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Valley / Ventura County Sports

This Week in the Big Sky

September 26, 1998

Montana (2-1, 0-0) at Weber State (3-0, 1-0)

A 6-3 victory over Idaho State last week marked the first time since becoming a four-year school in 1962 that Weber State won a game without scoring a touchdown. The Wildcats, ranked No. 21 in one poll, held Idaho State to 155 yards. Junior Morgan Welch had 254 yards rushing, the fifth-best total in Weber State history. He leads Division I-AA in rushing with an average of 192 yards per game. Weber State has won eight games in a row at home but Montana, ranked No. 11, is 12-4 at Ogden and has a five-game winning streak against the Wildcats. Brian Ah Yat of Montana leads I-AA in offense with an average of 415.7 yards per game and has passed for 15 touchdowns. But the Grizzlies, who average 500.7 yards, are allowing 33.7 points per game. Jerry Graybeal is trying to become the only coach to start 4-0 in his first season at Weber State.

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Idaho State (0-2, 0-1) at Portland State (1-1, 1-0)

The Vikings will play their home opener in the wake of a 42-24 nonconference setback at Boise State last week. Sophomore Chip Dunn of Portland State rushed for 71 yards, ending a streak of five consecutive 100-yard games. He is third in the Big Sky in rushing with an average of 132 yards per game. Dunn could wreak havoc on an Idaho State defense that is allowing 276.5 yards rushing per game, next to last in the nine-team conference. Portland State's defense ranks last in the Big Sky, yielding 469 yards per game. In a 6-3 loss to Weber State last week, Idaho State did not score a touchdown for the first time since 1976. Idaho State is averaging 150.5 yards per game and hasn't scored in double figures in the last three games, including the 1997 finale. The Bengals beat Portland State, 26-24, to register one of their two Big Sky victories last season.

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Cal State Sacramento (2-1, 0-0) at Montana State (2-1, 0-0)

Montana State last week went deep in personnel in a 41-12 rout of Division II Western Washington, with eight players gaining rushing yards and three quarterbacks passing for a combined 233 yards. No Bobcat running back has gained 100 or more yards this season, but Lathian Tyler and Eric Kinnaman teamed for 120 yards rushing, their fifth consecutive 100-yard combination effort dating to 1997. Sacramento ranks second in the Big Sky in rushing defense, yielding 141.7 yards per game. The Hornets lost last week to Division II UC Davis, 35-17. Sacramento got one score on Charles Roberts' 69-yard run, the longest run in the Big Sky this season, and another on Scott Brown's 50-yard field goal. Carlos Williams had a 62-yard interception return.

Nonconference

Western State (1-1) at Northern Arizona (2-1)

So much for stingy defense. Northern Arizona last week gave up 408 yards in a 41-10 loss to Cal State Northridge, its most lopsided setback at home since losing to Jacksonville State, 35-0, in the 1977 Division II playoffs. The Lumberjacks went into the game against Northridge ranked 13th in defense in I-AA at 231.5 yards allowed per game. They had allowed one touchdown and 16 points. They are ranked 32nd in defense at 290.3 yards allowed per game and dropped in one poll from 13th to 19th. Junior Travis Brown, who has 7,149 career yards passing, did not play because of an elbow injury, ending a streak of 25 consecutive starts. He is expected to sit out the game tonight. Western State, a Division II school, is 3-7 against Northern Arizona dating to 1934.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Saturday games

Eastern Washington at CS Northridge

CS Sacramento at Montana State

Idaho State at Portland State

Montana at Weber State

*Western State at Northern Arizona

Oct. 3

Northern Arizona at Eastern Washington

Portland State at Montana

Weber State at CS Sacramento

*Southern Utah at CS Northridge

*Idaho State at Idaho

*Nonconference

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