missouri State in a rare early-season matchup between ranked FCS teams.
It was tied 10-10 at halftime, but Montana State scored 28 straight points, all in the third quarter, to put the game out of reach.
Troy Andersen ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns for the Bobcats, adding a defensive sack from his linebacker position.
Montana State running back Isaiah Ifanse had 114 yards in the first half but left at halftime with an injury.
The Bobcats travel to Western Illinois next week.
Idaho 41, Central Washington 31
Idaho ground down Central Washington, taking a 41-31 win in Moscow.
The Vandals (1-1) trailed 17-10 late into the second quarter and rarely led by more than one score down the stretch, but did enough in the end to beat the Wildcats.
Jeff Cotton had 16 catches for 145 yards, well over half of Idaho’s total of 209 receiving yards.
Idaho plays at Wyoming next week.
No. 22 Montana 61, North Alabama 17
The No. 22 Montana Grizzlies put on a second-half show, scoring 45 unanswered points in the after the break to flip a 17-16 halftime deficit on its head and blow out North Alabama 61-17 in Missoula.
Dalton Sneed threw for 269 yards for the Griz (2-0), Marcus Knight ran for 89 and three touchdowns, and the Montana defense pressured the Lions (1-1) into four turnovers.
Jerry Louie-McGee also had a 74-yard punt return touchdown for Montana, which travels to Oregon next Saturday.